Extracts from the Jan 2012 Journal

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts

‘Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes’ (‘I fear Greeks even when bearing gifts’), warns the Trojan priest Laocoön in Virgil’s Aeneid, in a vain attempt to deter the citizens of Troy from accepting the wooden horse that the besieging Greek forces have seemingly left as a gift, but which is in reality intended to bring about the destruction of the city. The ancient Greeks bequeathed the concept of democracy to the world, but their modern counterparts have recently helped to give currency to a more questionable popular (not to say populist) device, the plebiscite or referendum. [more...]

Righteous Gentiles remembered

With another anniversary of the terrible events of Kristallnacht having just passed, it is appropriate that we remember, and honour, the many wonderful people who - in the short space of ten months before the start of the war - helped 10,000 children, and others, to escape to Britain. Our thanks are due also to the countless families who made the refugee children welcome, provided for them and arranged for their education. [more...]

Art notes (review)

Inscrutable, enigmatic, ethereal: these are the faces of Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings. Hailed as a genius of invention - not only of art - he may have produced only 20 paintings in his lifetime, but each is an icon of time, formalism and spiritual beauty. [more...]

Courage and soul-searching in reliving the past (review)

For most members of the AJR, the terrible events of 1938-45 affected them or their families and are still a vivid memory. For their children and grandchildren, there is fortunately no direct experience, although many will know something of what happened to their families. Those survivors who still give talks in schools are always received with great courtesy and interest but they know that for the great majority of pupils, and even for their teachers, the events of those years are now a part of history. [more...]

Letter from Israel:

Last Independence Day a ginger cat scampered along the gangway in front of the stage at the special concert given in the Jerusalem Theatre by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. The young soloist, who was playing Rachmaninoff’s very demanding Third Piano Concerto, didn’t seem to notice, though the audience did. One of the young lady ushers stood up as if to apprehend the offender, which of course took not the slightest bit of notice. Wisely, the young lady then sat down again, as she would only have made matters worse by trying to catch the creature. [more...]

Letters to the Editor

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