Thought for the Week 2 February

HRH VISITS YAVNEH COLLEGE: Borehamwood was abuzz this week with a visit from HRH the Prince of Wales to Yavneh College. Invited by the Chief Rabbi to see the school’s many programmes that impact the wider community, Prince Charles was very generous in his praises of the students and staff. News articles & photos can be found here, here, and here.

TIME TO TALK: Today is ‘Time to Talk Thursday’, the first Thursday in February. Launched in 2007 as part of Time to Change, the objective is to get people throughout the country talking about mental health and well-being. For example, did you know that 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 teenagers will experience a mental health issue each year?

Recognising that mental health issues are as valid as physical health, and removing any stigma from the patient, is essential for treatment to move forward. To this end, the UK Jewish Charity JAMI has designated this week Mental Health Awareness Shabbat.

This brief comment is in memory of my late mother (Brainah Leah bat Moshe Aharon) and for all those who read Tehillim for the sake of others. [Note: Quoted verses are taken from the Mechon Mamre website.] 

Chapter 28: The relatively short 28th Psalm is attributed to King David. It follows the pattern of several previous Psalms; crying out to the Almighty from a place of distress, seeking G-d’s retribution against one’s enemies, reasserting faith in G-d’s benevolence to Bnei Yisrael, and finishing with confidence in a victorious future.
שְׁמַע קוֹל תַּחֲנוּנַי, בְּשַׁוְּעִי אֵלֶיךָ; בְּנָשְׂאִי יָדַי, אֶל-דְּבִיר קָדְשֶׁךָ.
Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry to You; when I lift up my hands toward Your holy Sanctuary. (Psalm 28:2) 
David’s reference to the Holy Sanctuary reminds us that prayers should always be directed toward the Holy of Holies in the Beit HaMikdash (Jerusalem Temple). David’s reference must have been the temporary Mishkan (Tabernacle) housed in Shiloh during his lifetime.
בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה:    כִּי-שָׁמַע, קוֹל תַּחֲנוּנָי.
Blessed be the LORD, who has heard the voice of my supplications! (Psalms 28:6) 
When we pray and offer our supplications, our aim should be not just for personal needs but for the well-being of the wider world, including those who may even share differing views and beliefs than we do.
הוֹשִׁיעָה, אֶת-עַמֶּךָ– וּבָרֵךְ אֶת-נַחֲלָתֶךָ; וּרְעֵם וְנַשְּׂאֵם, עַד-הָעוֹלָם.
Save Your people, and bless Your inheritance; tend them and carry them for ever. (Psalms 28:9)
Inevitably, our desire is to locate ourselves within the embrace of the Divine Presence; a spiritual space that combines the richness of our ancient past with the vision of a redemptive future.
The final verse in this Psalm is familiar to those who recite part of the early morning Shaharit known as Pesukei DeZimra. It’s also commonly used as a substitute for counting to 10 when discerning whether there are enough present for a minyan.