A Torah translation with a difference on the morning of Parashat Vayeshev
Many people’s favourite Torah portion tells the story of Joseph and his brothers. On the morning of 12 December 2020 – the Shabbat on which we read this portion – we invited two very special guests to provide musical interpretations of the story.
The story of Joseph has been popularised by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat”. Therefore, on this Shabbat, instead of the traditional translation following the Torah reading, we were treated to a pre-recorded performance of Joseph’s Coat from cabaret artist Kara Van-Park:
Later in the service, as a prelude to the sermon, cabaret artist Miss Penny provided this performance of Any Dream Will Do:
Both artists are friends of KLS member, Rabbi Janet Darley, who was leading the service on Shabbat morning with her husband, guitarist Vince Daly. Rabbi Janet’s sermon was based around the theme of dreams – and how many dreams have been impacted by the Covid pandemic in 2020. “More than ever this year, the song Any Dream Will Do has resonated with me”, she said, “it seems to express the suddenness with which the familiar contours of our life changed; the lives we lived in many ways just flew out of sight with little warning”.
Also reflecting on the festival of Chanukah, she continued “The light is dimming, and the dream is too – but perhaps this time of year can remind us that light does return. Chanukah comes just at the time of year when the days begin to grow longer. We add to the light around us by lighting an additional candle each night. Now, with vaccinations we really can see the light at the end of a long dark tunnel, and this time it isn’t isn’t a train about to run us over!”
Speaking after the service, Rabbi Janet said “My friends, Miss Penny and Kara Van-Park, rely on the hospitality and entertainment industry for their livelihoods -which have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. I’m pleased they were willing to help me tell Joseph’s story in a unique way and that we were able to offer them some exposure – in a slightly different setting from usual! – in a year in which they have been largely unable to live their dreams…..”