It's a month since our daughter, Kalela's, wedding in Israel. Here are some photos (the password is 'Israel'):
Whilst she was in India recently, our other daughter, Esther, designed the chuppah (the white and gold material covering over the posts), as well as my dress (green) and hers (turquoise). My hat, known as a fascinator, was made by Esther's friend, Anna, via e-mail correspondence. Here is Anna's website:
Ironically, our fortnightly theological dialogue group will be discussing Jewish marriages this weekend.
In the meantime, here is the latest edition of Common Ground, the journal of the Council of Christians and Jews. This Spring the entire edition was devoted to the Book of Psalms. There were contributions from leaders of all the major Christian and Jewish denominations, as well as four articles by people living in Manchester: the Bishop of Manchester (the national President of CCJ), Revd Lisa Battye (currently participating in a CCJ-sponsored educational course at Yad Vashem), Revd Steve Williams (interfaith advisor for the diocese) and myself:
Religion was the topic of conversation again when The Science and Medical Network invited me to address their Manchester branch on the subject of:
Why Dawkins is Wrong: Science and Religion in the Middle Ages.
The audience consisted mainly of doctors and scientists who appreciated the close links between science and religion in the work of many Spanish and Persian mediaeval Muslims and Jews.
And last Thursday I held a Day School on Interfaith Dialogue, at Manchester University
It was interesting to learn that one of the co-Directors of the Department had been born in Haifa. What is more, one of the course participants was a member of the Bahai Faith, who had recently been on pilgrimage to the Bahai Centre in Haifa. He described Haifa as 'paradise'. He also added that it is just as well that the Bahai's two main centres are in Israel, because only the Jewish community could really understand what the Bahais had gone through:
I am delighted to report that one of the participants in this Day School was so keen that she has asked to join our theological dialogue group.
Then, this weekend, close friends are celebrating the bar mitzvah of their son at our synagogue. I've just received a magnificent fruit basket as a gift from their aunt, who I'm hosting for the occasion.
Funnily enough, exactly two years ago in Jerusalem, I gave a sermon on this very sedra, Shelach Lecha, which is all about the spies who go out to spy the land of Canaan and bring back unfavourable reports.
Here's the English version of the sermon:
All I can say is that judging from the photos of our daughter and her new husband on an Israeli beach, the spies got it wrong and Israel really does fulfill the dreams of many.