Sof Tov

I’m reading Otto B Kraus’s ‘The Children’s Block’, the true story of Czech Jews in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

With negligible resources the adults made puppets – to tell stories to the children. One puppet was Prince Sof Tov’ the Hebrew word for ‘happy ending’. Each story ended with Prince Sof Tov rescuing Princess Marmalade from the clutches of the villain…

‘They all – the Czechs, Dutch, Germans and even the communists – used the word Sof to describe the end of the war. When Sof comes, they said, I’ll do this and I’ll do that. I won’t touch beetroot soup again, or I’ll put on my best clothes…

‘…The word Sof was an incantation that brought alive their wishes and hopes, and although for each of them the word meant something different, for all of them it was a crown and a fulfilment.’

Two years ago we’d just heard about Coronavirus. In the following months there was sickness, isolation, over-stretched hospital wards… fear, uncertainty, anxiety… We looked forward to our Sof Tov’, our happy ending where all would be right.

Today on our television screens we see Ukraine – bombs, death, refugees, destruction… people dreaming of, longing for, their Sof Tov

Friends are facing apparently impossible situations… financial crisis, employment conflict, long-term cancer, family breakdown, lonely bereavement… searching for their Sof Tov…

One of the great themes of Christian faith is that of Sof Tov, happy endings. Many stories within the tradition… Joseph, Gideon, Ruth, Daniel… tell of people of faith coming through difficult situations, insoluble problems to their Sof Tov.

This narrative builds to Jesus coming through rejection, betrayal, suffering, isolation, death to victory and resurrection – Sof Tov!

The final happy ending of the Christian narrative is: ‘A new heaven and a new earth… God himself will be with them… He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ Sof Tov!

2 thoughts on “Sof Tov

  1. Excellent musing today – seems like you are well on the mend, really hope so.

    Don’t be in a rush to resume ’normal service’.

    See you in the Springtime.





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