Thursday, 8 September 2011

Memories of 9/11, and other things



As many members will know I spent the night of 9/11 2001 at Ground Zero as a Chaplain. I have written up some of my memories of that night for the Jewish Chronicle this week.


For those of you who don’t receive the printed edition, you will be able to read the article on-line at from Thursday evening. I will also be sharing some of what I consider to be the important Torah lessons from that horrendous time this Shabbat during the sermon.


Memory – the Hebrew root is ‘zachor’ – is a vital component of what it means to be a Jew. We remember creation, we remember Exodus, we remember Zion as we sit by the ‘Rivers of Babylon,’ we remember, of course, the Holocaust. Perhaps the focus on memory is at its most sharp in the context of the upcoming Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur season. As well as the call to remember our sins and failings in the past year we also engage in the Zichronot – as series of verses recited in the Rosh Hashanah Musaf service – and the Yizkor – Memorial service on Yom Kippur.


This Monday, 12th and the next I will be sharing something thoughts on the nature of Jewish memory in preparation for Rosh Hashanah. As the great Jewish historian Y H Yerushalmi, most famous for his work ‘Zakhor,’ wrote, ‘memory is always problematic, usually deceptive, sometimes treacherous.’ As we prepare to give account of our year and indeed our very lives, I hope you will join me to consider, in the company of our Mahzor and great sages, quite what this journey into memory really entails. 8pm at the Synagogue. All welcome.


Shabbat shalom



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