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OCTOBER 12, 2011
A belated L'Shannah Tovah! This piece- commissioned by John Belknap- is for a special New Year supplement in the Jewish Chronicle with a roundtable discussion by some notable British Jews on (national/ cultural/ religious) identity.
Steve Wacksman, my go-to guy for all things kosher (for all things, period) told me that his own Rosh Hashanah motifs included 'Itchy wool trousers, cloyingly sweet kosher wine, clouds of cigar smoke, and the mothball-and-cough syrup scent of my aged great aunts'. Figuring I'd need something a little more generic I did some further research and found apples, honey and blowing the shofar (ceremonial horn, not- like, heh- the chauffeur) to be the cornerstones of ushering in the Jewish New Year. As a godless sort- I declare that with wistful resignation rather than militant pride- the rituals of religions generally fascinate me. As a child I used to serve as a boat boy (not to be confused with 'the boy in the boat') in the high Anglican church services. I simply remember being backstage in the freezing vestry huddled over an electric fire whilst the thurifer rolled cigarettes.
First round of roughs- I was all for breaking out the repeat patterns but the feeling was that a central figure was needed.

Since the supplement featured a discussion of contemporary British/ Jewish identity, John Belknap suggested the duality of a playing card might be appropriate. It proved a little too clever-clever and was dropped in favour of a simple Rabbi trumpeting