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April 13, 2016 8:09 am

Ahead of Queen’s 90th Birthday, Britain’s Chief Rabbi Presents Her With Jewish Prayer-Themed Gift

avatar by Lea Speyer

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The Royal Family prayer given to the Queen of England for her 90th birthday. Photo: Office of the Chief Rabbi.

The Royal Family prayer given to the Queen of England for her 90th birthday. Photo: Office of the Chief Rabbi.

The Queen of England was presented with a special Jewish prayer-themed birthday gift on Monday by the Commonwealth’s chief rabbi and his wife, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, and his wife, Valerie, stayed overnight at Windsor Castle ahead of the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration. Rabbi Mirvis gave the queen a hand-crafted copy of the prayer said by Jews in UK synagogues each Sabbath and festival mornings on behalf of the Royal family.

The gift, which was designed by British-Jewish artist Myra Levy, features “a unique ‘papercut’ border around a specially calligraphed version of the Prayer for the Royal Family,” according to the chief rabbi’s website. The prayer is written on watercolored paper and mounted on a gold frame.

In a letter that accompanied the gift, Rabbi Mirvis wrote:

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When the country has celebrated moments of the greatest national joy and when we have struggled together in times of the greatest desolation, you have been generous in your wisdom and unwavering in your fortitude. Since Jews resettled in Great Britain some 360 years ago, we have relentlessly pursued the great British dream, to prosper in a society which sees the humanity in all people and feel a sharp sense of responsibility to one and all. Your Majesty, you are the very embodiment of these values — a figurehead by whom each of us can “set our own watch.”

Ahead of the Mirvis’ stay at Windsor Castle, the kosher caterer hired for the birthday celebration was given special permission to make one of the royal kitchens kosher, the Jewish Chronicle said. In a statement, Rabbi Mirvis thanked his “very warm and gracious hosts” and said, “Their understanding of and fondness for Jewish communities both in the UK and right across the Commonwealth was evident.”

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