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SAMS Logo 25 yearsRabbi Rafi’s words to the community this week can be found towards the bottom of this page.

This year – 2015 – is a very special one for SAMS. Our community was started in 1990, which means that this will be our 25th anniversary year. Over that relatively short period we have grown from services in front lounges of members’ houses to where we are today, at the very heart of the South Hertfordshire Jewish community. A truly phenomenal story.

To celebrate we will be holding a range of activities for the year ahead aimed at including all parts of our community and to celebrate all aspects of our community life. The events will be:

  • A Silver Jubilee Jazz Brunch
  • Silver Jubilee Quiz
  • Children’s 25th Party
  • Silver Jubilee Garden Party
  • Silver Civic Ceremony
  • 25 Friday Nights
  • Silver Anniversary Party

SAMS is a lively, warm and welcoming Jewish community within the Masorti movement, offering a centre for Jewish life in St Albans and the surrounding area.

As a member of SAMS, you enjoy many ways to lead an active Jewish way of life: through education for all ages and a variety of services, activities and events throughout the year. We are a community that supports each other, reaches out to each other, worships, celebrates and learns together and helps each other lead a better life … and we have a lot of fun.

Our website tells you all about SAMS. Whether you’re a member, thinking of joining us, interested in Masorti Judaism or considering moving to the St Albans area and looking for a synagogue, please have a browse and then come along to see us in person!

When you decide you want to visit the synagogue, please call us on 01727 860642 or send an email using our contact form on THIS PAGE.

Rabbi Rafi’s weekly words
Shabbat 27th and 28th March 2015

We go through our daily routines very often not thinking about the implications or greater meaning of those particular actions or moments, more than likely because those moments are simply mundane repetitions of actions we have done countless times before.  Rituals are put in place to make sure that a particular meaningful or transformative moment does not pass without being marked in some way.  Whether they are lighting candles on Shabbat or a birthday, apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah or champagne on New Year’s, there are certain things that we do that transform a normal moment into a momentous one.

This week, in Parashat Tzav, we read about the inauguration of the Cohanim, the priests who will officiate at the Mishkan, the tabernacle which will become the place of centralised worship for the Israelites.  The Bible goes to great detail about the service, what oils to use, what garments, how many times to wash and so on.  The question then is what is so significant that requires this level of detail and pageantry?  We already knew that Aaron and his sons were going to be invested as the officiates at the Mishkan.  What then is the symbolism of this event?  Surely it must be more than to confirm something we already knew?

Perhaps, it was to confirm something a bit more subtle, yet exceedingly more complex.  The nature of our relationship with God up to that point had been a one sided.  God performed miracles and we benefited.  Now, the nature of that relationship is fundamentally changing.  The covenant is being fully implemented and a two way relationship is being established.  Now, we are offering to God sacrifices and in turn we are expecting God’s presence and protection.  This fundamental change is what is being marked by the elaborate inauguration rituals, not simply a new job for Aaron and his sons.

I pray that we take the time to mark those moments in our lives that are meaningful and not simply let them pass by.  Whether they be joyous or mourning, take the time to contemplate each moment as important.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Rafi

If you have any questions about SAMS or you are interested in joining our community, please call us on 01727 860642 or complete the form HERE to send us a message.