Darlington’s High Holy days.
Many of you may have read in the Jewish chronicle a report of how sadly the Kol Nidrei service had to be cancelled in Darlington despite increasingly frantic attempts during the day by Rabbi Borts and Darlington members to find ways and means to reach the synagogue as one by one all forms of transport and roads to the town were shut by floods.
Fortunately that enforced cancellation was by no means the ‘main event’ in Darlington’s celebration of the High Holy days this year. Thus it was with great joy that the community were able to offer the first aliyah of the Rosh Hashana service to shul president and treasurer, Dr Raymond Goldberg and his wife Joyce in recognition of their special wedding anniversary. They were married at Sinai, Leeds 40 years ago and became proud grandparents earlier in the year when their first grandchild Verity was born to son Jonathan and his wife Samantha. Thanks go to Rabbi Borts who officiated. The congregation, which included visitors from around the UK and USA, quickly adapted to some new tunes having had a little practice at the erev service and appreciated having a 1st day service for the first time for a few years. Most congregants remained at the synagogue nearly as long again as the original service to sample the usual lavish DHC Kiddush and enjoy spending social time together as a community.
A brave band of souls including our service leader, Ray Honeybourne, had to navigate (mot juste!) tortuous diversions to be able to attend the Yom Kippur services, which were reflective and dignified.
Samuel Pepys once decided to visit a synagogue and by chance hit upon a very exuberant Simchat Torah service from which he fled in horror! Nobody fled in horror from our joyful celebration of Simchat Torah, ratherRabbi Borts made sure that all members and visiting Jewish people were able to participate in a most lively and enjoyable service. Singing was accompanied by violin, flute and clarinet. DHC was especially delighted to beable to honour two people who have been instrumental in ensuring the survival of a Jewish community with a synagogue in which to worship for the region as our Chatan Torah and Chatan Bereshit, Peter Freitag and Martin Craster. Once again a lavish Kiddush followed, many thanks to all who contributed especially Shelley, Martin and Valerie. Martin gave a short speech thanking the community for honouring him, words with which Peter concurred.