I recently delivered a talk in London titled ‘Is there room for real change in the traditional synagogue service?’ in which I explored the possibilities and limitations of change in the structure and content of the synagogue service, and offered a perspective regarding Partnership Minyanim. For the lecture notes, click here, and for the handouts, click here.
TODAY we remember the Jews who were murdered simply for being Jews. TODAY we remember the Jews who died alone, and those who died together. TODAY we remember the Jews who cried out to the world, but were not heard. TODAY we express how we still hear those cries, and that they will not be forgotten.
However, TODAY is very different to that of 70 years ago. When our ancestors were being exterminated in Germany, they cried and shouted, but their voices were not heard. There was no cell phones, no SMS, no email and no facebook. TODAY, technology allows us to share words, pictures, songs and videos. When someone cries, we can hear them. When someone is in need, we can be there.
So, while TODAY we remember the cries of the Shoah, it is appropriate to remind ourselves of what is possible TODAY. Therefore, as a way of showing how we will never ignore the cry of someone in need, pick up the phone and call an elderly relative TODAY. Or, TODAY, send a facebook message an old friend and remind them that you are there for them. Or if you know someone who has been unwell, send them a card TODAY.
While TODAY reminds us about the loss of so many of our people and our need to prevent national tragedies, TODAY also reminds us to hear the cry of another, and that TODAY, no one should ever feel helpless or alone.
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