One year ago this week, honorary Secretary of the NSW Rabbinical Council Rabbi Chaim Ingram was on a plane to the UK to visit his father in time for his 94th birthday. This year on what would have been his 95th birthday – Sunday August 16th – the rabbi will be launching his second book The Cosmic Diamond in his father’s memory.
“My father passed away in London exactly three months ago” said Rabbi Ingram. “I was blessed to be there with him during the last week of his life and, of course, for the funeral and the shiva. Many people here in Sydney have remarked to me how sorry they were that they were not able to pay a shiva visit to offer condolences to me at the time. I very much hope that they will come to the launch on what would have been his birthday.”
The book, a collection of essays based on the weekly Torah reading, is a sequel to Fragments of the Hammer which was launched at the end of 2013. “A few people have asked if Cosmic Diamond is significantly different from Fragments” said Rabbi Ingram “I have told them: it is – but you will have to read it in order to find out how!”
But Rabbi Ingram did add with a smile: “If people think they are getting a book of bland Orthodox essays they are in for a surprise! Indeed some will find parts of the book distinctly unorthodox. I do not shy away from treating with a critical eye such subjects as gender-relations and separatism in the Charedi community. Other subjects I deal with range from evolutionism to the meaning of love; from angels to gun control; from prison reform to effective leadership; from vigilantism to kabbala; and from disengagement to growing old.”
The book carries at the front an approbation by British and Commonwealth Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. In it he says “Rabbi Ingram has produced yet another outstanding book which is a credit to the Rabbinate of the Australian Jewish community… His essays… demonstrate the timeless relevance of the Torah and how its values can be applied to our contemporary world”.
The launch of The Cosmic Diamond on Sunday August 16th will be accompanied by a l’Chaim and a light reception at Central Synagogue between 3 and 6pm.