JFS School Notices 14/05/21
As school closes today in advance of Shabbat and the festival of Shavuot I share with you an adaptation of an article I wrote for a publication called ‘The Omer Times’.
We meticulously ‘count up’ from Pesach to Shavuot, 49 elevations with 49 attributes culminating in ‘Malchut shebeMalchut’ on the eve of Shavuot.
Different from the Kabbalistic traits of the previous weeks, Malchut is the very essence of what makes us human. Malchut whether viewed as kingship or leadership provides us with a sense of belonging, an understanding that we matter and that we can each make a difference. Malchut teaches us that we each have the ability to be a leader in our own right. It gives us security, confidence and a feeling of certainty and that we are needed and wanted in this world.
When a mother cradles a baby in her arms and their eyes meet, that same message is conveyed. To be able to send a message of security and unconditional love to another human being is a huge responsibility but it is also the greatest privilege and blessing of all. We teach our children from the moment they are born that they can internalise the message of leadership because they are here to make a unique contribution.
My eldest child was born on the 49th day of the Omer. The name he was given reflects thanks, leadership and gratitude to Hashem and it serves him as a constant reminder that we forge our own individual paths, both with our creator and in the world we inhabit. Thirteen years later at his Barmitzvah, which we celebrated through the traditional all night learning on Shavuot, it was already clear to me that he understood the message of leadership as the eldest child and with the unique ability to remain true to himself.
Some of our proudest JFS moments are those reflected by our students who demonstrate leadership whether in school or in the wider community. Whether these are recognised by a bus driver who has commended student behaviour when travelling to school, a student officer who supports duties at break or a charitable project where a JFS student has taken the lead, every opportunity relays a message of kingship, leadership and positive communication.
Our thoughts and prayers this week have been with all our family and friends in Israel as well as other civilians caught up in the regional unrest. May calm and peace prevail as quickly as possible for everyone.
Wishing you Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach
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