Don’t dismiss this year-Rabbi Lee Sunderland.

Romford Synagogue’s Rabbi Lee Sunderland is man who brings peace to the Havering community. Today he writes in the Havering Daily.

It’s only been a few months of lockdown but already this year is being treated like a lost cause. True many of us cannot plan months ahead so as well as personal birthdays and anniversaries both public and religious holy days won’t be celebrated as they otherwise might. Schooling and exams have been interrupted. More seriously medical treatment and procedures have been cancelled or postponed.

However, this year has not been a lost cause. Much as we have been isolated from each other, the circumstances in which we find ourselves has brought us closer together. And in a sense we have demonstrated that we are all in this together. While this phrase has certain connotations which leave a nasty taste in the mouth, consider this. Many stories have hit the media of people of with a wide range of age and abilities have gone beyond the call of duty to help others. And l am sure many have not. We all know someone helping out.

This is an attitude we must not loose after lockdown is over. That sense of being useful to others is vital in engendering the feeling of belonging in society and of being useful to society and needed by society. There is one day that should stand out in this year that we all ought to use as a reminder of this. 20 May 2020. It is the day on which both Capt Tom Moore’s knighthood was announced and the new organ donor legislation became law. 

These two events demonstrate just how much any individual can achieve or encourage in others. And we have all got it in us (pun intended). No matter how great or seemingly small a favour or turn we do for someone it can be vital in their lives and is not to be dismissed. I have spoken to people who feel guilty that they have been able to do nothing recently other than shield. I reminded them that by doing that they were actually preserving life-their own and other people’s. 

may be the most important lesson we learn this year. But how vital is it to demonstrate that each and everyone of us has the potential to be a lifesaver. A notion not to be dismissed. 

In memory of John Manuel and all who have passed during this pandemic 

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