Friday, 11 July 2008

Signs of the kingdom in Jewish thought

I was at the beautiful Chateau de Bossey yesterday on a perfect day with glorious vews across lake Geneva to Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc. It always lifts my spirits to see it rising into the clouds - rather than hidden by rain.
I was there to interpret for Rabbi Marc Raphael Guedj and I realised what a privilege it is to get exposed to such food for thought in my day job. Rabbi Guedj was talking to an interreligious seminar of young people meeting in Bossey for the next month or so. You can't really take notes and interpret simultaneously (well I can't anyway) so I have to be content with the few ideas that remain in my mind afterwards.
At one point talking about the Sabbath Guedj spoke about how the letter of observance and the spirit of observance need to go together and he repeated an idea by Emmanuel Levinas that the letter is the closed wing of the spirit. I can see that as I write this I'm not explaining very well why this struck such a chord with me, but it was a beautiful image and a real sign of God's kingdom yesterday.