Toni Morrison

August 23, 2019 by  

Toni Morrison, the celebrated, black, American novelist and Nobel Prize winner for literature, died recently. She was a moving exponent of Black life and culture and chronicler and of the suffering of Black Americans. But she had a blind spot when it came to Jews and Israel. She was a holocaust revisionist and anti-Zionist. So I am re-blogging something I wrote concerning her in 2016. Read more

Religio Fascism

August 16, 2019 by  

I have often expressed my frustration with politics – in particular, Israeli politics Read more

Yemen & the 9th of Av

August 9, 2019 by  

Ever since I first visited a Yemenite community in Israel way back in 1958, I have had a soft spot for and a very strong affiliation to Yemeni Jews for their warmth and deep religious devotion. Read more

The Whitney again

August 2, 2019 by  

A month ago, I wrote a blog about the Whitney Biennial 2019 Exhibition that included a piece which, among other things, contained a distorted smear job against Israel over its use of tear gas to break up the Gaza protests. Read more

Rabbis who ban

July 26, 2019 by  

People have every right to decide what they will read and what not. Read more

The Seventeenth of Tammuz

July 19, 2019 by  

Five really bad things happened to the Jewish people on the Seventeenth of Tammuz. Which is why we fast from dawn to dusk. This year the seventeenth is on Shabbat, but we fast on Sunday. Shabbat is reserved for happy days. Read more

Paper in the Wall

July 12, 2019 by  

In 1974 when Henry Kissinger was pressurizing Golda Meir to make concessions in the interest of peace in the Middle East, Golda took him to the Western Wall. Read more

Whitney Triple Chaser Exhibit

July 7, 2019 by  

I accept that I am hypersensitive to criticisms of Israel. And I accept that a free world requires freedom of speech. But in the present climate of increasing and ever-present hatred of Israel coming from so many sectors of American and European intellectual and political life, if we honestly believe in free speech we ought to insist on the right of reply. We cannot sit back and ignore bias or dishonest reporting without reacting. Read more

Shaking Hands

June 28, 2019 by  

I was brought up in Britain at a time when civility and good manners were regarded as next to godliness. Read more

Israel and China

June 21, 2019 by  

For as long as I can recall I have been an idealist.  I have always tried my best to support the underdog, the oppressed and the poor. Yet I am also a pragmatist. Sometimes banging one’s head against a brick wall is not a very sensible option. Read more

Silence

June 14, 2019 by  

The fourth book of the Bible was called Numbers by early Christian scholars. I guess this is because it starts off with a national census. Read more

Cheesecake

June 7, 2019 by  

Shavuot is the poor relative of the three pilgrim and harvest festivals mentioned in the Torah. Read more

Kill them!

May 31, 2019 by  

I have always been disturbed by the number of times the Bible declares “He, She or It, shall be put to death.” It doesn’t matter the severity of the crime. Being brought up in a liberal western society and having discovered how many innocent men and women have been wrongly put to death by judicial systems, I cannot accept the very idea of capital punishment. Let’s leave Nazis out of this. Death was too easy for them. Read more

Herman Wouk

May 26, 2019 by  

Herman Wouk who died a few weeks ago at the age of 103, was one of the most successful American novelists. Read more

Learning lessons

May 17, 2019 by  

Advance notice! This article will range from Ivan Illich and education to Charter Schools, to Trade Unions, secular dogma, Chernobyl and Bernard of Clairvaux. Hold tight! Read more

Martin Buber

May 10, 2019 by  

When I first started to read Jewish Philosophers, I found them turgid, academic and completely uninspiring. Read more

Ben Hecht & Yom Hashoah

May 3, 2019 by  

The Holocaust Day, Yom HaShoah, that the Jewish world commemorates is on the 27thof Nisan which fell this year on Thursday, May 2nd. Read more

Why to ask is good

April 25, 2019 by  

The Haggadah that we read on Pesach was a response to the tragic loss of the Temple and Jewish political autonomy some two thousand years ago. Its composers wanted to pay tribute to the past, the Temple and all it stood for. And to find new ways of going forward that focused on study, prayer and education. Read more

State and Religion in Israel on Pesach

April 18, 2019 by  

The return of a rightwing government, heavily reliant on religious parties in Israel, is a matter of some concern because of the increasing encroachment of religious compulsion in Israeli life (as much as I fear the opposite). Read more

The Seder

April 13, 2019 by  

For some of us, every minute of the two Seder nights is an absolute delight. Even the preparation and the cleaning – the anticipation. There is no other occasion in the festive year quite like it. Read more

Adapting the Law

April 5, 2019 by  

The Bible emerged in, and out of, a world that was predominantly agricultural. A world where seasons and produce determined how societies flourished or perished Read more

The Yabloner Rebbe

March 29, 2019 by  

Usually, I write my own material. This time I am taking it from Pini Dunner, another British rabbi now living in the USA. His hobby is collecting Judaica and researching Jewish history. Read more

Blood libels

March 22, 2019 by  

On March 22nd1144, in Norwich, England, Jews were first accused of killing a Christian child because it was claimed, they needed its blood for the Four Cups of Wine at the Passover Seder. Read more

Masks

March 15, 2019 by  

In Biblical Hebrew, there is no word for face. The Bible uses the word Panim, which literally means, faces. Read more

Martina Navratilova and transgender

March 8, 2019 by  

In my younger days, Martina Navratilova was considered one of the very best female tennis players. Read more

Kahane

March 1, 2019 by  

To me, the name Meir Kahane conjures up an aspect of the Jewish people that I deplore. Read more

Abortion

February 22, 2019 by  

New York’s Reproductive Health Act was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 22, to a standing ovation and acclaim by State Legislators. This new law allows abortion on the basis of “reasonable and good faith professional judgment based on the facts of the patient’s case” — “the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.” Read more

Jewish Political Theory

February 15, 2019 by  

It is often said that neither the Bible nor Judaism has a theory of politics or, indeed, of political systems. Neither is true.  Read more

Unfair to women

February 8, 2019 by  

We live in interesting times where men may be women and women, men, and combinations of both and transitions in and out of the other. Read more

Sorry

February 1, 2019 by  

You are walking down a crowded New York street minding your own business, careful to avoid bumping into anyone else. Read more

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