Living in Jewish Time and World Time – Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah – SJN Oct/Nov 2017

The months of October and November remind me each year of the way in which the Jewish people lives, both, in ‘Jewish time’ and in ‘World time.’

In October, at Sukkot, we commemorate our ancestors’ wilderness wanderings and the fragility of life, and then conclude the autumn festivals with Simchat Torah, the post-biblical celebration that marks the conclusion of the Torah reading cycle and its resumption once again.

In November, we commemorate Kristallnacht, the Night of the Broken Glass of 9/10 November 1938, when Nazi persecution of our people turned to violence, marking the secular date because the devastating events of that long night belong to world history.

Directly after Kristallnacht, remembrance of our losses as a people is followed by our participation in the national remembrance of Armistice Day, which brought an end to the First World War at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, and in the cross-communal commemorations associated with Remembrance Sunday. This year, BHPS is proud to be hosting the annual Remembrance Sunday Service organised by the Brighton and Hove Branch of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women.

Significantly, Interfaith Week, which is marked by activities and events around the country also takes place in November. Each year, the Brighton Hove Interfaith Contact Group organises a multi-faith service. In November 2016, the service took place at BHPS. This year it will be held at the Hove Methodist Church on Sunday, 19 November. Interfaith week is an opportunity for the Jewish community to join with people of all communities and faiths as we engage with one another as neighbours and learn from one another in a spirit of mutual respect.

Mitzvah Day, which always takes place on the last Sunday in November, provides another chance to connect with others, both within and beyond the Jewish community. The mitzvah of g’milut chasadim, deeds of loving kindness, highlighted on Mitzvah Day, reminds us that all human beings are deserving of our compassion and care.

So, through October and November, as we live, both, in Jewish time and in World time, we will have ample opportunities to express our commitment to Jewish life and our responsibility as Jews to contribute to the life of the world.