No need to stand on one leg

There is a famous talmudic story in which Rabbi Hillel is asked by a would-be convert if he could study the Torah while standing on one leg.

Well, now he could have been recommended The 100-Minute Torah by Rabbi Cliff Cohen of Thanet and District Reform Synagogue. Consisting of 50 short chapters with extracts from the Hebrew Bible and rabbinic teachings, it is the latest in a series of brief guides to sacred books including the Koran produced by the 100-Minute Press.

"I live in Ramsgate," explained Rabbi Cohen, "and I was introduced to the guy who runs the 100-Minute Press, who published the 100-Minute Bible and mentioned he would like to expand it. It took me more than a year and a half to do. I quite enjoyed it."

Previously rabbi of Southgate Progressive Synagogue, he left the full-time ministry more than 25 years ago and worked in management training. He took the part-time role with Thanet after moving seven years ago when his wife was offered a job in the area. In addition to his rabbinic work, he serves as Jewish chaplain to several prisons and hospitals.

According to Baroness Neuberger, the 100-Minute Torah "opens up Jewish scriptures to non-Jews and Jews alikeā€¦[It] can be read in less time than it takes to watch a feature film."

    Last updated: 2:55pm, February 17 2011