Sunday, May 31

AK Souffle: My missing links

- January 22, 2018


At 61 I am repeatedly alarmed by the huge holes that there are in my knowledge of the world. I’m a fairly well rounded character in many ways, one of which I know is my size, but my word there are gaps.

It was a week ago that I had an email from a person that I hoped might come in to the studio and be my guest on AK Soufflé. And when she agreed I was thrilled, I have been hoping to have her in for some time and quickly agreed a date for her to come in and record. About a half hour later I was suddenly hit by the fact that I needed to do some research.

I of course research all of my guests as much as I possibly can, looking at their work and their personal history so that on screen I at least do not look the complete fool. It was only then that I realised that in this case I had little or no idea about my guest’s work and background. She is Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah from Brighton & Hove Progressive Synagogue.

Now I am to some extent aware of a little bit of what Judaism is. Or at least I thought was, but I was wrong. I have a bit of received knowledge, nothing more than hearsay and dare I say it ‘gossip’, a smattering of words and an embarrassing few incidents from my past. I had a girlfriend once, yes a long time ago, called Sharon and she was Jewish.

I’m a fairly well rounded character in many ways, one of which is my size, but my word there are gaps

I had to pretend to be Jewish when I met her family, not easy although my dark curls and less then dainty nose stood me in good stead if you will forgive the racial stereotyping. Her parents were very smart and very nice but grandmother was no fool and saw right through me. A few years later I was at dinner with a good friend and her family were also Jewish but lapsed. But a devout uncle was there and it was Friday so I was asked to dine with a tea towel on my head. Hilariously the mother had roasted a chicken but felt we needed chipolatas, which were passed around under the table so he was not offended.

I digress. My schooling, Church of England, failed to fill in the real details of any other faith, a disgrace I think and I am now having to discover what it means for my self. I know that schools are far better now at embracing faiths but some of us oldies need to get with it if we are to better understand what is happening in the world.

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