Monday, 4 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee

It's the Queen's diamond Jubilee celebration today. She is, in my opinion, an incredible person. As I write this post I look back at some of the highlights and lowlights of the royal family over the past few decades. The thing that strikes me most is how much of a constant the Queen has been in a changing world.

Royal Fates

I'm reminded of part of Rabbi Hersh's lecture on the Omer and the explanation of the Sefirot. Here is how I would combine that lecture with some key attributes of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

  • Chesed – This means kindness and love of someone else is only possible when they are a part of you. Every soul in Britain and the Commonwealth is connected to the Queen. Like it or not, we all form part of her.
  • Gevurah – Meaning withholding, self-discipline - not giving, i.e. Chesed's opposite. Living a life under royal protocols, there are few people that I can think of who voluntarily live within such limitations and constraints. 
  • Tiferet - Harmony, balance between giving and not-giving, greater than the two parts. Whilst it may outwardly appear as if Her Majesty is more on the side of Gevurah than Chesed, you can see some of her expression of Chesed (and Gevurah) in how she has handles her family. 
  • Netzach – Meaning victory, eternity- not just a one off but doing it all the time constantly. The conductor in an orchestra is the constant in a performance. All the instruments will play their parts but rarely all the way through. It's the conductor who is constant and gets applauded for that at the end. The Queen to me is a person who really embodies attributes of Netzach. 
  • Hod – Often translated as splendour. It's how a person manifests to the world at large. The Queen has a presence that you can feel even if she passes by briefly at a racecourse. 
  • Yesod - What you pass on to others having achieved balance yourself. This is the point of transmission. It will be interesting to see how the lives of the Queen's grandchildren unfold. There was a time when the Queen's children's marriages were coming apart, but despite that she kept her family from splintering. 
  • Malchut – Kingship. Rulership. How a person affects the wider world. 

Growing up, this is the prayer that I heard recited every week on Shabbat. The prayer below is copied from the Hertz prayer book, (with reference to deceased Royal Family member removed):
He Who giveth salvation unto kings and dominion unto princes, Whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, - may He bless
Our Sovereign Lady,Queen Elizabeth,
Philip Duke of Edinburgh,
Charles Prince of Wales
and all the Royal Family
May the Supreme King of kings in His mercy preserve the Queen in life, guard her and deliver her from all trouble and sorrow. May He put the spirit of wisdom and understanding in her heart and in the hearts of all her counsellors, that they may uphold the peace of the realm, advance the welfare of the nation, and deal kindly and truly with all Israel. In her days and in ours, may our Heavenly Father spread the protection of peace over all the dwellers on Earth; and may the Redeemer come unto Zion; and let us say, Amen. 
It is, in my opinion, fitting that the River Thames be the focus of the diamond jubilee celebration. The British ancient and modern have a grasp of the power of their waterways both physical and spiritual.