When his mother left, Alan Balfour, aged six, vowed he would never let his father down. But when he fell in love with a German girl, he knew his Jewish father would never approve
Several years ago, my son married an Asian woman who converted to Judaism. At the simchah, my daughter-in-law wore a burgundy-and-gold sari. Thumbprints of sandlewood were pasted on their foreheads. A young Indian, barefooted and clothed in an ivory tunic over loose trousers played traditional Tamil music on a clarinet. At each table he bowed, and when the Tamil tunes gave way to a slow, haunting Hatikva the room was mesmerised. Jews and Tamils were celebrating together.
It had been very different when, as a young Jewish man, I had wanted to marry a German girl.
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