In the Jewish calendar we have entered the saddest time of year, the three weeks that culminate with the fast day of Tisha b’Av. It is the height of summer, the sun blazes down relentlessly, and both people and animals are at risk of imminent death unless they find shade. Crops are also in jeopardy; if the weather gets too hot, a whole year’s tilling and cultivation can be destroyed. It is in this period that we remember the historic destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem, as well as several pogroms and dark days in Jewish history; and going back to the Bible, this was the time when Moses smashed the tablets of stone after coming down from Mount Sinai and seeing the children of Israel worshipping the golden calf.
Bringing Out a Voice of Hope
Despite our shock and utter desolation at the murderous attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, in its immediate aftermath our community rallied around remarkably. Organizing the relocation of the Magevet choir’s concert at such short notice was no mean feat.
Establishing Rituals to Keep Memory Alive
Yesterday (27th January) was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the 69th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. It was designated by the United Nations in 2005, and urges every country in the world to honour the memory of victims of the Shoah and to establish educational programmes that ensure that no such genocide can ever happen again.
Despite our shock and utter desolation at the murderous attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, in its immediate aftermath our community rallied around remarkably. Organizing the relocation of the Magevet choir’s concert at such short notice was no mean feat. The choir provided us with some joy in our sadness and some hope in our despair. No less was the work entailed in moving the Sunday School at short notice to a member’s home too. This showed the IJC at its best, working together creatively and pragmatically to find positive solutions on such short notice, respecting the security advice but defying those who would have us disrupt and cancel our daily Jewish life in the wake of such a horrifying tragedy.
Waves of Change - by Nathan Alfred
Much has happened since I departed on sabbatical from the IJC at the end of February. We have suffered the murderous attack at the Jewish Museum in May. Israel has come under attack from Gaza, and has responded fiercely.