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.

Read more

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

Carmel School Bulawayo

October 1, 2021 by  

My late father left his position as Principal Rabbi of the Federation of Synagogues in London to realize his dream of establishing a Jewish school that would combine the best of secular education with a good Jewish education and religious experience. He became a spokesman for Jewish education at a time when it was not only unfashionable but perceived as an impediment to integration and success in life.  Read more

Durban 4 Disgrace

September 24, 2021 by  

The “World Conference against Racism Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance”, was founded by the United Nations, after the Second World War and the Holocaust. Read more

A different kind of festival

September 22, 2021 by  

The ancient festival of Sukkot has three elements to it. There is the Sukah itself, the Arba’ah Minim, the Four Plants, Geshem, the prayers for rain and Simchah, the command to celebrate and be happy, and added later, the rejoicing over the Torah. Read more

A day like no other

September 15, 2021 by  

The Torah says of Yom Kippur, “For this day will atone for you, to cleanse you of your sins and you will be purified before God.” (Leviticus 16.30). Read more

Why God hides: Shabbat Shuvah and Shabbat Vayeyleh

September 10, 2021 by  

The Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is always called the Shabbat Shuvah, the Shabbat of Return. Read more

Shabbat Nitzavim

September 3, 2021 by  

In the short reading this week Moses addresses the whole of the Israelite community, men, women, and children. Read more

Shmitah

September 3, 2021 by  

No, this is not a misprint. A Shmutteh is a rag in Yiddish. Whereas Shmitah is a genuine Hebrew word. Our New Year starts on September 7th (5782 in the Jewish calendar) and ushers in the new Sabbatical year. In Hebrew the word for the Sabbatical is Shmitah. The release. What is it? Is it in any way relevant now? Read more

Appeasement

August 27, 2021 by  

I was brought up to despise the word appeasement. It was the ideology favoured by much of the British aristocracy and political leaders before the Second World War. Read more

Shabbat Ki Tavo

August 26, 2021 by  

Why do we do things in life? Is it to get some kind of reward? Read more

Royalty

August 20, 2021 by  

I am amazed that so many Americans are enamoured with the British Monarchy and with its least impressive of its scions who hog the headlines precisely because of their limitations. Read more

Shabbat Ki Teytsey: Lost chickens

August 19, 2021 by  

“If you see your brother’s ox or sheep wandering and you are tempted to ignore it, you must return it to him. And if your brother does not live nearby, you should bring the animal home and keep it until he comes to claim it, and then you must return it. Read more

Weekly Torah. Shabbat Shoftim Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9

August 13, 2021 by  

Who is Responsible? Read more

The Igbo Jews

August 13, 2021 by  

In 1960 Nigeria gained independence from the United Kingdom. As with many new African states, the borders of the country did not reflect earlier ethnic, cultural, religious, or political realities. Read more

The Spirit of the Law: Shabbat Re’eh Deuteronomy Chapters 12:26-16:17

August 6, 2021 by  

I often hear it said that the Torah spends much more time on laws and rituals than on ethical issues.

Read more

Synagogues

August 6, 2021 by  

It is only a month to the “Days of Awe,” the Yamim Noraim. Read more

A chosen people

July 30, 2021 by  

I dislike the expression “The Chosen People”.  Read more

Torah for Shabbat: Shabbat Nachamu, The Shabbat of Comfort after the Ninth of Av.

July 23, 2021 by  

As Moses continues his speech to the children of Israel, he repeats two core texts that underpin the whole of the Jewish way of life. Read more

Uncritical Race Theory

July 23, 2021 by  

Let me say at the outset that Critical Race Theory is a dangerous, completely unsubstantiated pseudo theory of race that has now become dogma in academia. Read more

Get follies

July 16, 2021 by  

We often witness the insensitivity and negativity of rabbis who seem unaware of the damage they can do when they claim to be upholding Jewish Law. Read more

Are we Khazars?

July 9, 2021 by  

Arthur Koestler was another brilliant, but deeply disturbed Jewish intellectual to emerge from twentieth-century Hungary (no need to mention all the others). Read more

Torah reading: Shabbat Pinhas

July 2, 2021 by  

Our reading this week starts with God praising Pinhas for his dramatic action in killing Zimri and his mistress the Midianite princess Cozbi, as they defied Moses and the rest of the community.  Read more

Women Rabbis, again!

July 2, 2021 by  

What is it about Chief Rabbis? Perfectly nice, intelligent human beings, yet when they get to be Chief Rabbis their spines turn to jelly. Read more

Rabbi Jeremy Rosen: Shabbat Balak

June 25, 2021 by  

It seems strange that the whole Parsha we read this week should be named after a Midianite/Moabite King, Balak, and be devoted to a non-Jewish magician Bilam.
Read more

Thought for the week

June 25, 2021 by  

On Sunday is the fast of the Seventeenth of Tammuz. It is a minor fast that lasts from dawn to dusk and ushers in a period of mourning that leads up to the 9th of Av when we commemorate the loss of two Temples. Read more

Religious politics

June 18, 2021 by  

The personal attacks on Naftali Bennet coming from the Charedi parties in Israel because he has been instrumental in excluding them from power and has stood up to their blackmail are disgusting. Read more

Hate Signalling

June 11, 2021 by  

I have a love-hate relationship with the New York Review of Books. Read more

Next Page »