I am slowly working my way through People Love Dead Jews" - a collection of essays by the amazing Yiddish and Hebrew scholar and fiction writer, Dara Horn. This week, she published an additional essay that I recommend, Dreams for Living Jews. This essay does something infinitely more valuable than the essays I have read in her other book - it provides a framework for hope. She writes, "We are not merely allowed to demand better than the world we are given; we have to." The Jewish future, she dreams, is about hoping and trying rather than mourning.
This week I have been paying special attention to the 'lachrymose' view of Jewish history versus where Jewish life is compelling and convincing. The story of Harry Spiro, as expertly told by his daughter Tracy Moses to the Social and Community Group was remarkably about a multi-generational family flourishing, despite the pain of history. At JCoSS, where I had the honour of visiting thanks to an invitation from our Debbie Juggler, Director of Jewish Learning, I heard conversations about Holocaust education take place whist being surrounded by a thriving pluralistic vision of Jewish life.
Am Yisrael Chai - the People of Israel lives - and our community comes to life when we do 'Jewish' together. From studying to interfaith dialogue to social action or Jewish food, if there is something you would like to see happen at SWESRS which would help rekindle community in these walls and in your homes - please share any ideas you have with me, and I'll do my best to get you involved in helping it come to life. A reminder that you can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you in person or on Zoom this Shabbat!