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The Mourner’s Kaddish is the traditional Jewish prayer for the dead. This is mildly ironic, as it doesn’t mention death as all; instead it affirms the power and majesty of the divine. It is usually said by relatives in the presence of a public prayer service: as to stand in public and praise God as as God has taken away a loved one is a profoundly powerful spiritual act.

I was recently invited to say Kaddish at the memorial service of Reverend Donald Watson by his husband, Reverend Stevenson Graham. You can read a statement from Stevenson available on the One Spirit Foundation’s website about Donald.

It was an honour to do, but the traditional English translation would not have resonated with the people present, so I created an alternative translation that you can read below, taking inspiration from Reb Zalman’s alternative version. A copy of the sheet that I used with the transliteration, my translation and a traditional translation can be downloaded here.

 

Great and holy are the names of the One in this world created by divine love.

May that love transform our hearts in your lifetimes and in our days, in the lives of all who struggle, swiftly and soon. Let us love one another now.

May the blessings of that love flow forever into our world and worlds beyond.

And that divine love,
that sacred energy,
may we shape it
and bring it to life
so it may be truly seen
and given its time
and be seen as beautiful
and uplifting
and joyful, through our own being.

Beyond all prayers, and blessings, and healings and consolations that we can give, is the One from which we come. May we remember.

May a blanket of peace fall upon us from the heavens to comfort us and all who are struggling.

May the One who unites heaven and earth, bring compassion to us, to all who are struggling and to all sentient beings.

Amen.

 

Donald, you will be missed.

Watson, Donald with Toby.thumbnail

1946-2015

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Netanyahu's "Arab voters are voting!" Facebook video

Netanyahu’s “Arab voters are voting!” Facebook video.

Despite polling predictions that Israeli voters were abandoning him, Binyamin Netanyahu won by far the biggest share of seats in the Knesset last Wednesday. There has since been much despair in my social feeds and the international press that Israel is right-wing and only sliding further in that direction.

In my opinion, for all this talk of Netanyahu as a political magician, he has walked over a cliff this time. You can’t insult the President of the United States by coming to his country behind his back, and then explicitly repudiate US foreign policy in the Middle East, and just expect to get away with it. For all the jubilant talk of Netanyahu sticking it to that lame-ass lame-duck softy-on-security Barack Obama, he’s the President of the United States. One of the only things holding Mahmoud Abbas from filing cases against Israel in the International Criminal Court is a law the US Congress passed automatically cutting off $400m in aid in the event that they did.* One commitment from Barack Obama to fund that $400m from appropriations under the control of the Executive would clear that obstacle in the time it took to hold a press conference. He can withhold the US veto from the UN the next time an Israel-bashing resolution comes up. He could endorse settlement-produce labeling. He could do anything, and because he’s a lame-duck, there’s pretty much no personal consequences to him doing so. It would tear the Jewish diaspora apart, as Israel’s current trajectory is already facilitating.

But anyway. This post is not a caravan of despair. I was reading a piece by Jonathan Freedman, who commented that buried in the numbers of the election, there was left-wing hope. And I’m tired of people talking about number of seats, so I went and looked at actual numbers of votes: [click to continue…]

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“You snooze, you lose: how to pimp your sleep” – Evening Standard

October 6, 2014

I was interviewed some weeks ago by the Evening Standard for my views on polyphasic sleeping. It was something of a blast from the past for me but as one of the few people on the internet to have done it and written about it, I get surprisingly regular, if infrequent, press inquiries on the […]

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Reverend Sarah McCulloch at your service

September 18, 2014

And so, on the 26th July, I was ordained an interfaith minister: It was a ceremony that was powerful, meaningful, and occasionally naff, but I’m never going to forget a second. I remember when I was 5, thinking that I’d quite like to be a minister – 20 years later, I’ve got Reverend in front of […]

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I’m Being Ordained and You Are Invited.

July 16, 2014

After two years of training and 25 years of preparation, I am being ordained as a minister on the 26th July and you are invited to attend. :)   Ordination FAQ Related Posts:Reverend Sarah McCulloch at your serviceBecoming an Interfaith Minister

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Peter Reynolds and His Lawsuits – Another Short Statement

April 25, 2014

As many of you know, I had a court hearing to deal with an application filed by Peter Reynolds on the 11th April. The issue was whether Peter Reynolds had contacted the court on August 2013 when the case was originally struck out to get it reinstated. I turned up and within about five minutes […]

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How to get a treadmill off a car.

January 19, 2014

I decided recently that if I ever want to achieve my dream of looking as great in an open-necked-shirt-with-sweatervest-combo as Blaine Anderson, I needed to get slightly more systematic exercise than walking to and from the train station. So, I’ve bought a treadmill. A really big, commercial-grade treadmill that’s really, really heavy. I bought it […]

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Peter Reynolds took me to court for libel, and Peter Reynolds has lost

December 2, 2013

As some of you may know, Peter Reynolds opened defamation lawsuits in the High Court against myself, Chris Bovey, Greg de Hoedt, and Alun Buffry in February of this year. I have been unable to comment on this for legal reasons for some time, except to briefly counter some nonsense from Peter Reynolds who takes […]

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About CLEAR and that “Legal Medical Cannabis” claim…

October 17, 2013

So, CLEAR made a massive claim last month, that they had succeeded in opening a loophole by which UK residents could legally import Bedrocan, a branded form of herbal cannabis available in parts of Continental Europe. They put out a big headline: Their basis for this was a medical cannabis patient, codenamed Clarence, who had gone […]

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Compare my blog to the Holocaust and you will be banned.

October 11, 2013

  A year and a bit ago, I published a post on a guy called Roger Hayes, who runs the British Constitution Group, which is dedicated to pretending that our current legal system contravenes the legal system that went before it and it’s therefore illegal, and that why they shouldn’t have to pay council tax. […]

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