Saturday, June 02, 2007

Rabbi Helen Freeman: a particular gift

“And a stranger shall you not wrong, neither shall you oppress them, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

This commandment is particularly close to my heart because my father came here as a stranger at the age of 12, frightened and vulnerable as a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany. Not only that, but this portion was my Bat Mitzvah and so I spent a great deal of time studying it.

Imagine my surprise then to team teach with a young woman called Ester Gluck, then still in her teens, who seemed to have taken in the importance of including the vulnerable, being aware of those on the periphery, since her earliest childhood.

For that, much praise must go to her mother Angela, who lives out this commandment in her everyday life, but also to Ester who had a particular gift and became a blessing in the lives of the refugees amongst whom she worked.

Zecher Tzadeket livrachah—May the memory of the righteous be for a blessing.