Progressively Speaking: We are ready to build a new post-pandemic world
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Progressively Speaking: We are ready to build a new post-pandemic world

Rabbi Dr René Pfertzel takes a topical issue and looks into Jewish texts for a Liberal response

There is something utterly comforting in the endless cycle of Shabbats and festivals of our Jewish calendar.

There is not much certainty in our lives right now – so the succession of days and nights, weeks and months, Shabbats and festivals, anchors us in life and time. We change, but their fundamental meaning doesn’t. T

hat is beautifully captured by the She’echeyanu: “Blessed are You, Eternal our God. You have granted us life, sustained us, and empowered us to reach this moment.”

Our community life under Covid has been disrupted to a point that very few have known since the end of the last war. And yet, our communities have shown strength and resilience.

Much has been written already about the effects of Covid on our society and our world. But it has also taught us some invaluable lessons.

We cannot continue with the previous way of life, pursuing wealth at all cost with no consideration for the environment and the well-being of our fellow humans.

We have rediscovered the power of togetherness and community, the interconnectedness of all parts of our society, and professions that were taken for granted – carers, bin collectors, delivery people, supermarket workers – have proven to be essential for the upkeep of our collective life.

We have now covered a full yearly cycle of Jewish festivals. We have experienced them with many external limitations, but their deeper meaning became more accessible than ever.

As we come to the end of the cycle, however, we are somehow despondent. We’ve had enough of these limitations. Many people have died and we have suffered many losses. Our patience has been tested. Our resilience has proved to be stronger than we thought.

We know there is light at the end of the tunnel, but nobody dares forecast when this plight will be over.

We have celebrated the last day of Pesach, which commemorates the crossing of the Sea of Reeds, the ultimate step of Redemption, when our ancestors put their feet on the other side and began the process of becoming a great nation.

It feels like we, too, have now crossed the sea and are ready to build the new post-Covid world. We have moved far away from last year and are ready to begin our new journey.

Rabbi Dr René Pfertzel is co-chair of the Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments