All posts by Pat Lipert

Lev Returns to Kehillat Kernow

By popular demand, Lev Taylor, Reform Judaism’s student rabbi returned to take a service at Kehillat Kernow for Shabbat Va-ethannan on Saturday, 17th of August. Lev is one of four rabbinical visits we have had to take services this Spring and Summer. Others were: Rabbi Maurice Michaels, Rabbi Amanda Golby, David and Hannah Jacobs.

Lev, who is entering his third year of graduate studies at Leo Baeck College in the Sternberg Centre in North Finchley, has become a favourite of our community after his visit during the last High Holy Days for the  Yom Kippur services.  His service this go round was warmly received by many KK members who made a special effort to be there and also to deliver a fine, robust Kiddush luncheon following the Shabbat morning Torah service. 

Following the service, Lev visited the Penzance Jewish Cemetery with his hosts for the weekend, Pat and Leslie Lipert.  Many thanks to Lev for returning to our community and for giving us an inspiring service and sermon.

Click here to see the pictures.

Weekly Commentary on Chukkat

Fair-weather believers seem to be the underlying narrative in the B’Midbar parshot, from the pusillanimous ten spies to the blasphemous insurrection of Korah, Dathan and Abiram and on to

the bitter waters of Meribah and more rebellion near Ma’im Suf, The Sea of Reeds. Will these wavering Children of Israel, clearly not yet Am Yisrael, ever stop complaining?

Just in the nick of time, the concept of Chukkat, also the title of this week’s parashah underscores not only the supremacy (and mercy) of the God of Israel, it also emphasises the comprehensiveness of all the commandments. Some are blatantly reasonable, rational and understandable, Mishpatim, but others, Chukkat, require leaps of faith and moral exactitude on a much higher, esoteric plain.

We do not understand the prohibition against mixing seeds together or of wearing cloth of mixed wool and linen or, in this week’s parsha, the rules regarding the Red Heifer. We obey them because God says so. End of argument? Not really. Nothing in Torah is that simple.

There is a rationale here. These laws are concerned with a higher morality, with life, not death and regulate one’s less apparent emotional states. These laws, as in the case of the Red Heifer and others, often appear before the narrative event explaining how to act in particular circumstances. Considering, too, that Chukkat tells of the deaths of Miriam and Aaron and its impact on Moses, the need for ‘higher guidance, is exactly what is needed.

To find out more, we are very fortunate this week to have the professional advice of Rabbi Amanda Golby who will be leading our services.  Please make every effort to come so that we cannot only learn and celebrate Shabbat together, but also, give Rabbi Golby a warm, Cornish welcome.

Banner Turnout for Pesach 5779

The largest Seder in KK history happened this year with 80 people attending the first night of Pesach at Trelssick Gardens in Feock, Truro.People came from near and afar to celebrate the traditional Haggadah service which highlights our Exodus from Egypt.

Masterly led by Vice-Chairman Adam Feldman, the first night of Seder was filled with song, prayer, meaningful and funny commentary throughout. Song, prayer, four cups of wine, a spectacular Mah Nishtana by our under 13’s, and much role playing by many members and visitors who attended made it a most lively and super Pesach.

Many thanks go to Chairman Jeremy Jacobson who welcomed and greeted all the guests in his very witty introductory remarks, to Harvey Kurzfield who officially passed over the service leadership to Adam, to Leslie Lipert who worked behind the scenes, to all the chefs who created a most spectacular seder meal, and most especially to Anne Hearle and her husband, David, who organised the entire festival.

Hag Sameach and enjoy your Matzah. You are commanded to do so. Never mind the crumbs

Photos of Pesach Sedar 5779

Obedience at Disobedience

The Film/Food/Book/Fact Club met April 6th at Malpas Village Hall for another fantastic evening of good food, conviviality and discussion to view the film, ‘Disobedience,’ based on the book by the same title by Naomi Alderman.

Both the film and the book raised all kinds of avenues for discussion as both genres examined the impact of the death of the revered eminent Rabbi Krushka on the alternative lifestyles in the orthodox community of Hendon.Issues of freedom of choice verses tradition, various interpretations of Jewish law and how it could and should be practised, the physical and psychological impact of being raised in a strictly orthodox community and what constitutes happiness were all addressed through various central characters in depth and through stereotypical personages of stock Jewish members of a closed community:the gunzer machers, the movers and shakers, the academics, the variant family units, the frumers and the free spirits.

Many thanks to Adam and Melanie Feldman for arranging the venue, Jeremy Jacobson who provided the film, and to all those members and guests who helped with the ‘washing up’ to ensure that it was another fine, unmissable evening for the Film/Food/Book/Fact Club. If you haven’t attended one of these KK  events, make sure you catch the next one!

Click here to view pictures taken on the night.

Planting for the future

Envision Abraham sitting under the terebinth tree on the Plains of Mamre hosting the angels of God as they are about to reveal the future birth of Isaac. A seminal moment in Torah. In fact, Oak trees feature often in Torah which is why members of Kehillat Kernow planted an oak tree when they participated in a tree planting at the Dor Kemmyn site’s Field of Peace in Truro with other members of the Inter-Faith Forum on Sunday, the 24th of March.

The Buddist Community planted a lime tree nearby.Fifteen members of KK gathered around to watch David Hearle supervise and plant the oak tree with help for the digging process from KK members Adam Feldman and John Edelman.

At the ceremony, following a greeting from Rita Stephen of IFF, Chairman Jeremy Jacobson, noted how appropriate it was to plant symbols of life after previously just having delivered prayers and a speech of support for the Islamic Community at the ICC for those Muslims murdered recently while praying in their  mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Jewish blessings for life, and a poem about an oak tree were recited by Pat Lipert and exerpts from our sidurm for TuBishvat were delivered by Adam Feldman.

The trees planted at the Dor Kemmyn site symbolise hope for the future, a belief in peace and most importantly, life, for it is the emphasis on life which is so integral to our Jewish religion.

View Photo Album