Volume 30 Issue 26 27 Aug 2021 19 Elul 5781

From the Head of Jewish Life

Rabbi Daniel Siegel – Head of Jewish Life

Blessed comings and goings

This week’s parashah, Ki Tavo, “When you come in”, which follows the parashah Ki Teitsei, “When you go out”, is replete with the word ברכה/Berakhah-Blessing.

Perhaps the capstone to this parashah is the beautiful sentiment that should grace our homes and schools:

ברוך אתה בבואך וברוך אתה בצאתך

Blessed be you upon your coming in
Blessed be you upon your going out


Within a non-locked-down world, as our family and friends, students and staff enter and exit the doors of our homes and school, we seek to bestow upon them a fitting welcome and farewell.

As we approach Rosh HaShanah, these words also remind us that to experience blessing Is to recognise that we are blessed by those who give us life, when we enter our world, and by those whom we give life, before we leave this world.

To be truly blessed is to live a life in which we reap the great and unique fortune with which each of us has been bestowed and provide the possibility of the same for our loved ones that will live on after us.

We are in the month of אלול/Elul, which our tradition sees as serving as an acronym for – אני לדודי ודודי לי

“I am to my beloved as my beloved is to me”. With the new year coming in and the present one going out, we are reminded of the bonds of family and friends in our life’s journey.

As descendants of Avraham, the sound of the shofar calls upon us to live by the command heard by this first Jew – הייה ברכה – “Be a blessing”! The doors of our family and community that welcome and farewell us can only prescribe and describe the blessed life that is upon us to live.

May we experience a New Year that is COVID-free and full of shared blessings that we may freely and generously bring into our shared homes and school.