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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 have already held a number of activities during the first half of the year aimed at including all parts of our community, such as the a Jazz Brunch and 25 Friday Nights, and we have more events planned for the coming months including:

  • Silver Jubilee Quiz
  • Children’s 25th Party
  • Silver Jubilee Garden Party
  • Silver Civic Ceremony
  • 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. SAMS Members can also join our busy Facebook page – click the icon on the left to join and access the page.

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 9th and 10th October 2015

Rabbi RafiOnce again we have arrived at the beginning. This coming Shabbat, we begin the cycle of the Torah anew when we read Parashat Bereshit. The question has been asked, why does the Torah begin with the letter bet, the second letter of the Hebrew Alphabet? Surely, it would make much more sense for the text to have started with the letter Aleph, the first letter! There have been several reasons brought forth by the rabbinic commentators throughout the ages; for example, that aleph, which has the numerical value of one, represents God. One of the more compelling ones I’ve come across gives a fresh take on what the letter Aleph represents. In the vast majority of cases, the letter Aleph is synonymous with the number one and thus God. But, what if the letter Aleph was not representing God, but ourselves? The letter which we must master is ourselves. We are the aleph.

What does this mean? As we have just come out of the High Holyday Season, we have spent the better part of a month looking inward, reflecting and coming to terms with ourselves and all that we have done in the past year. It is a marathon session of internal struggle that, hopefully leads to a clearer picture of who you want to be in the coming year. It is precisely at that moment, when the holidays finish, that we immediately set to work. To assist us in that work, the Torah, our great instruction manual, is restarted. Because we have done the preliminary work, the aleph, then and only then, can we move on to bet. We are reminded to not let the hard work of the past month go to waste. There is a step by step progression, like the letters of the aleph bet, that will lead us on the right path. All we must do is continue putting one foot forward in front of the other and continue the work we started over a month ago.

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.