New Booklet on the life of Lemon Hart

A new publication on the life of Lemon Hart, one of Cornish Jewry’s most famous ancestors who lived in Cornwall in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, has now been published by the Penlee Gallery and Museum Penzance.

Written by local amateur historian, Keith Pearce, an expert on the history of Cornish Jewry, the biographical booklet contains much new information not previously published before on Lemon Hart and his family. Hart, most famous for his rum which still bears his name, has been the subject of much colourful mythology related to slave ownership, slave ships and plantations, and that he supplied the British \Naval ships with their ‘tot’ ofrum.  This publication  attempts to separate fact from fiction so that a more accurate picture of Hart can be established.

The booklet is available through Penlee House, local, national and online booksellers for £5.00.

Ki Tavo

One can never have too much John Humphrys rubbish in this life, so here is some more from the parshiyot of Ki Teitzei and Ki Tavo:

Social welfare rubbish

When you reap your grain harvest and forget a sheaf in the field, you must not go back to get it. It must be left for the foreigner, orphan and wide, so that God will bless you, no matter what you do.

Judicial and gender  rubbish

…if the man encountered the betrothed girl in the field and raped her, then only the rapist shall be put to death. You must not impose any penalty upon the girl, since she had not committed a sin worthy of death.

Neighbourly rubbish

If you see your brother’s ox or sheep going astray, you must not ignore them. You must return them to your brother….

…Cursed is he who moves his neighbour’s boundary marker.

Military rubbish

Listening to another Radio 4 programme this week, in which John Humphrys took no part, I was reminded that the great mythical hero Achilles, at the siege of Troy, raped the captive Polyxena, murdered two of her brothers and eventually had her killed too. The Israelites warriors were told to behave in a somewhat different fashion:

When you wage war against your enemies, so that you will take captives. If you see a beautiful woman among the prisoners and desire her, you may take her as a wife… She must take off her captive garb and remain in your house a full month, mourning for her father and mother… If you do not desire her, however, you must send her away free. Since she has been violated, you may not sell her for cash or keep her as a servant.

Military and public hygiene rubbish

You must designate a place outside the camp as a lavatory. You must also keep a spike with your weapons, so that when you have to sit down to relieve yourself, you will first dig a hole with it, and then sit down, [and finally] cover your excrement.

Rubbish about animals

If you see your brother’s donkey or ox fallen on the road, you must not ignore it. You must help him pick up [the load].

Health and safety rubbish

When you build a new house, you must place a guard-rail around the roof. Do not allow a dangerous situation to remain in your house, since someone can fall.

Penal code rubbish

In the British navy two hundred years ago, 100 lashes, or even 200, were sometimes given to sailors guilty of some misdemeanour while on board ship. The milksop Israelites, on the other hand, were told to “not go beyond the limit and give him forty lashes.”

Business code rubbish

You must not keep in your such two different weights, one large and one small. [Similarly], you must not keep in your house two different measures, one large and one small.

You must have a full honest weight and a full honest measure.

Family and genetics rubbish

Cursed is he who lies with his father’s wife… with his sister… with his mother-in-law.

Finally, again, some poetic rubbish from the haftorah for Ki Tavo

The sun will no longer be your light by day, nor will the moon give light for brightness. But God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will no longer set, nor will your moon wane. God God will be you everlasting light and your days of mourning will be ended.

There is just so much of this stuff and much more other, equally engaging instruction and inspiration. And again, Pat Lipert will be there to reveal it, so come along on Saturday at 10:30.

High Holy Days in Cornwall

Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur will be celebrated this year as follows.

Erev Rosh Hashanah (Sunday, 9 September), 29 Elul 6:30 p.m.

Service will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by a catered evening meal provided  by Kehillat Kernow to bring in the New Year 5779.

Rosh Hashanah (Monday, 10 September, 1st day), 1 Tishri, 5776 at 10:30 a.m.

Service will be followed by a catered luncheon meal provided by Kehillat Kernow.

Kol Nidre, Erev Yom Kippur (Tuesday, 18 September), 9 Tishri 7:00 p.m.

Yom Kippur (Wednesday, 19 September), 10 Tishri 10:30 am

Yischor Service is scheduled for about 4:30 – 5:00 p.m.. A catered dinner to  break the fast will follow the last service which should end about 6:30 p.m.

Visitors who will be here during this period are welcome to attend our celebrations and services. Donations to help cover costs will be appreciated.  At the same time, we participate in the MRJ High Holy Days Ticket Scheme for anyone aged between 18 and 27, but without the tickets!  In other words, if you are Jewish and aged between 18 and 27 just come along without worrying about making a donation.

A highlight for this year is that we will be blessed with the services of Student Rabbi Lev Taylor, who is coming down from the wilds of London to work with Harvey and Adam  on Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur, so another reason to add to those you already have to come along and join in our most sacred days.

Lev grew up in Reading Liberal Jewish Community and has been part of synagogues in Barcelona, London and Istanbul. He worked for seven years as a campaigner in the charity sector before training to be a rabbi. He is now going into his second year of study at Leo Baeck College. Lev strongly believes in making Judaism more inclusive and accessible. The day will include opportunities for everybody to participate. In place of the Additional (Musaf) service on Yom Kippur, Lev will lead a study session, looking at the life of one of the greatest rabbis in the Mishnah.

Chief Rabbi and Rebbetzin visit Penzance Jewish Cemetery

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and his wife, Valerie, paid a visit to the Penzance Jewish Cemetery early in the day on Friday, 15 June whilst they were on holiday in Cornwall for a few days.  They were welcomed by Ms. Louise Connell, Director of the Penlee Gallery and Museum, and Leslie and Pat Lipert from Kehillat Kernow.
They were shown around the cemetery and learned some interesting facts about the historic cemetery and some of the people who are buried there. As a gesture of hospitality and sincere welcome, Leslie Lipert, treasurer of Kehillat Kernow and The Friends of Penzance Cemetery, presented the Chief Rabbi with the community’s signature Mezzuzah with its Cornish and religious symbolism.
The visit, done in a private capacity, was part of the many interesting sites the couple visited whilst on their holiday in Cornwall.

Shabbat with the Jacobs

Members of Kehillat Kernow welcomed members of their extended family, Hannah and David Jacobs to Friday night services and dinner at Estelle Moses’ house on Friday the 28th when the couple travelled from their home in London to be with our community for the weekend.

Associated with KK since its inception, David and Hannah have guided our community loyally through the years. Friday night was a sumptuous affair due to Estelle’s special flair for creating ambiance and marvellous food. David conducted the special Friday night service prior to the meal.

On Saturday, Shabbat Emor, David and Pat Lipert conducted the Shabbat service. Following a bountiful Kiddush, Hannah then led us in a discussion of the history of anti-Semitism since Biblical days up to the current state of affairs in Britain.

Chairman Jeremy Jacobson welcomed and thanked this much loved couple for working so hard to provide a very meaningful Shabbat for all our members.

Many thanks to Estelle (and Charlie), who made a huge effort to provide the community with such a special Friday night.


To see photos of Friday Night click here.

To see photos of the Saturday Service click here.


Jewish Community in Cornwall