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Judgement Day

Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand reevaluates our use of the word judgemental, arguing that it need not have negative connotations. She concludes that, ultimately, we need to be judged.

Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand reevaluates our use of the word judgemental, arguing that it needn't have negative connotations. She concludes that, ultimately, we need to be judged.

For some people of faith the phrase 'judgement day' summons up images of fire and brimstone. Shoshana reveals that for Jews, judgement day is an annual event. Yom HaDin, The Day of Judgement, is the biblical name for the holiday known as Rosh Hashanah. Shoshana explores the traditions of both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (which follows ten days later).

Interweaving music ranging from Leonard Cohen's Who By Fire and Bob Marley's Judge Not to Mozart's Requiem Mass, Shoshana notes that the idea of a judgement day has always fascinated musicians. Interestingly, musical interpretations of the Day of Judgement vary wildly in tone. We hear the voices in Mozart's Requiem trembling with dread in response to a stern God, whilst Faure's Requiem does away with the wrathful imagery and depicts death as a peaceful release from struggle. Reflecting on the differences between these great composers' depiction of judgement day, Shoshana argues that we need a balance between judgement and mercy in our lives.

Shoshana goes on to reference the troubled history of the judicial system during the American Civil Rights Movement and the role of the therapist who must withhold their judgement when counselling their patients. She also examines the doctrine of karma - a system of divine justice.

Presenter: Shoshana Boyd Gelfand
Producer: Max O'Brien
A TBI Media production for BBC Radio 4.

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 1 Oct 2017 06:05

Music Played

  • The Golden Gate Quartet

    Judgement Day

  • Leonard Cohen

    Who By Fire

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Dies Irae

    Performer: Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
  • Gabriel Fauré

    Pie Jesu

    Performer: Oxford Camerata.
  • Barbra Streisand

    Avinu Malkeinu

  • Bob Marley

    Judge Not

  • Willie Nelson

    A Little Old Fashioned Karma

  • Leonard Cohen

    Hallelujah (Live)

Readings

Title: The Rosh Hashanah Mahzor

Publisher: Koren Publishers

 

Title:  On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy

Author: Carl Rogers

Publisher: Robinson

 

Title: Justice

Author: Langston Hughes

Publisher: Vintage Books

 

Title: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion

Author: Jonathan Haidt

Publisher: Penguin

 

Title: Update on the Last Judgement

Author: Ellen Hinsey

Publisher: Bloodaxe Books

Broadcast