Shabbat Yitro: Jethro in 13

January 20, 2022 by  

The most important feature of this week is arguably Judaism’s greatest contribution to the world, the so-called, Ten Commandments. Read more

Do not trust princes

January 14, 2022 by  

I was born during the Second World War when it seemed that Hitler was going to conquer the world. Of course, had he, I would not be here today. Read more

This week’s parsha: Beshalach – Ups and downs

January 13, 2022 by  

Life has its ups and downs. Just look at this week’s Torah reading. Read more

Shabbat Bo: Blood on the door

January 7, 2022 by  

We are all familiar with the Mezuzah, that we place on the right doorpost of our houses and offices. Read more

Another scandal

January 7, 2022 by  

Why does every religion seem to have a problem with sex criminal clergy sheltering under its protection? Read more

Shabbat Vaeyra: Negotiations

December 30, 2021 by  

Moses and Aaron engaged in protracted negotiations with Pharaoh. Was it really necessary? Read more

Why religion?

December 24, 2021 by  

Whenever I hear people talk, or I see articles about religion in general and Judaism in particular, I feel disconnected. Read more

Shabbat Shemot: Women

December 23, 2021 by  

The Book of Exodus starts with the enslavement of the Israelites. Read more

Tainted Money

December 17, 2021 by  

An Oxford University Professor, Lawrence Goldman, together with Sir Lloyd Dorfman and other influential alumni, have suggested the British government should intervene because they believe that Oxford University has lost its moral compass in accepting money from tainted sources. Read more

Shabbat Vayehi: Predictions

December 16, 2021 by  

The twelve tribes have now come to live in Egypt under Josef’s protection. Read more

The case for King David

December 10, 2021 by  

All major Biblical personalities are described as being imperfect beings. Read more

Shabbat Vayigash: Failed priests

December 9, 2021 by  

When Pharaoh accepted Yosef’s interpretation of his dreams and his advice to Pharaoh on how to prepare for it, he was given the opportunity to prepare for the approaching catastrophe. Read more

Shabbat Mikeyts: Was Joseph Fair?

December 3, 2021 by  

There are two conundrums in the week’s reading.

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Forced conversions

December 3, 2021 by  

As we come to the end of Chanukah, apart from the heroics, there is another side to the Hasmoneans I  am not particularly proud of. Read more

Shabbat Vayeyshev: Favouritism

November 26, 2021 by  

“And Israel loved Yosef more than his other sons because he (Yosef) was born in his (Yaakov’s) old age”( Genesis 37: 3). Read more

Why celebrate Chanukah?

November 26, 2021 by  

For some, Chanukah is just a Jewish answer to Xmas. But why do we make such a fuss of it? Isn’t it just glorifying militarism? Read more

Shabbat Vayishlach: Bad Company

November 19, 2021 by  

Jacob fled the corrosive atmosphere in Laban’s house. But secretly his beloved Rachel took with her, the teraphim, the household gods of her father. Read more

Discipline

November 19, 2021 by  

We live at a time when discipline is regarded as a bad word and a destructive educational policy. Read more

Shabbat Vayeytzey : Angels

November 12, 2021 by  

Angels figure prominently in Jacob’s life. As he runs away from Esau, he sleeps and dreams. He sees angels climb up and down a ladder. Read more

A man of substance

November 12, 2021 by  

I love to get feedback. Even when it is critical. Given the range of human opinions that’s hardly surprising. But there is one criticism I feel the need to respond to. Read more

Can one love God?

November 5, 2021 by  

The Torah talks a lot about love, love of God, love our neighbours, and love the stranger. Read more

Shabbat Toldot: A perfect marriage?

November 5, 2021 by  

The marriage of Isaac and Rebecca appears on the surface to have been a perfect one. Read more

The lost world of American Jews

October 29, 2021 by  

Irving Howe, in 1976, wrote the “World of Our Fathers.” It pays tribute to the American Jewish world of the nineteenth and twentieth century which was re-shaped by the massive immigration from Eastern Europe. Read more

Shabbat Hayey Sarah: Say what you mean

October 29, 2021 by  

This week’s Torah reading has a subtle undercurrent of a theme. Never take what people say at face value! Read more

Shabbat Vayera: Not Lot

October 22, 2021 by  

Lot does not seem to be a very nice person. His uncle (and brother-in-law) Abraham takes him under his wing when Lot’s father died, and they reach Canaan.

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The last Jew in Afghanistan

October 22, 2021 by  

For several years now Zebulon Simantov, “The last Jew in Afghanistan,” has garnered sympathetic press attention. Read more

Shabbat Lech Lecha: No one is Perfect

October 15, 2021 by  

Abraham is the first, full character study in the Torah. Read more

Shabbat Noach: The Curse of Canaan

October 8, 2021 by  

After the great flood, Noah emerged from the arc with his family. He offered a thanksgiving sacrifice to God. And then the first thing he did was to plant a vineyard and make wine.

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American culture

October 8, 2021 by  

The debacle in Afghanistan has proved how difficult it is to change another country’s culture. Read more

Shabbat Bereishit

October 1, 2021 by  

After the first chapter of Genesis describes the creation of the physical universe, the rest of the book goes on to deal with the often-ambivalent relationships with God and other human beings. Read more

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