You may have noticed that Aaron and I will be sponsoring our oneg this coming Friday evening. Mishpatim is a very special parashah for us both, but particularly for me, as it is my conversion parashah. Interestingly, Mishpatim is also the first parashah where we learn many of the ‘civil’ mitzvot after standing at Sinai. We learn what we are to do and what we are not to do as Jews.

I can tell you that day, 32 years ago whilst standing on the bimah with my rabbi, realizing a dream-desire of decades standing was utterly moving. And I was exactly where I was meant to be – that feeling has never left my soul. And I remember as I circled in procession with the Torah, one of our elderly ladies stopped me, and said, “I hope you won’t regret this.” I looked in astonishment and bewilderment in that moment, and yet today, as I reflect on her saying those words, I hold rechamanes for her, deep compassion. She had seen in her lifetime what I only knew from books, from stories told by those who had by some miracle survived the Shoah. I want to reassure her, I have not for a moment regretted being a Jew. I am so honoured every day to stand with Israel. And perhaps especially so these days when we are seeing Israel and Jews so vilified.

Mishpatim reminds me every year to stand proudly with k’lal Yisroel, the people, the nation, and with Torah. Please come and join us this Friday.

With love,Rabbi Lynn