Could Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks be missing the point about the importance of family in his pre-Rosh Hashanah broadcast? No one would argue about the centrality of looking after our children and, as a Jewish mother, this has been the most profound experience of my life. But as I approach the High Holy Days without any immediate family around me, I wonder who is looking after people who are alone?
To his credit, the Chief Rabbi concedes the stresses of modern living and the fragmentation of family life. But unless action is taken we will continue to have generations of single people going to shul and feeling alone, not always having a sense of belonging.
Perhaps the biggest challenge to our community is finding more ways of being inclusive so that everyone can participate in family life, regardless of their situation. I am blessed with good friends in the community who have been kind and, thankfully, I will not be spending the High Holy-Days alone. But I am acutely aware that this may not be the case for many others. Sue Levy Bushey Heath, Herts