dinsdag 16 oktober 2012


This year’s setting up the sukkah generated a number of associations.

Firstly because this year in my mind I dedicated the leafy canopy cabin to my recently deceased mother. The fragile but picturesque edifice with its sunny and shade spots connects with the surrounding nature as she did. In addition, she was a woman of the introversion, of the constant return to her inner cabin. So this year’s cabin is a remembrance cabin.

That gave me associations with the book The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt. Fortunately not because of a parallel with the terrible muscular disease ALS by which Judt was hit. But because of Judt’s description of his situation in which he had no more power over his muscles and had only his intellectual function left. In the book he testifies of the strength of the human inner space in a way the taste of which I experienced with my mother for the first time.

Albert Hogeweij writes: “At night Judt lay awake for hours, and he let himself be carried away by his memory to those special experiences, adventures and events that had enriched his life and made it special. Not being capable anymore to do anyting else he at night wrote complete stories ‘in his head’ in which he managed to draw connections in a much sharper way than before. This led to many ‘little chronicles’ of his life. However, he was no longer able to write them down himself. He had to wait until the next morning for someone to whom he could dictate his stories”. Meanwhile he stored them in his memory cabin.

Finally there is the conscience cabin which Levinas loves to talk about in his article without Honor without Flags. “The real inner life is not a pious or revolutionary idea which in an established world comes to mind, but the obligation to save the whole of man’s humanity in a cabin that is open to all sides: our conscience”.

Also see Kol Nidrei and other illusions