On Sunday 7th May the Freemasons of Cheshire together with their wives and partners, celebrated 300 Years since the establishment of the United Grand Lodge of England with a non-denominational Service of Thanksgiving at the magnificent Shaare Sedek, Synagogue, Wicker Lane, Hale Barns. All of the Brethren put on a specially designed Tercentenary Kippah (Skull Cap ) before entering the Synagogue. In the Western world, it is customary to remove one’s head covering when meeting an important person. In Judaism, putting on a head covering is a sign of respect.
The Service was opened by Rabbi Amir Ellituv with Baruch Haba (Welcome in Hebrew) and the Congregation were welcomed by RWBro Stephen Martin Blank who then read the first reading from 1 Kings Ch.6 v.1(AV). Rabbi Ellituv then read the Psalm 23 (The Lord is my Shepherd) in Hebrew. The Second Reading from the book of Ecclesiasticus Ch.44 v1 was read by VWBro. Alan Glazier. The Sim Shalom (Grant Peace) a blessing by Rabbi Ellituv was followed by the Third Reading from The Wisdom of Solomon Ch.6 v12 which was read by WBro Jonathan Shasha.
The Provincial Grand Chaplain of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Cheshire WBro. Rev. Barry Jobber then gave the Address to the Congregation following which Rabbi Amir Ellituv performed part of Hallel, a Jewish prayer, a verbatim recitation from Psalms 113-118, which is used for praise and thanksgiving.
The Doors of the Ark were opened revealing the Torah followed by prayers and a moving performance of Yimloch (a song that will penetrate your heart and soul) by Rabbi Ellituv who ascended to the Ark to deliver a Memorial Prayer in English. The Deputy Grand Superintendent of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Cheshire WBro Rob Bramley then lit a Memorial Candle. The Ark was then closed.
The Priestly Benediction was delivered by WBro. Jo Dwek CBE and was followed by the Closing Hymn Adon Olam (Lord of the World). The National Anthem was sung and the congregation then stood whilst those who entered in procession, left the Synagogue.
This beautiful, moving and thought provoking Service left everyone who attended feeling that they had witnessed a very special event.
The building in which the Synagogue is now situated was a barn on Partington Farm which was purchased in April 2005 by the Community. A Breaking Ground ceremony took place in September 2011 and the Foundation Stone was cemented in place by Rabbi Shlomoe Ellituv , the father of Rabbi Amir, in October 2013. The first Service in the new Synagogue took place in September 2016 and the building was consecrated on 29th January 2017. There is still some work to be done before this magnificent building is fully completed.
The congregation left the Synagogue to enjoy a most sumptuous Afternoon Tea in a Marquee which had been erected at the rear of the Synagogue