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We have counted the 49 days between Pesach and Shavuot. Just like the Israelites on their trek through the wilderness, we have navigated new challenges, confronted new fears and, sadly, suffered losses along the way. Few have remained unchanged, untouched by our journey of the past 7 weeks.

On Thursday evening, as we count the 50th day of the Omer and prepare to receive Torah at Mount Sinai, we can reflect on some of the lessons we have learned along the way… We have made this journey together, supporting each other in community alongside the very singular experiences of each individual and family. We have acquired new skills for the journey - who could have imagined 2 months ago that we would be zooming Shabbat services, Torah lunches, Chat and Check-Ins, Levoyahs and Shivas? We have proved ourselves resilient, flexible, creative and nimble in responding quickly and effectively to the crisis, shaping a community that is stronger, more vibrant and more compassionate than ever.

One of the names for Shavuot is Atzeret – Coming Together. This is certainly what we will be doing on Thursday night for this year’s Tikkun Leil Shavuot as we partner with Sukkat Shalom, ELELS, Southend-on-Sea, Liverpool, Bristol, South London Progressive and Cardiff. This exciting partnership is a true celebration of the silver lining of the terrible times we find ourselves in – an opportunity to share and collaborate in a way that has never been possible before. I do hope you will join us!

Wishing You All a Chag Shavuot Sameach!

Rabbi Lisa