Are you with Megan and Harry, or with the Queen and the Royals? Did you join the 49.1 million viewers of the Oprah interview, follow the pre- and post-interview analysis, or take a Spring walk to enjoy the daffodils instead?
Wherever you stand, our tradition teaches the complexity of families, the damage caused by intergeneration dysfunction, and the pain of being an ‘outsider’. From fratricide (Cain and Abel, the first brothers in Genesis), to a stolen birthright (Jacob and Esau), to God Godself scoring poorly on the scale of skilful parenting, (we never see Adam and Eve, the first parents, offered guidance through parenting classes!), family drama fills the chapters of the Book of Genesis, underscoring how our family relationships form our sense of identity, our knowledge of being safe or not in the world, and ultimately whether we are loved and consequently capable of loving others. The Torah urges us to listen deeply to competing narratives; to see the broader picture by stepping into the shoes of protagonists opposed; not to rush to judgment; to refrain from lashon hara, speaking ill of others.
As a People, we hold in deep respect our national institutions, mindful of the refuge and welcome offered when we were fleeing persecution. Each Shabbat we read, in a prominent part of the service with the Torah scrolls held and the congregation standing, the Prayer for the Royal Family. At the same time, we are called to scrutinise our own attitudes and actions, calling out racism wherever we encounter it in ourselves and in our society. Throughout our history we have embraced change as a necessary process for ensuring a vibrant future.
Whatever was or wasn’t said between members of the Royal family, in this age of polarisation we live in, let us look to our own family relationships to ensure we are actively engaged in bringing healing, not hurt; to keeping channels of communication open, even when this is difficult and uncomfortable.
Stay safe, Be Well and Wishing You All a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbes,