The Prime Minister addressed the country on 12 March 2020 through a news bulletin outlining the serious situation the country faces with the spread of the Coronavirus. The most important thing we can do to protect each other and reduce the speed with which this illness affects people is to minimise social contact. Coronavirus is now circulating in the general community throughout in the UK and Cornwall. To protect all members we have taken the decision to suspend all Shabbat Services including the one on Saturday, 14 March 2020 until further notice and this year’s communal Seder Night. This is in keeping with advice from Reform Judaism
Coronavirus can be
transmitted before people have symptoms and the only action that can be taken
in order to slow down the rate of transmission is reducing social mixing.
We are not aware of anyone at
this time within Kehillat Kernow who has been diagnosed and very much hope
everyone remains healthy.
When the public health
situation settles we will be able to resume services.
The four special Shabbats leading up to Pesach are God’s
proscription for purification before the
major festival of Passover to begin the Jewish calendar year. And you thought it was all about getting rid
of the Chametz and purchasing your ‘unleavens.’ Like all major Holy Days, the
Torah guides the way with preparatory parashot to put us in the right frame of
mind to participate in our festivals in the right spirit.
Shabbat Shekalim starts with the equitable contribution to
the holy community with each of us giving our half-shekel. It is followed by
Shabbat Zachor to remember our past, both its triumphs and desecrations.
Shabbat Parah, the “Red Heifer” is about purification, this week’s parsha of Ki Tissa, a much needed element
considering it is the narrative involving the Golden Calf incident and the
redeeming second set of Tablets containing the Law carried down the mountain
after Moses, once again, rescues the
B’nei Yisrael from total annihilation. It took two tries. We are not called a
‘stiff-necked people’ in this parsha for nothing. Finally, just before Pesach,
we have Shabbat Ha-Chodeh which concerns forgiveness, reconcilliation and
specific instructions for Passover.
By that time, we ought to be both spiritually prepared and
physically strong to meet Pesach with gusto!
In this week’s service, led by Pat, you will learn more
about what it takes to be purified, have a greater understanding of what God
wants from us through the revelation of His thirteen attributes of mercy and
learn that there is more to Aaron than meet the eye.
At the recent Seder, a good time was had by all, despite the absence of esteemed Newsletter Editor and stalwart Seder chef Pat Lipert, and Treasurer and general logistics wizard Leslie Lipert, who crossed the Atlantic to sample an American Pesach. The potential imbalance of populations was restored by the movement the other way of Rachel Brown’s parents , who travelled from New York to Cornwall to spend Pesach with daughter and grandchildren. Kehillat Kernow Chair Harvey Kurtzfield and Vice-Chair Adam Feldman led the service with great verve. The food was carefully and tastefully prepared by members of the community and the afikomen was found by Isaac Feldman, the last time he will qualify to take part in the search. Once again, we experienced the moving yet joyful story of the Exodus.