The Scribbler

All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Friday, 5 May 2017

Heavenly Fires - Dvar Torah for Parshat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim

She was the largest of her type and class.

It is said that passengers on the LZ 129 Hindenburg Zeppelin Airship couldn’t tell when she had disembarked as her launches were so smooth.

80 years ago, on 6th May 1937, she caught fire over Lakehurst, New Jersey and crashed into the ground in a coruscating ball of fire. 36 people, including 13 passengers, 22 crew and 1 member of the ground unit died. Among the dead was Captain Ernest Lehmann, highly respected and experienced in piloting German airships, but who was later criticized for often making reckless manoeuvres that compromised the airship’s safety.

The explosion’s cause is still unknown, despite numerous theories propagated since.

On the eighth day, dressed in his magnificent Priestly robes, he faced the throngs of people, staring in disbelief at the sight. The Mishkan (Tabernacle), gleamed in the hazy midday sun, a structure whose presence owed its being to their material and financial contributions.

This was the pinnacle of his life. Yet, the tears rolling down his cheeks weren’t joyful. At his feet, lay the exquisitely clothed bodies of his two eldest sons, Nadav and Avihu. The young priests were devoured by a Heavenly fire, leaving Aaron speechless.

Our Sages are divided about why they brought a "strange fire inside the Holy of Holies. Were they drunk or did they trivialise the location’s sanctity?

In "Acharei Mot" ("after the death"), G-d tells Moses to warn his brother not to enter the Holy of Holies without following the prescribed method of worship. Rashi (d. 11.05) explains that this was to ensure that Aaron didn’t meet the same fate as his sons.

What links the Airship and the Priests?

In both, the protagonists had reached the peak of their careers. Yet, at the very moment when they should be celebrating their achievements, it is dashed away for reasons that aren’t understood.

Perhaps, it was hubris that led to a conflagration of man and machine.

It is precisely at the moment when we believe we’re untouchable that we’re reminded of how we must never abrogate our responsibilities.

Shabbat Shalom.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Scribbler goes all #

Well, to be more specific, I am presenting a virtual multimedia tour around Herod's Temple at this year's Limmud conference. If you are on site on 29 November, come and look me up (my session starts at 10.40) and you can even tweet your comments before, during or after the event

See you there!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Scribbler Returns

Gosh, it's been a long time and I'd almost forgotten that this blog existed. It has been three years since I last blogged and so much has happened that I really don't know where to begin, so I'll give you an update in bullet points:

Here goes:

  • In December 2009, My wife started divorce proceedings against me. We were eventually divorced in June 2011.
  • After many very difficult months alone, I met a very special lady, we fell in love and on December 26th 2011 we were married
  • I am now father to my four girls and four step-children - two boys and two girls.
  • My ex-wife is due to get married at the end of next month
It's been a roller-coaster ride but I feel that finally (I hope), things are on the up and the sun is shining brightly in all our lives. There will always be clouds on the horizon, but they feel further away than a short while ago.

At one point, a while back, my left developed a soap-opera quality. I hope that now, it will be return to the kind of  existence I dreamed about as a kid.

If you're new to this blog. Welcome. Have a read and hopefully a smile. If you're an old friend of this site, welcome back and sorry to keep you waiting for so long.

Remember, love is all you need xxx

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Friday, 11 June 2010

Masai Giraffe is Born

Thursday, 10 June 2010

The One About Hamas