The Fading of the Light

28 Aug 2009 by CST

The sad passing of Glasgow's Reverend Ernest Levy has been marked not only by the Jewish Community, but by a wide cross-section of Scottish society.

Reverend Levy's survival of the Holocaust was itself remarkable: but it was his dignity, humanity and morality that made him a national figure. His obituary in the Scotsman newspaper told how:    

"...Already in his seventies, in Glasgow, Levy wrote two books about his Holocaust experiences – Just One More Dance (1998) and The Single Light (2007). The latter took its title from a story he liked to tell about a sardine tin thrown away by a Nazi camp guard around the time of Hanukkah. Levy picked up the tin and used the little oil left, adding a wick to make a small light for his fellow inmates amid pitch blackness while they sang Maoz Tzur, the Hanukkah hymn. He brought, and lit, the very same sardine tin to the Scottish Parliament in 2007 at the launch of the book, a touching moment but one that brought ostensible glances of unease from some Scottish MPs who feared it might touch off the parliament's fire alarm. His soft-spoken wisdom eased their concerns. He knew more than most what a single light could do..."

Today, when the Guardian newspaper joins Islamist and far Left extremists in using Nazism and the Holocaust as sticks to beat Jews, Zionism and Israel with, it is surely incumbent upon us all to confront the reality of what happened during those darkest times: and to then deeply contemplate how to respond to such contemptible abuse. Reverend Levy survived something incomparably worse than sheer name calling. Perhaps his response should help to inform our own.

The Scotsman obituary reminds us of all of this. It should be read in full. It is here.

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“I never stop being amazed at the professional, selfless and totally dedicated commitment shown by the CST staff and volunteers. Our community is indebted to CST for the comprehensive protection the organisation provides, which sadly is so very necessary at this time.”

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth