Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year


Rosh Hashanah 2014 today….


"The fog swirls around us, and now I feel so very far from Court and from my lands of Ashcroft. Against my skin, I can feel the lines of my rich clothes. Yet still, I sense that inside I am no better than these wretches. I can still feel the scars on my skin from my long winter journey. There are scars on me made from weapons and from fists, from fear and hunger as well.



As I tread the moonlit cobblestones, I find my way through the maze. Finally, I turn the last corner, and there ahead of me, they wait. I have found the place marked on the map. The Garden of my people. Leyrestowe.


I close my eyes here in supplication. I remember my mother’s face. She whispered to me, she begged for an oath from a child: “Promise me this. You remember the words I taught you on the water. It is Kaddish. Promise that you will say Kaddish for me.”


She held her hand out, grasped me tight.


“But you must wait to say them. You will go where there are other Jews, find them in London – you must find ten of them. Together, you must say Kaddish for me. It will save me, in the afterlife, these words will lift my soul to heaven.”


They are in front of me. My people have gathered here, the last remanent, altogether, in the Jew’s Garden at Cripplegate.


I lift my eyes to the distant moon that shines over our earthly sphere. I stare around at the field in front of me, the seven-branched candlelabraum etched over the archway, the dark gray stones ranked together in rows, the brambles that have overgrown this secret shadowed place.


— from the novel Sinful Folk