AN ANCIENT HISTORY AND AN EVEN MORE EXCITING FUTURE
by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
I am on the plane as I write, reflecting on the last few weeks. As many of you are aware Dina and I have Baruch Hashem just had a most amazing and exciting three weeks overseas trip. For the first two weeks we were in Israel and then rerouted to New York to celebrate the engagement of our daughter Chanale to a wonderful young man Zalman Raichik.
In Israel (as I shared with you two weeks ago) we connected to four thousand years of Jewish History and our link to the holy land. We stood in the places where Avraham and Isaac travelled, visited the spot where King David fought Goliath and stood in the city where he composed Tehillim (Psalms). We prayed in places where Jews have prayed for thousands of years, visited many graves of sages of all ages and walked on roads travelled by kings and leaders of all generations. In Israel it all comes alive.
But as I think about it I realise that the greatest beauty of it all is that it is not ancient history. It is a continuous chain and experience still very much alive. It is all completely timeless.
We still recite the same psalms, pray wherever we are facing Jerusalem, study the same ancient texts and adhere to the same eternal values. I shared with you that this past Passover for the first time in a few thousand years matzah was baked in the ancient Ir David (city of David) for the families who now live there. The water for the baking was drawn from the Gichon Spring where King Solomon was anointed and it still flows today. Here is the link for you to watch it yourself - click here
Our heritage is not just a beautiful past, it's a vibrant future.
So what is the secret to the continuous experience and its everlasting meaning and relevance? It is not for nothing that we are called the "the people of the book". It is Jewish knowledge, concepts and values taken for our eternal moral code called the Torah that serve as the guiding light connecting us to the past and more importantly propelling us into the future as an eternal people with an eternal homeland.
We are days away from a new BINA term. BINA 2017 will be an exciting year as we enter our twentieth year of providing adult Jewish education to the Sydney Jewish community. Nowadays "Jewish Continuity" is a buzz word and a concept we all worry about. There is no better strategy than Jewish learning and education for all ages (not just school age children).
I invite you to be part of this living experience. Choose (or add) a class of your liking, tune in to a webinar, listen to an audio class or borrow a book from the BINA library. Go to www.bina.com.au for a full program.
Become a strong link in the 4000 year old chain - we are just getting started.