The short film The Nun's Kaddish tells the moving story that took place in the city of Oporto in 1982: two nuns went in search of Rudolph Lemchen, a member of the Jewish Community of Oporto, to fulfil the wish of the German Jewish refugee, Emil Oppenheim, who wanted Kaddish (prayer for the dead) to be said when he died.
At the time, the Jewish Community of Oporto was very small and scattered all over the north of Portugal. So, it was impossible to bring together enough members for the prayer to be said in accordance with the Jewish religion. Lemchen prayed alone before Oppenheim’s grave and was surprised when one of the two nuns requested the prayer book and also said the prayer – demonstrating impressive spirituality, fraternity and respect between religions.
Thirty six years later the Jewish Community of Oporto was able finally to fulfil Oppenheim’s wish.
In 2018, Kaddish was said for Emil Oppenheim, with a packed synagogue, including many Sephardic Jews of Portuguese origin who had returned to Portugal after a long period when there were very few Jews in this country.
The film has already received over 50 awards in festivals, and is the Portuguese short film with the greatest number of awards at international festivals. It merited a letter of praise from Pope Francis, who talks of “the many people who were directly involved and represented to a greater or lesser extent in making this film – the abundance of divine gifts, to make them the leaven of fraternity, hope and joy in the heart of the world, wishing everyone every happiness with God’s blessing.”
Source: Mazal News - Gabriela Cantergi