The Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

I want to talk to you today about the environment.

No not really. There’s a Big Jewish Festival underway. Happy Sukkot everybody! This is where we all go and live in a hut made of leaves for week. It’s because of this that we know to look after the environment. So good job we were here to explain that to you!

6 thoughts on “The Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

  1. Since Songs of Praise and Sunday Morning Live every festival on the multifaith spectrum has to be tenuously justified in the timeless manner of this fatuous Rabbi. I see no connection between Prince William climate change and this ridiculous erection of sheds in the back garden where Jews camp out in the start of autumn. The Chief Rabbi does and wants us to know about it and fails to tell us at a critical moment who those Jewish ancestors were. Sukkot and all its rigmarole sucks as far as I view it and I pity anyone who has to be part of it.


  2. “I’m one of those public religious figures whose tacit fundamental motivation is fixated on often going to bizarre lengths to earn enough pious brownie points to satisfy our IMF; however, on TFTD I suddenly become self-aware that this appears a tad strange and self-centred, hence I’ll use the phrase, ‘it reminds us of the need to do (x)’, where (x) is something the non-pious think and do readily using plain common sense, with no requirement of an ostentatious performative element and no expectation of automatic deference for it”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a fair summary, Matt, except he didn’t actually tell us what ‘x’ is, or what specific contribution he and his flock are going to make to it. All we know is that ‘something must be done’.

      The Wikipedia article on Sukkot says that “On each day of the holiday it is mandatory to perform a waving ceremony with the Four Species”. Why didn’t the Chief Rabbi let us know about that bit? It sounds much more fun than loitering within tent for a week.


  3. Do we wish the Chief Rabbi & co “Happy Sukot” or, to those living outside, should we say “Hi-de-hi, campers!”? I think we should be told.


  4. Dear Today Programme Editor
    Four thousand years ago my ancestors came from all over the island of Pretanni and camped out at a place called The Big Rocks On The Plain; you know it now as Stonehenge. There, to please our gods, we would erect temporary structures out of sticks, leaves, animal skins and whatever we could find in the area. We lived in these structures for a whole week to celebrate this time of year when the sun rose and fell exactly in the east and west; I now know it as the autumnal equinox.
    We would feast on meat from the animals we brought with us, making offerings of roasted sheep or cattle to thank the gods for providing a good harvest that year. Others would bring brews and fungi which, when we drank and ate them, would help us perform better in our dancing and fornication (or so we believed).
    You current inhabitants of this island no longer believe in those native gods we worshipped, which I can understand now that I realise they were supernatural beliefs no longer required to understand how the earth system works. You don’t even know the names of them; they have completely disappeared from your cultural memory.
    Yet you still allow someone whose ancestors come from thousands of miles away to appear on your Radio 4 programme and tell you about how his people haven’t progressed past what we were doing all those hundreds of years ago. Ludicrous! And he seems so proud of his supernatural beliefs and such out of date practices, almost as if he thinks you should regress to that level of ignorance.
    Surely you could have filled this spot with a three minute section on something that would have educated your listeners?

    Your sincerely
    Stig of the Dump


    1. Brilliant, PaulT. Thank you for channelled Stig of the Dump; his protest hits the nail on the head perfectly.

      It’s strange, isn’t it, that as the enlightenment progressed, a couple of hundred years ago, elderly women living alone, who might have kept a cat, stopped being accused of witchcraft, tried and hanged. Yet a whole community today still celebrates a deity that sent plagues of locusts and frogs on Egypt, and slaughtered their cattle and first born sons, just in order that the Pharaoh should release their ‘ancestors.’ That the same deity also ‘hardened Pharaoh’s heart’ so that he refused to perform that action usually seems to get overlooked. Of course, none of this actually happened, but it is distasteful that it is commemorated as if it did. Scary, really.


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