Mah Tovu…

How lovely are your dwelling places……

Since the lockdown started at the end of March, we have been livestreaming our Shabbat services online so that our community can continue to come together, at least virtually, to worship, sing and receive spiritual comfort.

On Saturday morning we had a team of service leaders from our community who shared the prayers and songs between them.

Our guitarist, Vince Daly, opened the service with a beautiful rendition of Mah Tovu – the song that often opens Shabbat morning services and expresses reverence for the synagogue building. Given that we are not currently able to attend our Synagogue, Vince accompanied his song by a presentation showing images of Jewish art interspersed with photographs of our building and our community.

Speaking after the service, Vince explained “The slides start with the biblical origins – Balak amazed by the Israelites’ camp. Then the slides introduce synagogues as the modern gathering place. Then the slides introduce the people themselves as the thing to be amazed by, rather than the building. Then there is a sequence of various (worthwhile) activities that these people get up to – studying, praying, reaching out. The slides about KLS are interspersed with slides about “Mah Tovu”, one of which repeats several times – it’s the one that says “turn it, turn it”. This echoes Rabbi Ben Bagbag’s assertion that you have to keep returning to Torah to discover its many meanings – I am saying it’s the same for ‘Mah Tovu’ “

A very special and moving moment.