We are back! For the first time in two years, Kehillat Kernow finally met together face-to-face for a Shabbat morning service. It was an emotional affair and also a challenging one as we tried to remember how we had done things in the past. When should we cover the Sefer Scroll with the mantle? What was the tune we used for this section of the Amidah? Should we dress the Torah Scroll before the Haftorah or after? We struggled a little, but we got there in the end. We completed the service, reading, praying, singing with the same intensity as before, perhaps more, as we revelled in the occasion. Kiddush lunch which would in the past have lasted a half-hour or so, went on for well over an hour as we chatted and chatted and chatted. A wonderful occasion, tinged with sadness at the absence of our greatly missed service leader among service leaders, our guide and touchstone but tinged also with joy that we were able to honour her in our observance of Shabbat.
(KK Friends and Members can see more photos of the occasion here.)
On Sunday, 14 November at 2pm, members of Kehillat Kernow attended in person or zoomed into the annual AGM at the Lipert ‘s house. Our AGM’s are special: we have a view of the sea, we hear about all the things we managed to accomplish over the year, and we get to plan for the future. What could be better? Despite another year being restricted with Covid, we got together, we met, we prayed, we went for walks, we heard lectures, we participated in a variety of games and cultural activities either in person or on line, and we continued to reach out to other-faiths and same faith communities through a myriad of programmes and, most importantly we thrived.
The meeting was followed by an informal buffet, food and drink, and a great deal of talking. After all, following a year of not meeting for some of us, there was a great deal of catching up to do. For more details about the meeting, see the December newsletter and for an opportunity to view some pictures form this event, click on to the photo gallery.
Ten days after Rosh HaShannah, Chairman Jeremy Jacobson led services for Erev Sukkot on zoom on the 14th of Tishri. Those who zoomed into Jeremy’s thoughtful service, saw their dining room table laden with fruits from Mai and Jeremy’s garden, saw the inside of Jo Richler and Paul Kleiman’s special Succah and watched Mai wave the etrog and lulav.
The service stressed the importance of Sukkat commanded by Torah, to dwell in booths for seven days in remembrance of the 40 years spent in the desert when the Israelites made their exodus from Egypt. The two elements of the festival, Jeremy stressed, were about abundance and thanksgiving for a plentiful harvest as well as a reminder of the fragility of life.
And so, like so many Jewish observances, this service and festival was a mixture of how temporary, unpredictable and uncertain all life is, how important the concept of spiritual in-gathering and renewal are, and how important it is to celebrate what we have and how good life can be.
Roselidden Farm was the in-person venue for our first High Holy Day services in two years. It was one of the most moving and spiritually uplifting Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur festivals many of us can remember with Adam Feldman at the helm along with Jo Richler and Paul Kleiman leading the services. The weather was warm and sunny making al Fresco lunches and kiddushes, repleat with traditional apples and honey, honey cake and raisin challot possible.
The prayer room was filled with fresh breezes as doors were and windows were flung open. The spirit of loving kindness permeated everything.
Masked and seated safely apart from one another, ironically, we couldn’t have been closer as we watched our Torah being raised on high, heard the haunting melodies and listened to the wisdom of our Sh’liach Tsburrim guide us through the services and deliver excellent, thoughtful and heart-rending commentaries. And if that were not enough, we were blessed with the catering expertise of our own Melanie Feldman who made both the luncheon, sponsored by Jo Richler and Paul Kleiman on Rosh HaShannah Day and the Breakfast dinner on Yom Kippur.
Thanks to Chairman Jeremy Jacobson who organised so much of the Days of Awe, Rachel and Roger Chatfield who enabled all services to be zoomed as well for those who could not be with us in person, and to all those who worked behind the scenes and helped with the housekeeping before and after.
To paraphrase a famous quote, never was so much done by so few for so many.