Lifting the shadow of our pasts

By David Robson, October 23, 2014

Just as a wedding anniversary may lead you to reflect on the state of your marriage, Simchat Torah makes me think of my relationship with the Sefer Torah. There have been many years where I hardly so much as caught sight of one. A psychiatrist may put this down to boyhood trauma. At my Jewish school, someone once dropped a sefer. It felt like a catastrophe and everyone had to fast for a day.


Illuminated by a golden age

By Lisa Appignanesi, October 23, 2014

Many novelists who delve into the past are drawn time and again to particular historical moments. There's something in them they want to elaborate or chase down, though the exact reason isn't altogether clear: I think of Sarah Dunant's Italian Renaissance or Hilary Mantel in the court of Henry VIII.


Real offence of the Klinghoffer opera is simply that it's boring

By James Inverne, October 23, 2014

There will be many who rejoice to see the crowds of angry protesters, plenty of Jews among them, against the Metropolitan Opera's production of John Adams's The Death of Klinghoffer.


I'm sorry for being so shameless

By Jay Rayner, October 23, 2014

A couple of weeks ago The Journal of Experimental Psychology published a paper by Karina Schumann, a scholar at Stanford University. It has the snappy title "An affirmed self and a better apology: The effect of self-affirmation on transgressors' responses to victims." It argues that we're awful at saying sorry because we hate feeling bad about ourselves.


I can't deny couples the ritual they need

By Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, October 23, 2014

Since my own wedding, 10 years ago, I've had the honour of celebrating, as rabbi, almost 200 weddings. I've seen babies be welcomed into the Jewish covenant and barmitzvah kids become adults. I've celebrated long marriages, and sat on religious courts witnessing divorce. It's given me a certain insight into why and how people seek out a life partner - and what happens next.


Finally, Downton gets a kosher character

By Julia Weiner, October 23, 2014

For Jewish Downton Abbey fans, last Sunday's episode was a huge moment - the arrival of a character who is completely kosher. Finally.

True, there was excitement a couple of series ago when the Countess of Grantham's mother came to stay at Downton and we found out that her name was Martha Levinson.


Our fight to change the NUS

By Maggie Suissa, October 23, 2014

Last week student politics took a worrying turn. Goldsmiths students union rejected a motion which called to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. It also became apparent that the National Union of Students had rejected a call to condemn ISIS, and the far-right group National Action made another campus appearance, this time at Warwick.


Inside the mind of The Apprentice

By Simon Round, October 23, 2014

As all of you who have watched The Apprentice over the past 10 seasons will know, this programme can be acutely stressful and sometimes traumatic for all involved.


Shame of artistic censorship

By Naomi Firsht, October 14, 2014

Cultural boycott campaigners hammered another nail into the coffin of freedom of expression last week by again showing their willingness to embrace censorship and silence fellow artists.

A group calling themselves "Artists Right 2 Say No" organised a panel discussion in response to the Tricycle Theatre rumpus over Israeli funding for the UK Jewish Film festival.


Miliband's foolish flirtation

By Robert Philpot, October 14, 2014

Ed Miliband's speech to the Labour party conference last month famously saw him forget to talk about two of the issues which most concern the voters who will decide his fate next May – immigration and tackling Britain's debts.

Amnesia, however, doesn't explain that the man who may be running the nation's foreign policy in just over six months devoted just seconds of his 65-minute address to m