I am so looking forward to the AJEX Parade in Whitehall. It is as much an annual event for me, as are the High Holy Days. In my recent article in Kehila about Neilah and the ark closure, I highlighted how powerful the honour of doing this was for me and how I thought about the moment and what it stood for.
The same feeling comes to me, as I wear my father’s war service medals on the opposite side to where he wore them. I remember my father regularly, be it with mannerisms or customs, from yesteryear. Our congregant Simon Rutstein, saw me recently at a non-shul event and was wondering if I always wore a tie, as he could not remember seeing me ever, in the UK, without one. I laughed, as my father always wore a tie, and in those days it was fashionable, as opposed to today. Old habits die hard or should I say live hard and coming to the Cenotaph is a live hard moment. I value the attendance of many offsprings of those who served and survived, in addition to those who served and perished. It is all their efforts which made it possible for me and my family to be brought up in a European free land of milk and honey.
My parents and parents in law came to the UK as refugees in Holocaust times. Their lives started again. My mother at 102 and my father-in-law at 99 are still going strong, healthily. Whilst marching on Sunday, I will be thinking of all those people who made today possible. I will wear my tie with a smile and the medals with pride, knowing that I have shown off my father’s UK war effort on 44 occasions.
Edwin Lucas, Chairman Mosaic Masorti