Dear Holy Blossom Temple,
I write to you in transit on my way home after spending a much-needed few weeks visiting my family in Australia.
It gave me a chance to reset and reflect on how fortunate I am to have a community I love to come back to, after the chance to relax with the people I love most.
Turning back to work and this new year, our Torah too has entered a new phase, with Aaron and Moses confronting the Pharaoh in this week’s parashah, Vaera, to, as the famous phrase says, “let our people go”, following God’s promise that the People of Israel will subsequently be returned to their homeland, the one that the Divine swore to their ancestors.
This confrontation marks the beginning of the many events to follow, from the Ten Plagues to the crossing of the Red Sea to the eventual reception of the Ten Commandments. One thing leads to another, and, with a combination of miracle, might, and marvel, our nation is born, one in which each of us is necessary and needed to make Jewish life happen joyfully in our own time.
As we enter our own new phase of the calendar cycle, I wanted to highlight two upcoming opportunities for us to come together in community as we celebrate our 2024 iteration of Jewish peoplehood and culture.
The first is this Shabbat morning, Saturday 13 January, is a Family Service. It is the perfect chance to bring the whole crew along for an informal and inviting atmosphere in the Youth Chapel where we celebrate Shabbat in song and community.
The next is on Tuesday, January 30, at 11:30 am for our Wisdom Generation, where I will present an “armchair travel” experience to my home country following my recent visit, focusing on the Australian Jewish community and a few pieces of advice from the different generations of my own family. The hope is to bring a bit of the warm summer Down Under to our Canadian winter! You can find out more and register here.
Truly, the start of 2024 is shaping up to be a beautiful mix of home (Toronto), homeland (Israel), and hometown (Sydney, Australia) – and we look forward to welcoming you to any or all of these opportunities opening up before us!