I’ve just returned from an exhilarating week at a festival of learning called Limmud, held at the University of Warwick in Warwickshire, England. It was my third trip to Limmud, and I was delighted to return after a hiatus of six years.
I landed in London’s Heathrow airport on Friday, just after the snowstorm fiasco there. A bus (“coach,” to the locals) took me two hours northwest to the university, where I enjoyed a week of teaching and of learning, of catching up with old friends and colleagues and of meeting new ones.
I’m thrilled that my father, Rabbi Dr. Lawrence A. Hoffman, joined me, and certainly the highlight of the week was spending time with him. I also especially enjoyed the time between sessions, which were marked by delightful conversation and probing questions.
I played hooky twice, once to visit Warwick Castle and then to see Coventry Cathedral.
The castle — really a castle and a palace — dates to 1066, when a motte-and-bailey mound was built there by William the Conqueror, and it has been home to the Earl of Warwick since not long after. It’s full of history, as, for example, the Queen Anne Bedroom. In 1704, Queen Anne planned to visit the castle so she sent her bed in advance of her stay. She canceled the trip, but her bed remains.
The cathedral dates to the medieval Parish Church Cathedral of St. Michael. That building was largely destroyed by the Germans in 1940, the current indoor space having been built adjacent to the old site. It’s a magnificent space.
Between not enough touring and not nearly enough time with the wonderful crowd at Limmud, I was very sorry to leave.
At least Delta upgraded me to Business Class on the way home (thanks, Delta!), so I almost didn’t mind returning to a car buried under snow in New York.
|Midnight discussion at Limmud||Rabbi Larry Hoffman teaching at Limmud|
|Warwick Castle, Warwickshire, England||Cleaning Coventry Cathedral|