Dear Community Members,
The last few years have been tough. Our Synagogue shares the Hong Kong’s people’s support for the Government’s anti-epidemic measures. We are better situated than a year ago, but we have also endured another exhausting year of disruption and disconnection.
We are grateful to the Government for helping us to maintain our religious life. Members and visitors are reminded to observe the rules regarding registration, wearing of masks etc. at OLS and the JCC at all times.
The Talmud records that in days of old, when trouble befall a community, they recited Psalm 121. It begins:
A song of ascents.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains: from where will my help come?
My help is from the LORD, maker of heaven and earth.
The petitioner looks for help, raising their eyes to the mountaintops, they search as far as the eye can see but nothing appears. Desperate, they wonder: from where will my help come? And then they realize: My help is from the LORD, maker of heaven and earth. The High Holiday Season is a time when “the King of Kings” comes to visit us and the source of our help is near. My prayer is that at some point during the Yamim Noraim, Days of Awe, this sentiment turns real for us.
This year marks the 120th year of Ohel Leah Synagogue. To be a part of our Synagogue is to share a commitment to Jewish life that predates our arrival – and birth – in Hong Kong. To be a part of our Synagogue is to be part of a place that cares. The Synagogue has gone to great lengths to ensure that especially in these difficult times, anyone who joins our prayers will be uplifted. Cantor Yariv Ostashinsky will lead our service in the main sanctuary. Hazzan Jonathan Melloul and Rabbi Hananel Sahar will lead our Sephardic service. This year’s High Holiday services have called on the selfless devotion of many lay people. They work solely for the good of the community – may the Almighty bless them.
May we, and all the House of Israel, be inscribed in the Book of Life.
Together with Rachel, Rabbi Aviel and Michal Javasky, Eyal and Orit Ginati, we wish our OLS family a sweet new year,
Rabbi Dr Asher C. Oser