Thought for the Day - Rabbi Lionel Blue

After the BBC, I’ll go shopping for a Jubilee mug to add to the pyramid of Royal mugs on my kitchen mantelpiece. It was granny who started me collecting them - though they got knocked about a bit during the blitz. The jug with pictures of portly Edward the 7th and his elegant Queen Alexandra still survive - just. Granny tried to express her thanks to them and this country for taking her in, when she was an orphan, fleeing pogroms and poverty. And this jug enjoyed pride of place - next to God and her Sabbath candlesticks.

Well, tomorrow is the Diamond Jubilee of Edward and Alexandra’s great grand-daughter, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. And now it’s my turn to express my thanks for what she’s given me...

In some ways she’s still an enigma. She’s got titles galore. But no power to back them up? Or has she? I asked a knowledgeable chap how she helped keep the Commonwealth together? She enjoys people he answered, and has never broken a confidence. So the big meetings becomes a relaxed reunion of acquaintances and friends who begin to feel like a family. They trust her. That’s her power.

It’s the same with her religion, which is inclusive not exclusive, so all of us, doubters and believers, can relate to her Christmas messages when she speaks with her own voice and from her own experience.

That voice has changed over the years. Early on it was clear-cut and youthful, but rather too high-pitched to sound at ease in a working men’s club or London market. But it has softened into a warmer more relaxed voice, which is truly her own.

And she’s an example for us oldies. Constant in her values but changing with the times. And this helps us oldies, who have the same problems, not lose heart.

My present to her is a dog story to lighten her load.
‘I’ve bought this dog cheap to cheer us up, said old Sammy to his wife Sadie.’
‘All Your pets have something wrong with them’ said Sadie despairingly. ‘There was your non-speaking parrot, the cat frightened of mice, and the dog who snored under our bed.’
‘This one’s different’ said Sammy ‘Just look woman!’ He threw a stick into a lake nearby and the dog walked nonchalantly over the water, picked it up and then walked back proudly’ on the water. ’Isn’t that wonderful?’ said Sammy.
‘You’ve done it again Sammy!’ she cried. Now you’ve bought a dog that can’t even swim.’

God bless you Ma’am and your family!

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