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Why Queen Elizabeth mattered

For a patriarchal faith, you need to admit — Judaism doesn’t lack for female pictures, typologies, and position fashions.

Even once they appear to be redundant and/or contradictory.

This occurred to me a number of weeks in the past, throughout Friday night providers. As we had been coming into Shabbat, we sang two conventional hymns. Each of them featured imaginary girls in starring roles.

First, we sang the basic Shabbat night hymn, Lecha Dodi.” “Beloved, come, and allow us to greet the Shabbat bride.” These had been the phrases, penned by the Safed mystic, Shlomo Alkabetz, who truly imbedded his personal identify as an acrostic into the verses of the music.

Right here, Shabbat is a bride. On the finish of the music, simply as you’d do at a conventional wedding ceremony, the congregation rises, turns in the direction of the sanctuary entrance, and, with a bow, welcomes the invisible bride.

However, wait. Proper after that, we sang an virtually equally well-known hymn, “Ha-chamah mei-rosh.” Within the phrases of the Hebrew literary large, Bialik: “The sun on the tree tops no longer is seen. Come let us welcome the Sabbath, our Queen.”

Shabbat is a queen since you should present deference to her, and obey her.

First, it was Shabbat as Bride. Now, it’s Shabbat as Queen. Which is it?

The reply: each. Each Bride and Queen, manifestations of the Divine Presence. Each of them, elements of God. Each of them, legendary recollections of historical goddesses.

Shabbat is each a bride and a queen, as a result of the way in which that you simply relate to a bride could be very totally different from the way in which that you simply relate to a queen.

You go to a marriage, and you’ll be able to speak to the bride. You would possibly even hug her, kiss her, and dance together with her.

That’s the bride. However, the Queen is totally different.

Attempt as I’d, I can not hand over my factor in regards to the royals. I watched the Netflix sequence, “The Crown” — twice. Throughout.

However, one in all my favourite cinematic excursions into royalty is “The Queen.” It’s in regards to the annus horribillus, the horrible 12 months during which Princess Diana died in that notorious car accident in Paris.

The English persons are grieving terribly. Of their grief, they now not need the normal stiff higher lip of the monarchy. There are various who should not even so certain that they need the monarchy. They need the Queen to be with them of their grief – which accurately signifies that they need the Queen to grieve with them over this horrible loss. They need her to specific bizarre human emotions – even when these emotions are laced with applicable ambivalence in regards to the damaged relationship that preceded Diana’s sad and premature demise.

They not solely need the Queen. They need their Mom.

My favourite scene is the one during which Prime Minister Tony Blair should put together himself for his first assembly with Queen Elizabeth. He should evaluate all the protocol — the place to face, how you can stand, how you can bow, what to name her (at first assembly), what to name her subsequently.

In “The King’s Speech,” speech therapist Lionel Logue takes private liberties with the soon-to-be King George VI, whom he calls by his nickname “Bertie” — a reputation reserved just for Bertie’s relations. Logue tells Bertie that he may very nicely be a superb king — to which the royal responds: “That’s very near treason!” Mrs. Logue will get a fast tutorial by Queen Mary on how you can deal with a queen: You begin with “your majesty,” and them it’s ma’am, which actually is meant to return out as “mum.”

The Bride? No guidelines. The Queen? Guidelines.

So, that’s Judaism. Bride and Queen.

The Bride nature of Shabbat is about delight. “I take pleasure in Shabbat.”

The Queen nature of Shabbat is about guidelines. “I obey the legal guidelines of Shabbat.” 

It seems that you simply want each — in no matter combination you select.

So, let’s discuss monarchy.

America rejected a king in 1776. We discover the concept of kings and queens to be quaint however irrelevant, and maybe even harmful. Most kings and queens on the planet right now have solely symbolic energy. 

So, why will we love the royals? As a result of symbolic energy is actual energy. As a result of it symbolizes.

As a result of it seems that we have now not completely forged off our want for a Queen. Maybe the roots are historical and legendary, however they’re there.

There’s something inside us that also needs, and wishes, a Queen. (Much more, I daresay, than we wish and want a King).

Because the world says farewell to Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British historical past, we bear in mind a lady who served, in some ways, as a maternal and grandmotherly presence to her topics, and to the world itself. Not all the time completely, in fact — as any human mom or grandmother may also, invariably, fail.

We bear in mind a life nicely lived, an important and beneficiant coronary heart — and a lady who had the identical type of household chaos and points as all of us have.

Furthermore, we bear in mind a lady who, for all the normal guidelines and protocols, broke these guidelines and protocols — in a single memorable second.

On January 27, 2005 — the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz — the Queen welcomed a big group of Holocaust survivors to St. James Palace.

The late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks would recall that when the time got here for her to go away, she didn’t. Somewhat, she stayed far past the time that he schedule had allotted. She gave every survivor her full, undivided consideration. She listened to every one, till that particular person had completed telling his or her personal story.

Maybe at that second, she was remembering the legacy of her mother-in-law, Princess Alice of Battenberg.

Princess Alice had a life that was each tragic and transcendent. Congenitally deaf. she was later recognized with schizophrenia. She grew to become a nun, lived in Athens, and sheltered Jewish refugees through the Holocaust. Yad Va Shem named her as among the many righteous among the many nations, and he or she is buried in Jerusalem.

Inside a number of brief weeks, Jews shall as soon as once more encounter the God Who’s concurrently Avinu and Malcheinu, Father and King, a loving mother or father and distant sovereign.

No — not so distant. For in Jewish lore, that “king” is loving, and type, and accessible as nicely.

Some liturgists would render it: “Our Mom, Our Queen.”

Now you see why which may, certainly, work.

I shall always remember praying at a synagogue in London, and coming to the normal prayer for the federal government, and praying with the congregation for “Our Sovereign Woman, Queen Elizabeth, and all of the Royal Household, her advisors and her counsellors [sic].”

Sweetly completed, as I recall — and with nice love.

Could Queen Elizabeth relaxation in peace. As for her son and inheritor, King Charles III – could God save the King.

 

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