CTJC Bulletin Pesach 5771/2011
Inside: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
How to build a mikvah Community news & events Pesach recipes Interview with CJRA’s Marilyn Fersht
CTJC Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation Bulletin Number 101 Bulletin Cover image: Wine Glass Splash.JPG by Philip Serracino Inglott. Licensed under the Creative Commons AttributionShare Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wine_Glass_Splash.JPG
In this issue… Page 2
Welcome to the CTJC Pesach Bulletin
Looking for a seder? Pesach orders. Sale of Chametz.
Children’s Shabbat in Thompsons Lane by Gedalya Alexander
An Icy Chanukah
Happy Birthday Mrs Gee
Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus… by Simon Goldhill
An incident at Ben Gurion Security by Barry Landy
How to build a mikvah by Rabbi Reuven Leigh
Let them eat cake by Helen Goldrein
A shield, a star, a hexagram…a Seder plate by Mark Harris
An interview with Marilyn Fersht by Myriam Alexander
And you should ‘tell’ your children on Pesach – by JABE
A Pesach message from the CST
Welcome to the CTJC Pesach Bulletin Inside you will find the usual cornucopia of articles, recipes, information and other delights. We do try to include something for everyone! To that end, the Bulletin is always happy to accept articles, essays, opinion pieces, travel journals, book/film/music/theatre reviews, reminiscences, recipes, photographs, knitting patterns... Contributing couldn’t be easier – simply email firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks to those who have already contributed, and in advance to those who plan to send in a submission for our Rosh Hashanah issue. You can also read the bulletin online in full colour at http://issuu.com/ctjc/docs/pesach_2011 A hearty Pesach kasher v’sameach from all at the Bulletin! Small print… Views expressed in the bulletin are the views of the individual authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or of the committee of the CTJC.
CTJC email list CTJC has an email list. To join the list and receive regular updates about services, events, Shabbat times and other useful information, please email Barry Landy at email@example.com or Jonathan Allin at firstname.lastname@example.org CTJC Officers Rabbi
Committee 2009/2010 Chairman Treasurer Secretary Synagogue Officer Education Officer Welfare Officer Bulletin Officers Board of Deputies
Simon Goldhill Ben Blaukopf Jonathan Allin Graeme Alexander Sarah Schechter Rosalind Landy Barry Landy Helen Goldrein position vacant
COMMUNITY NEWS Mazeltov To Priscilla Goldstein on her 90th birthday. To Sarah and Arye Schecter on the birth of a grandson, a son for Orli and Jeff Vulcan. To Toni and Robert Marcus on Rachel’s engagement. Farewell To the Grant family.
PESACH INFORMATION Looking for a Seder? Rabbi Reuven and Rochel Leigh invite you to join them for the 1st Seder night on Monday 18th April at 8pm at 37A Castle Street, Cambridge, CB3 0AH. Price: £15 per person. For more information please email: email@example.com or phone: 01223 354603. Alternatively, anyone who would like to attend a Seder, or who knows someone who would like to attend a Seder, is invited to consult Mr Barry Landy who will try to arrange a suitable host.
Pesach Orders Derby Stores (Tel: Cambridge 354931) will take Pesach orders. Titanics (www.titanics.co.uk) have an online Pesach shop and will deliver to Cambridge for a fee of £10-15.
Sale of Chametz If you would like Rabbi Reuven Leigh to sell your chametz, please complete the form included in this bulletin and return it by 14 April 2011. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01223 354603. Photo of machine-made Shmura Matzo eaten during Passover week by Yoninah. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Machine-made_Shmura_Matzo.jpg
Answers to quiz on page 25: 1 a, 2 c, 3 b, 4 d, 5 b.
Communal Information Shul services Friday evening In term:
Winter, Ma’ariv at 6pm Summer, Minchah and Ma’ariv at 7:30pm
Winter, Minchah and Ma’ariv just before Shabbat June-August, Minchah and Ma’ariv at 7:30pm September, Minchah and Ma’ariv just before Shabbat
8:00am (most weeks)
Learning Rabbi Reuven Leigh holds a Talmud Shiur at Chabad House, 37A Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AH, every Wednesday at 8pm. Parking is available in the Shire Hall car park. For more details email email@example.com A Talmud Shiur led by Prof. Stefan Reif is held on a convenient evening in those weeks when Prof. Reif is in Cambridge. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org Hospital Visiting Contact Sarah Schechter, Helen Stone, Tirzah Bleehen or Barry Landy if you need to organise visits, or would like to volunteer to help. Rabbi Reuven Leigh (354603) and Barry Landy can attend hospitals to read prayers. Due to concerns for personal privacy the hospital no longer informs us when Jewish patients are admitted, so if you or someone you know would like to be visited, please contact us. Chevra Kadisha Contact Barry Landy, Brendel Lang or Trevor Marcuson in the first instance. Bar Mitzvahs, Weddings, Brit Milah and other religious services Contact Rabbi Reuven Leigh or Barry Landy to organise. Children’s activities For information about Cambridge Hebrew School, the After School Club, or Ganeinu Child Care Service, contact Rochel Leigh at email@example.com
Read the bulletin online in full colour! Visit http://issuu.com/ctjc/docs/pesach_2011
Religious Calendar Pesach 2011 Monday18 April – Fast of the Firstborn Shacharit 7:00am; 10.16 finish all Chametz; Burning of Chametz by 11:40am Festival starts 7:47pm, Minchah/Maariv 7:30pm Tuesday 19 April Shacharit 9:30am Minchah/Maariv 7:30pm, first day ends 8:53pm Wednesday 20 April Shacharit 9:30am Festival ends 8:48pm Saturday 23 April Shacharit 9:30am Shabbat ends 9:01pm Sunday 24 April Festival Starts 7:58pm, Minchah/Maariv 7:30pm Monday 25 April Shacharit 9:30am Minchah/Maariv 7:30pm, seventh day ends 9:05pm Tuesday 26 April Shacharit 9:30am Festival Ends 9:07pm Shavuot 2011 – Shavuot is in University Term, so services are organised by the students. Tuesday 7 June Festival Starts 9:02pm, Minchah and Maariv times to be announced Wednesday 8 June Shacharit 9:30am, Minchah/Maariv to be announced Thursday 9 June Shacharit 9:30am Festival Ends 10:24pm Tisha B'Av Monday 8 August Fast Commences 8:38pm, Maariv and Eichah at 9:30pm Tuesday 9 August Shacharit at 7:00am (expected to finish about 9:00am) Minchah 1:45 pm, fast ends at 9:25pm
Above: Jewish Calendar from 1831. Photo ÂŠ 2004 by Tomasz Sienicki. Image licensed under the Creative Commons AttributionShare Alike 3.0 Unported License. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JudischerKalender-1831_ubt.jpeg
Children’s Shabbat in Thompson’s Lane By Gedalya Alexander Chanukah is a wonderful time for children with so many exciting things for them to see, eat, smell and play with. But what is the key mitzvah of Chanukah and for what purpose did the Rabbis introduce it? “They instituted these eight days to give thanks and praise (Hallel) to His great name” (Al hanisim prayer reflecting the discussion in the Talmud, tractate Shabbat). We therefore recite the Hallel on each of the eight days of Chanukah, which makes singing the central element of the festival. With this in mind, Shabbat Chanukah was an ideal date to hold our first “Children’s Shabbat”. Our newly formed children’s choir raised their beautiful voices in song and praise during the musaph prayers and in their uninhibited way fulfilled the pasuk, “Ivdu et Hashem besimcha” (“Serve God with joy!”). The children were excited to be participating in the service and were looking forward to Chanukah even more than usual. It was a real pleasure to teach Gila, Levi, Tsemach, Chana L, Shaina, Yonatan and Chana M – I am sure we will hear a lot more from them in the future! On the day, congregants could hear them rehearsing as quietly as possible in the back area of the Shul. They were extremely proud afterwards as they were congratulated by all during the Kiddush; they could be found explaining how they had prepared themselves for five weeks and were so glad to be at the fore. Indeed, they had put in much effort in attending rehearsals, all of which took place at the end of Sunday morning cheder when their friends were outside playing. The tradition of singing in synagogue services goes back a long time, all the way to a choir of Levites who were part of the daily service of the Temple (Mishnah in Tamid, Chapter 7). Many of the psalms they were performing had been composed by King David who had himself wished to build the Temple, but for God’s wish for it to be built by his son, Solomon. That choir had to stand on the steps of the Temple, not unlike our children’s choir, which stood in a straight line on the steps in front of the Bimah. We sincerely hope that these children will sing during more special services around the year, continuing our wonderful tradition of Jewish song, and that they will encourage their friends to join. A particular highlight of the Shabbat was the setting of “yismechu v’malchut’cha” by Rabbi Yankel Talmud (b.? – 1964), the “court” composer of the Gerer Chasidim who produced hundreds of Chasidic nigunim. The composition magnificently captures the ecstasy experienced by those who “observe the Shabbat and regard it as a delight”. I thought the joy of children’s singing would be perfect to capture the atmosphere of this prayer and indeed they did not let me down. By the end of the song the whole congregation was humming the tune, and we hope they will be able to join in from the start next time round! Next, the children sang “Sim Shalom” by Chazan Nadel, followed by the well known “Ein kelokenu”. The service concluded with the singing of a rousing Adon Olam, as is traditional, to the tune of Maoz Tzur, and this time, everyone joined in!
An Icy Chanukah, December 2010
Despite the sub-zero temperatures, a large crowd of hardy adults and children gathered on a snowy Parkers Piece on 1 December 2010 for Cambridge’s annual ‘Chanukah on Ice’ celebrations, hosted by our own Rabbi Reuven Leigh, seen here preparing to light the giant Chanukiah. A rousing chorus of Maoz Tzur, lead by a group of well-wrapped junior members of the community, kept the chill away long enough for those assembled to enjoy delicious donuts, ice-skating, and other fun seasonal treats.
Happy birthday Mrs Gee In January, CTJC held a Kiddush in honour of Priscilla Goldstein’s 90th birthday. She sent the following note of thanks: “It was truly kind of CTJC to give a Kiddush in my honour – I sincerely appreciated it, and enjoyed the service, and the feast that followed. Having come from a family of nine children, I never had birthday parties, except on one occasion only, as a child, when mother allowed the best tea china to be used – I have never forgotten it. But now, this year, I’ve certainly made up for it, and thank everyone everywhere who participated with me. With repeated thanks, Priscilla.”
Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus… Simon Goldhill gives a dvar torah in Kings College Chapel
Image: Kings College Chapel, Cambridge, July 2010 (04).JPG by Ardfern, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kings_College_Chapel,_Cambridge,_July_2010_%2804%29.JPG
This term I was invited to preach in King's Chapel for a Sunday morning service. The Chief Rabbi is constantly appearing at such things, I reflected, so why not? I was thrilled that the readings of the day – the parsha, as it were – were texts I knew something about. When I arrived, in my gown, I realised that whatever the Chief might get up to, I just couldn't process into chapel behind two men in capes carrying candles and a third guy holding a huge cross aloft, as the preacher usually would. Usually when you see men in long white robes carrying crosses they are coming for you… So I took my place in the stalls. The music, no surprise, was extraordinarily good. I have to say that Verdi's Te Deum, sung by King's College Choir, especially with the fortissimo sanctus, sanctus, sanctus (that's kadosh, kadosh, kadosh to us) – do I dare say this? – had a certain something we don't
always hear at Thompson's Lane. But they don't usually have a Jew preaching at King's… The sermon – well, it went…and then for Kiddush – this is the Anglican church – back for a glass of sherry; no schmaltz herring, no malt whiskey. Barely a breakfast at all… Why write two pieces, I thought to myself? Maybe the readers of the magazine would be happy to read what a Jew thought suitable to say in King's Chapel. So here it is: Mick Jagger, no saint, I grant you, nor even a prophet, sang, "I can't get no satisfaction," but his strutting, driving song is not really a hymn to dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction is generally seen as an ugly little emotion, associated with whinging and moaning, petty failure, and sourness. Not a pop star's self-projection at all. Nor a prophet's or a saint's. But if there is one figure in the Bible who deserves the title
of the prophet of dissatisfaction it is Haggai, from whom the first lesson was taken today. There is an obvious message in the two readings of today's service: Haggai tells of the construction of the Second Temple, Paul writes of his Christian redrafting of the promise of the Temple – the Temple now is the Christian community and each one can make a Temple of their body. No doubt the two passages are chosen to give a comfortable Christian supersessionist message. Once there was the ritual of the Temple, now there is Christian faith, embodied in Christian liturgy. Once there was sacrifice of animals, now through Jesus's sacrifice, a new way of communicating with the divine. But for me, the ease, the comfort, of that familiar religious triumphalism conceals and even destroys what makes Haggai still an insistent voice today. Haggai is one of the three great prophets who tell of the building of the Second Temple. The Temple of Solomon was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BCE. The Talmud does not see this as Jerusalem caught in a power struggle between Egyptian and Babylonian empires, but finds it more congenial to moralise, "The pagan philosophers enquired: Can we overcome this people of Israel?" They replied, "Go round to their synagogues; if there is a hum of children's voices studying Torah, biblical scripture, you cannot prevail over them." In a University we have to recognise the lure of this explanation of the destruction: if there is not enough serious education in a country, it is doomed. So too, with rather too obvious self-interest Rabbi Yochai taught, "If you behold the cities of Israel uprooted, know that the inhabitants failed to pay the teachers." But when Cyrus the Great took over the Persian Empire, as part of his imperial publicity machine, the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem – a nice irony today that it was the king of Iran who reestablished the Jewish state – and after a
string of builders' rows, internal political dissent, and interference from the royal authorities, the Temple was finally rebuilt, and finished and re-consecrated under Cyrus' successor, Darius, in 515 BCE. But the general air of dissatisfaction still looms over the project. "You have been expecting much and getting little," says God through Haggai. "You have sown much and brought in little; you eat without being satisfied." It is only when the Temple has been rebuilt, it is stated, that this sorry state of dissatisfaction will be alleviated. But when the Temple has been rebuilt, what is Haggai's reaction? "Who is there left among you who saw this house in its former splendour? How does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing to you?" At the consecration of the Second Temple, Haggai reminds the people of how the former generation has died in exile, and insists that the new Temple fails to match the former Temple in splendour. It must seem, he snarls, "like nothing to you." God can promise future blessings – as Haggai also declares – but the building of the Temple is only a necessary and not a sufficient condition for that prosperity to arrive. There is more work to be done. This is what I mean by Haggai being a prophet of dissatisfaction. He is the prophet who looks at the glory of the rising Temple and insists "It must seem like nothing to you!" Morally, socially, intellectually, you must be dissatisfied. Why is dissatisfaction an important religious value? Because it is a necessary recognition that both in our relations with other human beings and in our relation to God, it is only self-deception that allows us to think that things are actually good enough. Without dissatisfaction, there is no drive towards making the world a better place, no drive towards making yourself a better person. The Rebbe of the Lubavitch Movement, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, gives a telling gloss on the story of
Amalek. Amalek, you will remember, is especially damned by the Bible â€“ we are instructed to remember always to blot out his memory. Why of all the enemies of Israel on their path to the Promised Land is Amalek especially execrated? Because, we are told, he alone attacked the stragglers. The Rebbe explains as follows: the stragglers were those who had been expelled from the camp for their moral or other failings. Amalek could not attack the organized, massed ranks of the Israelite column, so he picked off the stragglers. The Israelites turned to defend them, and the bitterest battle resulted. For the Rebbe, this shows that while you can be strong in the bubble of your own religious enclave, strong in your own convictions and among your own, there is actually a moral obligation to leave the bubble and go back and help even the stragglers, even those who you would not want in the camp in the first place. Your duty is to those who have not found a place in the camp. I find this injunction from within such a tightly knit and comfortable religious community an extraordinary recognition.
Dissatisfaction, then, should lead to social and, I would say, spiritual engagement, a recognition that one's duty to the other is inherent and pressing, because, as the Torah says, you were an other in Egypt. It is here where the Rebbe meets Martin Buber and Emanuel Levinas, two of the greatest philosophers off the twentieth century, in their shared insistence that the mature and moral self depends on the dynamic recognition of the claim of the other. I say that this duty is to the other as an other, because the danger of dissatisfaction is not just that it can immure a person in petty sourness but also that it can lead to grandiose certainty. The desire to change the world when it takes the form of standing on street corners yelling one's own version of the truth at people, or despising or killing anyone who disagrees with you, may stem from a desire to change the world. But it also signally fails to recognise the claim of the other. We hear a lot about there being a crisis of faith today: actually, what we might see in fundamentalist dominance over religious discourse in contemporary society is better described as a crisis of doubt. There is rather too much certainty, rather too little self-questioning, rather too little dissatisfaction with one's own sense of how things are and can be. Haggai sets a question, then, of continuing and burning importance. He challenges you to step outside the bubble of comfort. As the Temple goes up, he challenges you to recognise immediately that this, a building like this, must seem like nothing to you. He questions his community for its failures as a community. He challenges you to channel dissatisfaction away from sourness or fundamentalism into a self-reflective engagement with a never-ending, never satisfied, project of renewal. It is a voice we need to hear.
Above: Prophet Haggai, Russian icon from first quarter of 18th century.
Professor Simon Goldhill, Chairman, CTJC
An incident at Ben Gurion Security By Barry Landy One early morning in January 2011 I was returning from Israel to England with Stefan Reif; we had a stupidly long wait to pass the initial security processing during most of which time no one was doing anything at the front of the queue - no one minds waiting for security but it would be nice to see the staff actually doing something! We then checked in and had to go through the X-ray security. For some reason half the lines were not working and we moved to the line which appeared shortest. All of a sudden this line stopped moving. I was in a position to see and hear what was happening at the top of the queue and Stefan was not which cannot have helped him keep calm. I heard one X-ray inspector say to another, "yesh la Sakin" - "she's got a knife!" The reply was even more worrying; "that's not a knife that's a weapon!" By the arm movements of the people, akin to describing a fish that had been caught, I understood some sort of ceremonial sword. The people trying to pass security at the head of the queue were a group of about seven Japanese, who appeared totally unfamiliar with any aspects of what is nowadays normal airport security, and who did not speak either English or Hebrew. Amusingly the officers adopted the traditional old-fashioned English attitude: if someone does not understand you simply speak slower and louder (but never try to be understood!). The suspect bag stayed inside the X-ray machine and the officials called for help, which was a long time coming. They tried to get the Japanese through the metal detector; this took a very long time as all commands had to be conducted in sign language and every single member of the group had at least one thing which caused the detector to ping. After the ping they had to search the person for the offending item and get them to pass through the machine again. One of the group had to remove a large number of metal pins from her head - each of which would have qualified as a weapon in my book. If it had not been for the growing impatience of the people behind me (including Stefan who is famous for many things but not for patience!) it would have been very amusing. For all this time the suspect bag stayed inside the machine and it dawned on me that there must be standing instructions for an incident of this sort that the offending items should stay inside the X-ray machine where they cannot be got at for fear of an incident. It took a long time but eventually the reinforcements arrived and the whole group was removed to a side room allowing our queue to proceed through with sighs of relief. You never know what is going to happen in an airport!
How to build a mikvah By Rabbi Reuven Leigh As we begin construction of the Cambridge mikvah I thought it would be as good a time as any to give a brief overview of mikvah construction through the ages. “But a spring or a reservoir, a gathering of water remains clean...” (Leviticus 11:36) From this verse we learn the essential laws associated with a mikvah: a) It must be similar to a spring or a gathering of water, i.e. it has to be natural and not man-made. b) Running water is only valid for a mikvah when it is a stream, whereas a gathering of water is only valid if it is contained and not running. In ancient times they didn’t use built structures like we have today, rather the immersion would take place in springs or other places where water gathered. All mikvaot until the modern period were either one of the above two options, a stream or a reservoir of collected natural water. The reservoirs of collected water were usually in caves and in Rabbinic literature a mikvah is often referred to as a cave for this reason. The natural water that was gathered in these reservoirs could not be changed until there was rainfall and due to the lack of rainfall in Israel these mikvaot would become extremely dirty during the summer months. It was therefore seen as preferable to immerse in the springs where possible since the water would always remain uncontaminated.
Above: The mikveh in Friedberg. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Judenbad_Friedberg_Inne nansicht_f._Wikipedia_Foto_K.Augustin.jpg
As you can imagine, it was not always possible to have access to a running stream or find one of the mikvaot in the caves. A more accessible option was the use of rivers, however, there is a Talmudic and Rabbinic dispute as to whether rivers are valid as mikvaot. It is debatable whether we should consider a river to be like a stream since it contains water from stream and would therefore be acceptable as a mikvah even though it is running water, or whether it should be considered like a reservoir since it contains rainwater and would therefore be invalid since it is running water. The Shulchan Aruch rules that if the rainwater in the river exceeds the spring water (such as during the rain season) the river is invalid as a mikvah whereas if the spring water is the predominant source of the waters in the river then the river could serve as a valid mikvah. Nevertheless, there are authorities that validate a river regardless in a situation where there is no available mikvah otherwise.
Another difficulty of using a river for a mikvah is the lack of privacy. Since a person would be embarrassed to be seen naked they may rush the immersion process and not be careful to immerse properly, additionally there is the problem of dirt from the river base getting between the person toes creating a barrier (chatzizah) between the water and the body
and invalidating the immersion. Because of these concerns one of the Rabbis instituted the practice of building a special room at the edge of the river to use for immersion that had walls and a slatted floor that allowed the water to come through and this resolved the problem of anyone seeing them or them getting dirt on their feet. The next stage in the development of the mikvah was the construction of a dedicated building adjacent to a river. Within this structure they would dig a large pit and then plough a tunnel from the pit to the river and the water from the river would flow in and enable immersion in the natural water in an enclosed and private place. This method posed a new problem; what is the status of the water arriving through this hole. Do we consider it the same as the river or since it is now flowing through the ground does it acquire the status of a spring. The prevailing opinion is that when the water only runs a short course it does not become considered as a spring and therefore this mikvah must be a contained unit and not have any water leaking out. There still remained the problem of freezing cold water. Especially in colder climates it was extremely dangerous to immerse in such cold water and it also meant that people would not immerse properly since they were rushing to get out. This led to a major innovation by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Lyady who introduced the first heated mikvah. He recommended that an insulated wooden box be inserted into the dug out pit that allowed only a very small amount of the river water to seep in. Once the minimum amount of natural water needed for a mikvah had seeped in (40 se’ah = 575 litres) they would fill the rest of the pool with heated water. For Eastern European Jewry this was a life saving innovation and served them well until modernity brought new possibilities in the development of the mikvah. The growing availability of running water in urban areas during the 19th century afforded the possibility of constructing a mikvah at a distance from a river and in more convenient locations. The question now became what would be a kosher method of connecting the natural rainwater with the running tap water. Already in 1814 Rabbi Moshe Sofer (17621839; known as the Chatam Sofer) had considered this possibility and suggested to make two pools side by side, one of which should be filled with at least 40 seah of rainwater and then filled with tap water on top it until it overflows into the second pool which can be used for immersion. This process is called ‘zeriah’ (planting) since you are ‘planting’ so to speak the rainwater status into the tap water. As an additional measure he suggests that there should be a hole between the two pools so that the waters are touching and are always connected. This is called ‘hashakah’ (kissing) since the waters are ‘kissing’. When the mikvah would get dirty they would block the hole and empty the immersion pool and then refill it again. This mikvah is often called ‘bor al tzad bor’ (a pool next to a pool). This method of mikvah construction became very popular as the water network evolved, however, there were many who rejected the Chatam Sofer method based on the concern that after a few times of emptying and refilling there would be none of the original 40 seah of rainwater left in the side pool since it would have dispersed into the immersion pool and been emptied. This concern is termed ‘natan seah venatal seah’ (gives a seah and takes a seah). A resolution to this problem was presented by Rabbi Sholom Dovber Schneersohn (18601920) and involves building the rainwater pool underneath the immersion pool rather than to the side. The two pools are connected by openings in the floor separating them and involves filling up the entire lower pool with rainwater and then filling the immersion pool with tap water that is then heated. Since the tap water is heated it does not mix with the lower rainwater and resolves the concern of the original rainwater being eliminated through regular draining and refilling of the immersion pool. This mikvah is often described as ‘bor al gabei bor’ (a pool on top of a pool). In the next edition I hope to give a more detailed description of the Cambridge mikvah we are building.
Let them eat cake By Helen Goldrein
My approach to Pesach baking has always been to find ‘year round’ recipes that either happen to be chametz free, or can easily be made so with minimal adjustment. It is always a delight to find a delicious recipe and then realise that it contains no flour! Below are three examples. The first, which is I admit somewhat terrifying, requires only four ingredients – chocolate, butter, sugar and eggs – and a certain amount of nerve, both to cook, and to eat. Don’t even THINK of substituting margarine! The second is adapted from a recipe in Nadine Abensur’s excellent vegetarian cookbook, The Cranks Bible. It is delicious, and also by comparison quite low fat! Finally, a local delicacy – Trinity Burnt Cream aka crème brulée. Not a coconut pyramid in sight! Enjoy!
Chocolate Nemesis 675g dark chocolate – 70% cocoa solids 450g butter 10 whole eggs 675g caster sugar Melt the chocolate and butter together in a large bowl set over simmering water. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Preheat the oven to 160C. Prepare a 27cm springform cake tin by greasing the inside, and wrapping the outside in foil to prevent water entering at the join during baking (see below).
Image: Cake by Sjena444, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tortarobertaf.JPG
Beat together the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer for five minutes until quadrupled in volume. Fold the chocolate and butter mixture into the eggs and sugar and stir thoroughly – you need to knock out some of the air or the mixture won’t fit into the tin! Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
Place the tin in a large roasting dish in the oven, then pour enough boiling water into the dish to come at least halfway up the side of the cake tin. Cook in the preheated oven for an hour to an hour and a half, until just set in the middle, then turn the oven off and allow to cool completely before removing.
Coconut and almond cake with mango and orange syrup Cake: 6 eggs, separated 175g caster sugar Grated zest of 2 limes 75g ground almonds 75g desiccated coconut Syrup: 1 large ripe mango 8 passion fruit + 200ml orange juice OR 300ml orange juice + fresh blueberries Juice of 1 lime 75g caster sugar scant 25g butter/marg Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. In a large bowl, mix the egg yolks with the sugar, lime zest, almonds and coconut. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the mixture using a metal spoon, so that they are well incorporated but the mixture remains light and aerated. Pour into a greased 8-inch non-stick cake tin. Bake for 45-50 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool then transfer to a plate large and deep enough to contain copious amounts of syrup. Peel and slice the mango into even slivers. Keep the stone and add to the scooped out juice and seeds from the passion fruit (if using), as well as the sugar, orange and lime juices and butter. Place mixture in a pan and bring slowly to the boil. Add the mango slices and simmer for a good 10 minutes. Remove the mango stone. Make holes all over the cake with a fork. Strain the syrup and catch the mango slices (and passion fruit seeds, if using). Pour the syrup over the cake and allow to soak in. Arrange the mango slices on top of the cake like the petals of a sunflower with the passion fruit seeds or fresh blueberries in the centre to complete the illusion. Serve slightly warm with some of the extra syrup.
Trinity Burnt Cream 600ml double cream 4 egg yolks 55g caster sugar Strip of lemon/orange rind OR cinnamon stick OR few drops vanilla essence 150-200g caster sugar for the caramel topping Place cream in a heavy pan with rind/cinnamon/vanilla and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Beat the egg yolks and sugar and then pour in the warm cream, stirring well to mix. Place this mixture in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and stir for around 30 minutes until thickened. Remove the rind or cinnamon, if using, and pour the custard into a shallow ovenproof dish or individual ramekins. Leave to cool and chill overnight. The topping can be made in several ways: 1. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the custard to a depth of around 2mm. Gently heat using a kitchen blowtorch to achieve an even caramel. (Timâ€™s preferred method!) 2. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the custard to a depth of around 2mm. Place under a VERY hot grill and watch like a hawk. Remove as soon as the sugar is caramelised. 3. Place the sugar in a pan with 3 tablespoons of water and heat without stirring until the sugar melts and forms a golden caramel. Dip the pan base briefly into cold water then quickly pour the liquid caramel over the chilled custard. Allow caramel to cool and harden before serving.
A shield, a star, a hexagram… a Seder plate Mark Harris explores the origins of the Magen David and discovers a connection with Pesach ST MARY’S, in the congenial Suffolk market town of Bury St Edmund’s and a relatively short drive from Cambridge, is said to be the third largest parish church in England. This imposing place of worship (which stands on part of the Benedictine Priory site, with its splendid abbey, gardens, ancient ruins and aviary) dates from the late 13th century. The church is famed for its attractive hammer-beam “Angel” roof; and notably it is the final resting place of Mary Tudor, Henry VIII’s favourite sister. During a transient visit a short while ago, two features caught my attention; one of these intrigued me especially. Gracing the interior, several huge stained-glass windows depict scenes and characters from the Old Testament. They are beautiful, though not necessarily unusual contextually. The item that particularly fascinated me was what appeared to be a prominent “decoration” high up in the superbly vaulted nave. The adornment comprises a circle within which is a single large hexagram, a six-pointed star formed by two intersecting equilateral triangles. But, naturally, it was immediately recognisable to me as the form of a Magen David, a “Shield of David” so called, sometimes known as a “Star of David”; alongside the iconic menorah, it is a principal emblem of Judaism today. Without disclosing my faith adherence, I asked one of the parish volunteers whether the “star” possessed any representative connotation for the church. The response suggested that the image was just a talismanic symbol of a kind carried by Christian pilgrims in the early Middle Ages. In consequence, and having neglected Above: Stained glass window of Cathédrale Saint-Étienne in Metz, France. to consider the matter to any The windows were made in the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. substantive extent previously, my curiosity was aroused to explore the genesis of this symbol, now so powerfully significant to the Jewish people that it is emblazoned on the national flag of their homeland. The specific origins of the emblem are unknown or, at least, obscured by the mists of antiquity, though theories and suggestions abound, propagated not only by scholars of theology but also of anthropology, alchemy, cosmology, mathematics and geometry, heraldry and the occult. The traditional association of the “Shield of David” with King David is thematic for many researchers, as is the link that has been forged with his son’s ring, known as “King Solomon’s Seal”. This is reputed to have displayed a hexagon and an inscription of the Tetragrammaton (the sacred four-letter name of the Almighty) that was said to have possessed supernatural attributes, especially powerful in overcoming evil spirits. In the early Middle Ages, and between the 13th and 15th centuries, the two regal names became virtually interchangeable.
Perhaps more than as a decorative motif, the symbol appeared in many Christian churches, particularly in the Balkans, both on the structure itself and in stained-glass windows. But it was adopted also as an architectural embellishment in Central Europe, for example in Brandenberg and Stendal cathedrals and in the Marktkirche in Hanover. In earlier times, the hexagon had not been related exclusively to the Jewish religion; some evidence points to its evolution from a Roman cosmological symbol. At various periods it was embraced by many cultures and faiths, including in the art of Hinduism and Islam, and even by adherents to paganism and the occult. As Professor Gershon Scholem, the noted scholar of Kabbalah, has commented, it was thus a universal symbol whose Judaic associations evolved gradually, and predominantly in the Ashkenazi communities. It is captivating to note that, because of a particular sign similar in appearance to the hexagon and called the “Encircled Pentagram” (a five-pointed star and an integral aspect of the magical arts), the six-pointed star was not used in Christian places of worship until the early Middle Ages. From that era, ecclesiastical builders began to believe, arguably not so paradoxically, in a notion of the hexagon’s ancient Jewish origins. So it should probably not be so surprising that St Mary’s Parish Church (the oldest part of which dates from the late 13th century) would display the “Shield of David”/“King Solomon’s Seal” symbol. And it would follow that it is equally not so amazing that medieval pilgrims might have favoured a scaled-down version to safeguard them against miscreants, brigands and demons on the roads they travelled between holy shrines. Sometimes the amulet would be in the form of a ring (known as a “Star of Solomon”) with the Tetragrammaton substituted by rampant lions. In Christianity, the hexagon itself is frequently alluded to as the “Star of Creation”. Although it is said that the symbol (ironically) rarely appeared in synagogues built in the Middle Ages or was inscribed on Judaica and ritual artefacts, it was commonly found as Jewish protective devices or talismans, known as segulot, from the medieval epoch. It is from this period that the “star” may first have come to be acknowledged as representing Jewish identity. It often appeared on Jewish flags, especially in Eastern Europe, with a red background. Save that, it was the Menorah which served as the principally recognised Jewish symbol from ancient times until the post-Renaissance epoch. The possession of amulets stemmed from the desire for good fortune and habitual superstitions concerning the ayin hora or evil eye. And their customary use (maybe as secularised emblems of Jewish identity) paralleled the continual threat of anti-Semitic outrages up to, particularly during, and even beyond the reign of 19th century Tsars. From the earliest times, the “Shield of David” design was used, at least for decoration, in synagogues such as the one at Taranto in southern Italy, though it was never considered to possess religious significance as such. There is a famous old synagogue at Capernaum (now Kfar Nahum) in the Galilee, which is said to have been constructed on the site of an earlier prayer house where Jesus is said to have conveyed his teachings. The 3rd/4th century CE synagogue displays a hexagram on a frieze of various emblems. This feature is noted by some researchers as the oldest known usage of the symbol in a Jewish house of worship. Incongruously (with hindsight) the “Shield of David” was fashioned alongside a swastika, the Indo-Aryan sign later adopted and twisted by the Nazis, who forced the Jews humiliatingly to wear a yellow (or blue) star for identification purposes. The shield’s association with King David (which was believed at times to give it a Messianic significance) is sourced from Jewish historic tradition and legend. A midrash informs us that, when he was a teenager, David fought King Nimrod and his army. The young man’s shield, we are told, was supported on the reverse side by two attached and interlocking triangles, presumably of a robust material. The conflict became so intense and heated that the triangles are said to have fused together. David was victorious and, from then on, the conjoined and contrarily overlapping triangles became known as the “Shield of David”. There are other, sometimes quite imaginative, explanatory stories. But a more prosaic explanation of the name’s origins relates to the Bar Kochba rebellion in the 2nd century CE. Apparently, at that time, a new technology was developed for the manufacture of shields that made use of the inherent stability of the triangle. At the back of the shield were affixed two
interlaced triangles of a firm substance that formed a hexagonal design of sturdy support points. Conflicting views on origins and interpretation are many and frequently fanciful. Some see the inter-twining as representative of the bond between, or the unity of, the Jewish people. Whilst others (cynically maybe) suggest that the two triangles, pointing as they do in different directions, suitably reflect the internal strife that can afflict the Jewish nation! Sources inform us that the Kabbalists suggested various ideas for the symbol, to which (from the late Middle Ages) they accorded spiritual implications. Without however identifying them as Shields of David, medieval Kabbalistic grimoires display hexagrams among their table of segulot. This grouping of Jewish mystics endowed aspects of the “star” with various meanings. The six points were said to represent the Almighty’s rule over the universe in all its six directions: north, south, east and west, and up and down. The two triangles were claimed to reflect Man’s dual nature, his capacity for good and evil, though the symbol was considered a protection against the latter. It was contended that the overlapping nature of the triangles represented the relationship between G-d and His people, with the topmost point being associated with the Almighty and Heaven and the lowest point indicative of Man and Earth. The 12 sides formed by the intersection of the triangles were believed to signify the 12 Tribes of Israel. Of course, the word “hexagram” is Greek in origin. And it is interesting to note that, in ancient times, the Hebrew letter ד (D or Dalet) was written in a format that appeared to look very much like a Δ, similar to the Greek letter “Delta” (with which the Hebrew letter shares a sound and a fourth position in the alphabet). Two of the three letter’s in the name of David ( )דודare דs, which would have been written in the shape of (two) triangles! Professor Scholem considers that the hexagram may have served as a symbol of the Temple in Jerusalem at an early point in its evolution. A number of “Shield of David” designs, in various locations, were etched close to inscribed verses which refer to the yearning to return to Zion.
Above: Carpet page of the ‘Leningrad Codex’.
When it comes to evidentiary texts, it seems that the earliest known work to actually mention a symbol called the “Shield of David” is the mid-12th century CE (non-Rabbinic) manuscript “Eshkolha-Kofer” by Judah Hadassi of the Karaite sect. He wrote: “Seven names of angels precede the mezuzah – Michael, Gabriel … Tetragrammaton protect you. And likewise the sign called the ‘Shield of David’ [its shape is not described] is placed beside the name of each angel.” There are even earlier renowned sources in which the “Shield of David” is used meaningfully but only in illustrative form. The symbol appears in the carpet-page decoration of the famous Masoretic text “The Leningrad Codex”, which is dated 1008CE. It also illustrates a Tanakh manuscript of 1307CE that belonged to Rabbi Yosef bar Yehuda ben Marvas of Toledo in Spain. And on the cover of the “Prague Siddur” of 1512CE is a large hexagram, accompanied by the
following sentence: “He will merit to bestow a bountiful gift on anyone who grasps the Shield of David.” In the siddur, the name “Shield of David” occurs as a Divine title (indeed, by at least the 12th century, that name was adopted as the title of the G-d of Israel, independently of any symbolic usage). The prayer book reference is said to relate “to the Divine protection of King David and the anticipated restoration of his dynastic house.” It is thought this allusion may rest on Psalm 18 (which is attributed to King David) and in which the Almighty is compared to a shield (vv. 31 and 36): “He is a shield to all those who trust Him …”; “And Thou gavest me the shield of Thy salvation”. (Refer also to II Samuel.) The name is also to be found at the end of the “Samchaynu” (Gladden us) blessing after a Haftorah reading: “Blessed are You, Hashem, Shield of David” (David had praised the Almighty for allowing him to be victorious in battle). It was in the 17th century that the Shield of David”, as a hexagram, took on the part of representing Jewish communities and Judaism in Europe. After the so-called “Enlightenment” and Jewish civil emancipation following the French Revolution, such kehillahs aspired to possess an identifying and unifying, even heraldic symbol that would be comparable to the Christian cross. Perhaps one of the first examples of this ambition’s implementation occurred in Vienna. A boundary stone, situated between Christian and Jewish districts in the Austrian city, was engraved respectively on one side with a cross and on the other with a “Shield of David”. In the 19th century, after the Zionist movement adopted the “Shield of David” emblem, it soon began to be acknowledged internationally as a representative symbol of the Jewish people, and more parochial Jewish communal organisations started to take it on board as a badge, too. Theodor Herzl was particularly content with the choice for two reasons: (1) the sign was wellknown and immediately recognisable, and (2) it did not possess any religious associations. From the design idea for a flag discussed at the First Zionist Conference in 1897, it was almost inevitable that the “Shield of David” would finally feature prominently on the national flag (sometimes referred to as the “Flag of Zion”) of the state of Israel when it was established in 1948. Franz Rosenzweig, in his seminal “Star of Redemption” (published 1912), constructed his own concept of Judaism around (what he referred to as) the “Jewish star”. He observed that the two conceptual “triads” comprising the “star”, when taken together, set the foundation of Jewish belief: Creation, Revelation and Redemption – the Almighty, Israel and the World. Today the “Shield of David”, the international and ubiquitously communal symbol of Jewish identity and Judaism, is to be found engraved, embroidered, inscribed and woven on all manner of Judaica, including kippahs, tallis bags, menorahs, chanukiahs and challah cloths, and embellishes synagogues, prayer rooms and other Jewish buildings. The Jewish people have given their blood for its preservation and survival, so perhaps it is fitting and appropriate that “Magen David Adom”, the Red Shield of David, is Israel’s official emergency medical, disaster and ambulance service. So, at last, we come to Pesach and the promise implied in the headline to this article. Some commentators and researchers contend that it was Rabbi Isaac Luria, the renowned 16th century Kabbalist from Safed and known inter alia as the “Ari-Hakadosh” or “Arizal”, who was most influential in transforming the “Shield of David” into a national Jewish symbol. He is said to have achieved this by advocating that the six items on the plate used for the Pesach Sedarim have to be placed in the order of a hexagram! Have a happy and kosher Passover.
Mark Harris’ second anthology of his Jewish short stories, “The Chorister and other Jewish stories” (paperback, 286pp, £7.99), is published by Matador, an imprint of Troubador Publishing Ltd. His first anthology, “The Shtetl and other Jewish stories” (paperback, 264pp, £7.99) was published by Matador in 2008.
An interview with Marilyn Fersht: “CJRA, what’s the point?” By Myriam Alexander CJRA, the Cambridge Jewish Residents Association, is one of the main contributors to the upkeep of the Shul. It has also given financial support to the Sunday cheder organized by Rochel Leigh, and I assume most members of CTJC are also members of CJRA. All of this seemed sufficient reason to interview Lady Marilyn Fersht in January 2011, who has been the chairman of the association for not less than 15 years. What is your role within CJRA? I first came on the committee at the AGM in 1992 to be the minutes secretary. I became the chairperson of the Cambridge Jewish Resident Association in 1995, and have been in this role for 15 years! It is very hard to find a successor. When you are in a role that long, no-one wants to take over from you, no-one thinks they are fit enough for the job. I will just have to resign one day and say that’s it. For how long have you been living in Cambridge? I arrived in Cambridge in 1966 when I got married because my husband Alan Fersht was a research student at the Chemistry department. I did a postgraduate teaching diploma at Homerton College for one year, and then I taught for a year in Cambridge at Young Street Further Education Centre (a precursor of the Regional College). We were away for a year at Brandeis University in Boston, USA, where I worked in the University Library. My husband got a job at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in 1969, while I taught part time, because I had my first child in 1970, Naomi, then my second child, Philip, in 1972. In 1978 we went to live in London, when my husband became a Royal Society Research Professor at Imperial College. We came back in 1988 because Alan was offered a Professorship in the Chemistry Department and we have been back ever since. Have you seen the Jewish Community evolving over the years? CJRA was created as a cross-communal organization in 1940-41, following an influx of evacuees from London and refugees from Nazi Europe, mainly to buy a burial ground. Indeed, until the war, the Jewish population was small and people had to travel to London for burial. CJRA bought a plot of land in the Newmarket Road cemetery, which is now full, so a new plot of land was recently acquired in Dry Drayton. In 1980, a split occurred in the community when some Reform members broke away from CJRA following a disagreement with orthodox members of the association, who set up the CTJC. The CJRA tried hard to keep the community together but failed. All this happened while we were living in London.
Above: CJRA committee, with Marilyn 5th from left.
How has the role of CJRA evolved in this context? Since the split, CJRA has been looking for its “raison d’être”, as religious services are, in practice, taken care of by other entities. However, we maintain control of the Chevra Kadisha, which keeps to orthodox practice, and is in the capable hands of Trevor Marcuson, Brendel Lang and for many years, Priscilla Goldstein. She is still involved in the women’s tahara group. I see the role of CJRA as an umbrella group bringing people of different Jewish affiliations together in social, cultural and educational events. Our Chanukah Party is the social highlight of the year. One of our achievements was the setting up of Cambridge Jewish Community Support, which is a very active group providing welfare and support wherever it is needed to all members of both communities. We started the Cambridge Jewish Toddler Group over 2 years ago. It has flourished in the last year and a half, under the dynamic leadership of Lilach Imray, who provided regular monthly meetings of Jewish interest for young mothers and their pre school children. We also have a very successful and popular group for older members, which we call the Cambridge Jewish Cultural Association, which has been running now for over 15 years and meets once a month on a Monday afternoon. CJRA also supports other Societies financially and promotes their events. For example, the money raised at the CJRA concert organized last year at Queens College was shared between the Cambridge Friends of Magen David Adom and the British Technion Society. We have been organising regular, educational evening talks for over 25 years, roughly three a term on a Wednesday evenings. Valerie Collis has been organizing them for 17 years continuously and Brendel Lang for many years before her. I would love to have you all as members of CJRA as we aim to serve the whole community wherever we can. CJRA has a relationship with the ministry for small communities, the Board of Deputies, the Cambridge Ethnic Forum and various interfaith groups. We helped the Cambridge Hebrew School financially when it started up and we continue to give financial support each year to the students for the maintenance of the synagogue. In return, CJRA members are entitled to attend religious services in Thompson’s Lane. We have about 160 fully paid up members and each extra member is precious to us. Our low subscription of £29 per annum has remained the same for over 10 years. Please, do not hesitate to contact me if you would like more information (firstname.lastname@example.org)! How are newcomers to Cambridge informed about the existence of CJRA? We have a website (http://www.cjra.org.uk/) giving basic information but it could be improved, and we would welcome any suggestions or practical help. We publish three magazines a year, now in the very capable hands of Carole Gold. We leave some copies in Thompson’s Lane. We also send regular emails with all the activities and events of Jewish interest in Cambridge. Anyone, even non-members, can join the mailing list, which contains the names of more than 300 people. Please send me an email (email@example.com). What is the most memorable event you organized with CJRA? It was a two day event called 'Klezmer on the Cam’ held on the August Bank Holiday weekend in 2002. We received a lot of support from the Jewish Music Institute in London. Many excellent Klezmer musicians attended, giving lectures, workshops and performances. We also had a talk from a famous Yiddish actress and from historians. The Burning Bush music band, with Lucie Skeaping, took part. It was a lot of work but a great success and many Jews attended from outside Cambridge, staying overnight at Peterhouse where the event was taking place, as well as many non-Jewish locals. Could you tell us a bit about your youth and how did your commitment into Jewish organizations start? I was born during the war. When I was 8, my parents decided to become members of a synagogue and joined the progressive synagogue in Finchley. We always celebrated Seder night and my mother would light the candles on Shabbat, but we were not religious. I went to Sunday classes but did not learn very much. My school in North Finchley was not Jewish, but a fifth of the students were Jewish and we had a Jewish Assembly, which I attended. This played an important role in giving me a Jewish identity. I joined the Jewish Student Society, when I was a student at Kings College in London and went to Israel in the summer of 1965 on a kibbutz working scheme, organised by Hashomer Hatzair. After I gave up teaching, I became the administrator at Wimbledon Synagogue in London from 1983 to 1988. Dear Lady Marilyn, may I at last ask you the indiscrete question: When will your husband, who was knighted in 2003 for his pioneering work in protein research, get the Nobel Prize? I don’t know, this is a lottery!
The Jewish Association for Business Ethics
And you should ‘tell’ your children on Pesach Years of conditioning have brought us to think of ‘Mah Nishtana’ as a song for little children, but the Talmud actually teaches us otherwise: ‘If the child is able, the child recites Mah Nishtana. If there is no child present, a woman can recite the Mah Nishtana to her husband. A person having Seder alone should recite the Mah Nishtana. If two scholars who are expert in all the laws and practices of Pesach eat their Seder together the one should recite the Mah Nishtana to the other.’ (Talmud, Pesachim 116a) Whilst the message of the Seder is equally relevant for mature adults, the Talmud teaches us here that the ideal expression of Mah Nishtana is when it is recited by children. More than just a ‘nachas fest’, reciting these Four Questions helps the young to internalise the messages of Pesach. Without looking further into the deeper meaning of the actual words, we can already see a message here that can be incorporated into our everyday lives. There is a profound rationale behind the hands-on, interactive learning style of the Haggadah, which takes nothing for granted. It assumes that there is no one at the table who cannot benefit from discussing, visualising and reenacting the Exodus. It is not enough for children to learn about Pesach in school, nor is it enough for intelligent adults to have plumbed the depths of the narrative in lectures or study sessions. The Haggadah makes an abstract story about an ancient people into the heartbeat of our modern Jewish lives. You are never too old to live the Exodus; never too wise to learn more; never too grown up for interactive Jewish learning. Moreover, we are expressly commanded to remember the Exodus daily in the recitation of the Shema. The idea here is that if the messages of miracles and liberation penetrate the consciousness of our children, they will also shape the way they view the world and live their lives as they mature into adulthood. The same principle holds true with regard to ethical behaviour, where the assumption is often made that morals are innate. Doesn’t everybody know right from wrong? Isn’t it patently obvious what the moral course of action should be? Here we can take our lead from the Hagaddah, and remember that without ongoing positive reinforcement, even on a daily basis, the things that are most obvious are the ones that are most easily forgotten. If we consider the issue of money and morals too obvious or too simple to debate and discuss, we risk it slipping away into oblivion. Talking about honesty and integrity, and contemplating real life dilemmas, though, will bring moral issues firmly back on the agenda. We are commanded to tell our children because it is our duty to educate them in the right way and constantly review the messages. The business stories of the last year certainly reinforce the need for ethical thinking to be front and centre of our daily lives in every stratum of the business world and the workplace. No one is too senior to up their game or too experienced to be reflective. It also hammers home the need for money and morals to be transmitted to the next generation. The Jewish Association for Business Ethics (JABE) has taught money and morals in almost 700 schools nationwide, and 2011 sees the development and launch of our new Money & Morals website. With over 100 practical case studies, full lessons for teachers and individual logins for students, the Money & Morals website is an opportunity to take ethical thinking to a new generation of students. Just like the themes of the Seder night, the concept of money and morals is for people of every age and stage. But as with Mah Nishtana, we should give priority to the young and help them form a world view built on ethical thinking and moral practice. The Jewish Association for Business Ethics (JABE) is a registered educational charity that aims to raise standards of honesty, integrity and social responsibility by teaching the Jewish approach to business ethics through: - Educational programmes for schools - Seminars and events for business people and professionals - Publications and materials on key moral issues For more information about JABE, please contact Daniel on 020 8905 4048. www.jabe.org www.moneyandmorals.org
A Pesach message from the CST Above all, the purpose of CST, the Community Security Trust, is to ensure that any member of our community is able to lead the Jewish life that they choose. CST is part of our community, so it can only succeed if our community takes its share of responsibility. Sharing responsibility means a whole range of things. It means contacting your local CST and asking what role you can play with our local security teams. It means understanding why we do security and cooperating with our local teams.
It is not CST’s wish to tell individuals how they should feel about the situation. How you react to all of this is up to you. Some people regard it as unimportant, but others feel real fear and are deeply concerned for their own, or for their children’s, wellbeing. Because of our work with the victims of antisemitic crime, CST regards its work as being about people’s physical and emotional well-being, not about statistics. It is the human aspect that makes us all the more determined to work against antisemitism; and against the fear that antisemitism causes.
Sharing responsibility also means keeping a sense of perspective about where things stand. Antisemitism should not define our lives as British Jews, not now and not ever.
We want to deter those who wish to harm our community, and we work with politicians, police and others in ensuring that our community’s concerns are understood, heard and acted upon.
Today, our community is largely able to express its Jewishness in whatever way it wishes. That can be religious, cultural, political, charitable, sporting or whatever sort of Jewish life you do, or do not, wish to have. Our community is, on the whole, successful and well integrated into the rest of society. We have come a very long way indeed since the newly arrived immigrant generations of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Each year, CST secures over 1,000 events across the whole community. We have recently installed security upgrades and shatter-proofing for windows at hundreds of communal buildings. CST does not charge the community for our services and relies upon charitable donations for our running costs. CST, however, can only be as strong as the community that we serve. We rely upon the community for our volunteer personnel and for co-operation with our work: whether that is at schools, synagogues, community events or wherever.
However, we often see rises in antisemitic incident levels when Jews or Israel are in the news. These are mainly directed against the most vulnerable and visible parts of our community, whether it is people, property or community groups.
All of this relies upon partnership between CST and our Jewish community. We really do need your support and for you to take your share of the responsibility.
In recent years, the threat of terrorism is something that all of our society has come to understand and find a way of living with. The fact that these terrorists have also targeted Jews is what underpins all of CST’s work. We sincerely hope that CST’s efforts help our community to feel confident that someone is standing up in defence of its rights. We take responsibility for the physical security of the community; and provide a professional and confidential reporting service for the minority of people who are unfortunate to suffer antisemitic hatred.
IN AN EMERGENCY ALWAYS DIAL 999 Then call CST London 020 8457 9999 Emergency 24h. 07659 101 668 Manchester 0161 792 6666 Emergency 24h. 0800 980 0668
Pesach fun! Colouring Colour in the seder plate opposite. Can you add the Hebrew names of the foods? Anagrams Can you solve these Pesach anagrams? FAMOKINE GLUPASE DRESEL PEAT HADDY CAGA DAGAHAD TAZAM BRITE THRESB FROON SUS CHA MAPS BALL Pesach quiz 1. At the seder we drink four cups of ________? a) wine b) water c) apple juice d) milk 2. The ‘bread of affliction’ is also called ________? a) baguette b) ciabatta c) matzah d) pretzels 3. The search for chametz should be done by the light of ________? a) the moon b) a candle c) a torch d) the sun 4. The ‘bad guy’ in the Pesach story was ________? a) Haman b) Amalek c) Davos d) Pharoah 5. In the song ‘who knows one’ the answer is ________? a) one little candle b) one G-d, who is in the heavens and the Earth c) one matza d) one little kid that my father bought for two zuzim Answers on page 3.
Next year in Jerusalem!
Wishing you a happy and kosher Pesach from everyone at the CTJC Bulletin. â€Š
CTJC Bulletin Pesach 2011