As we approach the High Holydays, one of the things that often slips our mind is our remaining or even becoming a cohesive nation. We are frequently either so involved with the minutiae of the religion or not involved nearly enough, we forget how Jewish unity enabled us to overcome some of the worst forms of hatred ever committed against a nation.
The Jewish people have continued to prosper and grow whilst the world’s greatest civilisations have dissolved. One only has to look at what happened to the Romans and Greeks
In recent weeks I have been fortunate enough to observe this ‘Unity’ which is rarely palpable. Having been appointed Chaplain of the JLGB – Jewish Lads & Girls Brigade, I ventured to the depths of Essex to witness the most outstanding camp that I have ever seen. Four hundred children and young adults from all parts of the UK, Israel and even Russia, gathered together for a week of activities and fun.
I met so many different types of people, ranging from the most committed frum to people who were hardly aware that they were Jewish. The one common thread between them was that they were all Jewish and their Jewish identity shone through with the help of activities containing Judaic thought and learning.
The JLGB camp was the first example of unity that I witnessed. The second was just a few weeks ago when we hosted the ‘Back To Your Roots’ Shabbat service and luncheon. It demonstrated that no matter when they had been members of our Shul, everyone who has ever been associated with our community has their own rightful place within it. We welcomed back past members who now reside in St John’s Wood and other parts of London. The thread that holds us all together is our friendly community and united front. We all help each other in so many different ways and are there for one and other. May our unity and the unity of Am Yisrael only continue to grow and develop in the coming years.
I wish the whole community a happy and healthy new year!