Sunday, March 11, 2012

Very busy Thursday included a televised interview with the Xinhua news agency about China and the global financial system. It will be interesting to see when/if they use it.

On Friday my wonderful piano teacher came round for a lesson on the Schubert F Minor Fantaise for piano 4 hands. It's such a great piece and she is such a great player it is a delight and joy to learn from her and to play it with her. So much work to do!

On Saturday we went to the Bar Mitzvah of the younger son of one of my oldest friends (we've known each other for over 40 years) at the Finchley Reform Synagogue. This was a delightful event, a charming community led by a very engaging Rabbi who is I believe the daughter of one of the pioneers of Reform judaism. The service books have the text in Hebrew, English and transliterated Hebrew so that we could sing along (most of the service is sung) and it was very striking how much of the Christian liturgy is rooted in Jewish traditions. After lunch at our friends' we went to Cambridge to see our Son and his family and our Younger Daughter.

Interesting to reflect on the parallels between Jewish and Chinese culture. Both of course are very old and have strange scripts to Western eyes. There are perhaps 2bn ethnic Chinese in the world and there are about 15M Jews. Nevertheless Jewish thinkers and writers have had an impact on history that is utterly disproportionate to their numbers: not only through the Abrahamic faiths but for example in the fact that about 22% of Nobel Laureates are of Jewish ancestry (rising to 27% if you exclude Peace and Literature).

1 comment:

Beaglelady said...

Very interesting post! Speaking of Judaism, I'm wondering what you think of the new book "Kosher Jesus" by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. It sounds really interesting.