Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis at Oxford Union Society


“We have a concept called teshuva.  Often it’s translated as penitence or repentance, but that’s not the real translation.  Teshuva means return, when we return to become our true selves. 

“The best way I can explain it is from the world of art.  Let’s take a great sculpture — Michelangelo’s David.  There are two ways of explaining Michelangelo’s greatness.  One way is to say that Michelangelo created David out of nothing.  What a brilliant sculptor!

“The other way of explaining it is that actually David was always inside that slab of stone.  Michelangelo’s greatness was he knew what to remove in order to reveal David who was always there.  

“That is our concept of teshuva.  We need to continuously engage in a process through which we peel away the unnecessary parts of our personalities and characters so that I can reveal the real me.

“So often I define my existence through striving to become the person I think others would like me to be.  In our tradition I think it is important that I should become the person God wants me to be, the person I’m supposed to be.  

“What is that really?  Well, I need to work it out for myself who the true me is and to enjoy being that person.  And as a result, through concentrating on myself, I can make a major impact on society.

“There’s that wonderful message which was written around about the year 1100 by an unknown monk who said, ‘At the beginning of my life I tried to change the world.  And after many years of trying, I didn’t succeed, so then I decided to change my nation.  And then after many years, I didn’t succeed at that.  And then I tried to change my town and didn’t succeed at that.  And then I tried to change my family.  I had no luck.  And by the time now that I’m an old man, I’ve decided to change myself and that’s going really well.  And so I’ve realized that I’ve wasted my life.  I really should have started out life trying to change myself.  And had I changed myself, that would have made a direct impact on my family.  And my family in turn would have made that positive impact on my town.  And my town upon my nation.  And my nation upon the world.’

“And that’s what our religion teaches.  We can change the world if we change ourselves.  If we are responsible towards our real selves.”

–Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (born 1956) is an Orthodox rabbi who serves as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. He is a Talmudic scholar having studied in Israeli yeshivot. He was born near Johannesburg, South Africa. He currently lives with his wife in Finchley, London. In December 2012 he was designated as the next Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth and began work in this post on 1 September 2013. He was Senior Rabbi to the Finchley Synagogue, regarded to be a strongly pastoral leader, with a focus on traditional Judaism. He previously served as the Chief Rabbi of Ireland.

Maurice Duruflé – Requiem II: Kyrie – Op.9. St. Paul’s Cathedral, London

Kyrie eleison: “Lord have mercy”.

Here is a performance of the Kyrie excerpted from the BBC’s “Afghanistan – A Service of Commemoration”, broadcast live from St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, yesterday, Friday 13 March 2015, in the presence of HM Queen Elizabeth II. This BBC video includes clips of British Armed Forces on patrol in Afghanistan. (My apologies for the poor editing at start and finish. I shall attend to this shortly).

For me, a sublime work of deep emotional power, more especially in the context of this Service of Commemoration. An excellent, most moving performance by the choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral. And may I say, in as humble a way as is possible, that my heart goes out to the soldiers who were sent to Afghanistan (and of course Iraq) served there, were injured there, died there. One can see glimpses of unutterable hurt and damage in the stoical faces of the soldiers who survived. It is a terrible thing, both for them, their families, and the ordinary people of both nations. Kyrie eleison: Lord have mercy upon all of us in this wicked world.

The Requiem, Op. 9, by Maurice Duruflé was published in 1947 by the French music publisher Durand. Commissioned in 1941 by the collaborationist Vichy regime, Duruflé was still working on the piece at the time of the regime’s collapse in 1944, and completed it in 1947, dedicating it to the memory of his father. The work is for SATB choir with mezzo-soprano and baritone soloists. It exists in three orchestrations: one for organ alone (as here) one for organ with string orchestra and optional trumpets, harp and timpani, and one for organ and full orchestra.

At the time of commission, Duruflé was working on an organ suite using themes from Gregorian chants. He incorporated his sketches for that work into the Requiem, which uses numerous themes from the Gregorian “Mass for the Dead.” Nearly all the thematic material in the work comes from chant. (Courtesy of and adapted from Wikipedia).

Choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London England
Director of Music: Andrew Carwood
Ass’t Director and Organist: Simon Johnson
Sub-Organist: Peter Holder

(c) BBC 2015

James Baldwin on love


“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word “love” here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace – not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.” 

–James Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an African-American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. Wikipedia

Sunday Night Translation <3

Aloha all student’s and pupil’s of the prosperos teaching’s of Translation to enjoin our group and keep the innate heated pressure on<3.

Tonight’s sense testimony; Erroneous identities or emotional distress can lead to physical difficulties including death?

Conclusion’s : 1) I AM THAT I AM, one spirit, knowing “I” as mind, divine love perfect body of one consciousness.

2) Truth is innately preeminent in orderly unalterable intimate capacity, effortlessly, simple  expression being I, thou, atomic forceful energy functioning virtuously towards its own conclusion which is ultimate ecstatic gratification endlessly.