Law Shabbat at the Great

February 10, 2010 by Susan Bures
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A parade of bewigged judges in scarlet and purple robes led by NSW Chief Justice J J Spigelman AC formed a procession into The Great Synagogue on Friday night for the annual Law Service to mark the opening of the law term.

Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence and NSW Chief Justice Jim Spigelman

Legal profession at the Great

More than 150 judges, QCs, SCs, barristers, solicitors and legal academics as well as members of the congregation, heard Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence give an inspired address on the source of the authority to rule.

Quoting thinkers like Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau on the principles of governance, Rabbi Lawrence compared these ideas with those of the Jewish tradition.

He spoke of the Jewish belief in the centrality of law to society

In the end, he said, “the administration of justice is a partnership with God precisely because we bring the best of our human qualities into a divine enterprise”.

The Law Service was followed by the Shabbat service and a dinner attended by 100 guests from within and outside the Jewish community.

Special guest speaker at the dinner was Zeddy Lawrence, national editor of the Australian Jewish News and the brother of Rabbi Lawrence.

In a thoughtful but funny address, Mr Lawrence spoke of the role of press in society, and the role of Jewish press in particular.

He articulated examples of the way the press can sometimes right wrongs or ensure certain important issues are aired.

But he also spoke lovingly of his brother and family and shared with the enchanted audience the Case of the Missing Cookies.

Great Synagogue president Michael Gold OAM welcomed guests and introduced Mr Lawrence

Robin Margo [President, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and Robert Goot [President, The Executive Council of Australian Jewry]

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