D’var Torah Shabbat 6 December by Chloe Kimmel

Written by Writings & Sermons by others — 9 December 2019

The theme of Torah this week is one of moving on and beginning new journeys. We learn of Jacob leaving his home and his family, carrying on his journey of doing god’s work and producing the generation to follow him, the children of Israel. We also learn about the importance of passing down wisdom and lessons to those generations that follow us. This couldn’t be more apt as it comes to my final week as an educator here.

How do I begin to sum up the last four years of my life at Alyth? Since the news came out to the community that I would be leaving, people have been asking me; “How do you feel?” The usual answer is “I feel excited, anxious, a bit apprehensive and very sad.” But the truth goes deeper than that. Although I remain a member of Alyth, it feels like I am leaving home, just as we learn that Jacob did. Over the last four years I have gained new family members. Smiling friendly faces that greet me in the corridors and people that are genuinely interested in my life.

Again, just like Jacob, I have had the absolute pleasure and privilege of being a part of watching the new generation of this community grow up. Enjoying countless cuddles, songs, dances and even first steps, I hope that I have been as important in their lives, as they have been in mine.

In our Torah portion Jacob lays down to rest on a stone and dreams of a ladder connecting heaven and earth. I believe this metaphor is similar to the journey that I am about to embark on. I must be mindful of each step I take, making sure that each step forward is just as important as the one I took before.

As I begin this journey there are four statements that stick in my head. They are part of a mediation that I wish to share with you tonight. I’m sorry, Forgive me, Thank you and I love you. They are ingrained in our liturgy and are core ideas of human interaction. Expressing the power of relationships formed, recognising that forgiveness is important and that we aren’t and don’t always have to be perfect. Also recognising the power and worth of valuing our loved ones and friends around us.


I’m sorry-that when I have bad days I take it out on those closest to me. Family and friends help and I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many of them.

Forgive me-for sometimes being forgetful. There’s a lot going on in this creative mind, I’m trying to declutter and make more room, I promise!

Thank you- to the wonderful staff team and community here at Alyth. Four years ago you welcomed me into the family and we have shared so many special moments together since then. Each and every one of you have made this time truly unforgettable and words cannot even express how much I am going to miss you all.

And finally, I love you-all. For nurturing me, for caring for me, for having fun with me and for being my family.

Lehitraot and Shabbat Shalom everyone.