Featured image – Mark Speakman SC and Attorney General addressing the congregation. All photos by Ben Apfelbaum.

Although Church and the secular judiciary are supposed to be constitutionally separate, it is a tradition that the various religions bless the judiciary so that their decisions are wise and just.

On the 8th February it was the Jewish faith’s turn to place a benediction on the legal fraternity at the Great Synagogue, in the presence of the Chief Justice of New South Wales, the Hon. T.F.Bathurst AC.

Justice Stephen Rothman, President of the Great Synagogue, welcomed the legal profession to the service and outlined the contribution Jewish lawyers had made to New South Wales.

Mark Speakman SC, Attorney General, representing the Premier delivered a message on behalf of the Government of New South Wales, emphasising how the rule of law sustains democracy.

The Chief Justice, the Hon T.F. Bathurst AC, gave a reading from Leviticus 19, and the President of the Court of Appeal Justice Margaret Beazley AO read psalm 82, and the Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett AO SC, Retired Federal Court Judge, led a prayer for the Queen and the leaders of the nation whilst Ron Hoenig, MP, led a prayer for the judiciary and the legal profession.

Rabbi Elton stated that the Jewish religion revered the law as demonstrated by the fact that every time a Torah scroll containing the basis of Jewish law is taken out to be presented to the congregation everybody stands and continues to stand until it is put away.

Finally, the Priestly blessing was delivered by the Reverend David Hilton, Minister of the Great Synagogue.