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From The President

David P Lewis


Dear Friends,

Shabbat Shuva & Yom Kippur
Rabbi and I would like to thank all our members who attended on Rosh Hashanah. It was so lovely to see a huge number of kids in Shule and we all enjoyed the energy and fun they were having. We want to see even more on Yom Kippur, and there will be a full range of services for children of each age group.

We know from events elsewhere that children can be at risk if not properly supervised. We will do what we can to keep everyone safe, especially through making sure there are youth leaders in each area with children. We also need parents to play their part in keeping their children safe, and making sure they are not wandering unattended through the building. This comes only from our concern for the wellbeing of our young people, which we know we all share. We want to create positive memories of Shule and together we are sure we can achieve that.

We are looking forward to seeing even more of you in Shule!

Kol Nidrei and Yom Kippur
The Kol Nidrei service on Sunday 24 September commences at 5.45pm SHARP. Please make sure you are in your seats well before this time as the commencement of Kol Nidrei is not to be missed.

Yom Kippur of course takes place all day on Monday 25 September. The Fast ends at 6.32pm.

Update on the Proposed Bimah Move
I would like to thank every single member who registered their feedback in relation to the proposed Bimah move. The Board have thoroughly reviewed all comments, have listened to all members and are pleased to report the vast majority of feedback provided has been overwhelmingly positive.

Based on this, the Board has authorised the Chair of the Bimah Committee to move to the final design stage including CMP/DA documentation and prepare an execution plan for relocation of the Bimah and the restoration of the Ark. This next step will refine and finalise the design, incorporating some of the insights and member feedback, before undergoing final Board approvals. This is part of a vision for the future of the Shule and we appreciate how supportive our members have been of the process and plans to date.

Jordana Goodman Bat Mitzvah
At this very special time of the year, we celebrate the Bat Mitzvah of Jordana Goodman with her parents Anna & Joel, sister Tamar and grandparents Paul Goodman together with Helen & David Romain.

Events This Shabbat
After Mincha in the library, Rabbi will be giving his Shabbat Shuva Drasha “What is heaven like?”.

To all those in our community who are suffering an illness, we wish you a Refu’ah Shleima — a complete and speedy recovery; and to all those commemorating a Yahrzeit, or who have recently suffered a loss, we wish you a long and good life, full of Simchas. To all those celebrating a Birthday, Bar, Bat Mitzvah or Wedding Anniversary – MAZAL TOV!

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything you would like to discuss.

Shabbat Shalom and Fast well,

From The Rabbi

Rabbi Dr Benjamin Elton


It was wonderful seeing the Shule so full on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, and with so many people of all ages, from less than a year old to people in their nineties, with the whole range in between. Second day Rosh Hashanah was very enjoyable as always, and everyone who found a way through the Marathon route were richly rewarded with a beautiful service. I am looking forward to seeing everyone on Kol Nidrei and the day of Yom Kippur. 

This Shabbat we have two special events. First, I want to wish a very warm Mazal Tov to Jordana Goodman, her parents Anna and Joel, grandparents Paul and David & Helen, sister Tamar, family and friends, on her bat mitzvah. She will be giving her Devar Torah before Adon Olam. As it is Shabbat Shuva, I will read the Haftarah and then give my annual Shabbat Shuva Drasha after Mincha in the Falk Library. This year my topic is ‘What is Heaven Like?’ I hope you will join me for that.

It is well-known that on Yom Kippur God only forgives those sins that have been committed against Him. He will not grant atonement if we have hurt another person until we seek and receive their forgiveness. The only exception is when a person cruelly withholds their forgiveness out of spite, and despite a genuine attempt by the other party to apologise, refuses to be appeased. At that point the original offender is relieved of their sin, and instead the original victim becomes the guilty party. Nevertheless, as a general rule we cannot achieve atonement for interpersonal wrongs unless other people forgive us first.

Usually that forgiveness comes when we ask for it. It is very disarming to be asked for forgiveness and difficult to refuse. That’s partly because we know that it can be very difficult to ask for forgiveness. It can be embarrassing and exposing, but more fundamentally it requires us to recognise that we are not always in the right, that we not only make ‘mistakes’ we also sometimes do things we know are wrong, but do them anyway. That realisation and acceptance is the key to the teshuva process, which is why interpersonal reconciliation is so important. Anyone can sing ‘ashamnu bagadnu’, but to go up to someone we have hurt, and say sorry with thought and conviction, requires a much more genuine and authentic engagement with ourselves and our behaviour. 

Knowing how difficult it is to ask forgiveness, even when we want to, can lead us to a further and even more generous step. That is to forgive freely without being asked, and without even telling the person who has wronged us. We can relieve everyone we know of their sins against us as we go into Yom Kippur, and if they do the same for us then we will all be an important step closer to being forgiven by God.

Now is the time of year to act with love and generosity. Forgiving everyone who may have hurt us would be a powerful and meaningful act. It would also demonstrate to God that we are worthy of being forgiven ourselves, and we know that is what we all need. In that spirit, on Yom Kippur, may we all forgive and may we all be forgiven.

Fri, 22 September 2023 7 Tishrei 5784