Thoughts for the Week

Thursday, November 10


I knew very little of my great grandfather because my mother never met him. I was always told that it was the first world war that killed him but not until 20 years after the war itself, of course this was confusing, but it turned out that he died from the delayed results of being gassed when he was a soldier. With two world wars necessitating conscription and the physical and mental effects of those wars as well as the effects lasting for years beyond the fighting, millions of families are affected by the losses and the impact of the violence and destruction even to this day. After my grandmother died, I was handed her father’s war siddur, a pocket sized singer siddur with the prayers we are so familiar with and in prime position, the prayer for entering battle. Its pristine condition probably reflective of my great grandfather’s secular beliefs but regardless of his denomination or practice, as a Jewish soldier, he was gifted this book lest he need comfort in the liturgy in that unthinkable time. 

This coming Sunday is Remembrance Sunday, an opportunity to remember all those who sacrificed their lives in war defending our freedoms in the first two World Wars and those British Soldiers who have lost their lives in the wars that have waged around the world since. The red poppies represent the poppies that flowered in Flanders Fields during the battles of the First World War. Some wear white poppies, a symbol of hope for peace and that no soldiers will have to enter battle again. We pray for peace around the world, lo yisa goy el goy cherev, lo yil m’duod milchama – nation shall not lift up sword against nation and never again shall we know war. We remember those who lost their lives in battle and through the effects of war that lasted years after. 

Mosaic will be represented at the multi faith Remembrance Sunday ceremony, 11.00 am at Harrow Civic Centre.

Rabbi Anna

November 10, 2022