Showing posts from June, 2017

Truth and Trust (In memory of Jo Cox/Grenfell Tower victims)

Parashat Sh’lach Lecha 2017 Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz
Truth and Trust
Emet v’emunah kol zot v’kayam aleinu ki hu Adonai Eloheinu’…
Such are the words of our Friday night liturgy, recited between the Shema and the V’ahavta. Our siddur (prayer book) chooses to translate them as ‘all this is true and firmly held by us, that You are our Living God…’ which makes it sound like a tidy credo. However, we could also translate with ‘Truth and trust is all this, and this stand stands that He/She is the Eternal our God.’ It misses the organized elegance of the prayer book’s version, but brimming underneath the self-contained English words brims something awesome and powerful, an enduring force supported by the pillars of Creation.
Emet in itself is a word worth examining. A rabbinic teaching recounts that the aleph-mem-tav of the word has symbolic relevance: truth, like these letters of the aleph-bet, has a beginning, middle and end. It is all-encompassing and uncompromising. Then there is emunah, a w…

The Great Get Together (some reflections in memory of Jo Cox)

Life is a strange admixture. The bitter and sweet, our sorrow and joys, are often mingled. We laugh and then we cry and find healing in laughter renewed. Most of all, we find comfort in community, faith in friendship and common ground in our shared humanity.

This was Jo Cox' legacy.

A year ago, I was heartbroken to hear of her murder. I could easily find common ground with Jo. Her constituency is not that far from my city (Leeds) and she was of a similar age, also the mother to young children. We share many of the same ideals. That Shabbat, I gave my most emotional sermon to date in the synagogue.

So much has changed in a year. There has been one political landslide after another, both in the UK, the USA and elsewhere in the world. The script, as the commentariat would say, has been ripped up. There's no denying it's been a hard year and I've thought of Jo and what she would have made of it all.
Recent events have compounded our heartache and anxiety, our anger and de…