Managed to read yesterday's Times today. Brilliant article on Catholic-Jewish relations by Oliver Kamm, with a most apposite quote from the Jewish philosopher, Emil Fackenheim. You can access Ruth's article on the Pope at Auschwitz here and see the link to Kamm's article as well.
Then prepared challah for Shavuot. I love making challah: it combines everything: gathering the ingredients; weighing them out; combining them and then pounding away. This takes 15 minutes and is most fulfilling. Wonderful exercise and during this time you feel that you are exorcising any demons that might have entered your environment. After last night at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, it was certainly a job worth doing, and it also feels so lovely when the dough is just right and you know it is.
I spent 10 minutes searching for the cookery book, however, as it already been put away ready for shipping with everything else on June 12th. Finally found it and leafing through its pages found a recipe for Carpe a la juive. That's us to a tee: we certainly like carping, bickering, whatever you call it, and in a particularly Jewish way. And especially among ourselves, more's the pity. Oh well!
Then had to go to buy fruit, veg and eggs, especially for Shavuot, which is just coming up. On the way back met someone who informed me that his mother had died just two weeks before. He wasn't that old and she had all sorts of things wrong with her. And I tried to make him feel better, but he was agitated and needed to talk, so I let him.
Walked home slowly and arrived to the sound of the phone and the person at Robinsons in charge of our shipment told me that the faxed photo of my passport they had received from the aliyah office yesterday wasn't good enough. So I had to contact them and they said a proper one had also been sent by post, and then Robinsons verified that that was the case.
Spent the afternoon tidying up my room and putting more stationery items together for the shipment. Then went out and combined shopping for Shavuot with my weekly Hebrew class at St. Gabriel's community room in Prestwich, organised by local clergy. So bought chicken and smoked salmon and ordered a brisket, all at different shops.
Then, during the Hebrew, discussed next Monday's dialogue on the future of education from an interfaith perspective with Revd Steve Williams, who has done a great deal of research on this subject. This will be the last of the trilogy on Interfaith Dialogue in the 21st Century and Steve will discuss his research with me tomorrow, whilst driving me into town to hear the Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, because I don't have a car any more. He will be speaking on the Conservatives' views on economic matters, apparently.
And how did I get invited to this, you might ask? Purely by accident: they pressed the wrong e-mail address and then apologized profusely. But I said, not to worry: I am not in the least offended. But then they invited me anyhow, which was extremely gracious of them.
And it will certainly be a change after last night's lecture in Liverpool, that is for sure.
And finally, so far, a lovely lady and exquisite cook, Ruth, who looked after us when we arrived in Manchester 10 years ago, rang up and invited us to the third meal of the festival, at 8.00 pm Shabbat. I shall go after the shiur with Rabbi Chazan, which last week was about the Talmud and dreaming, and I have no idea what it is this week.
Back to the cooking and ironing now. And then more packing. Must finish the files in the dining room and get them all together.