Judaism features

What rabbis can learn from the soccer terraces

By Jonathan Romain, June 15, 2014

The sheer passion of football supporters was famously expressed by the former Liverpool manager, Bill Shankly. Explaining his attitude to the game, he said, "Football isn't a matter of life and death, it's much more important than that."

More..

It makes no sense to call Britain Christian

By Matt Plen, June 6, 2014

David Cameron and Eric Pickles say we should be proud that Britain is a Christian country. Many prominent, mainstream Jewish leaders agree and, presumably, with the implication that religious values should be brought to bear on public life.

More..

Shavuot puts the meaning into mitzvah

By Rabbi Dr Ben Elton, June 1, 2014

The latest stir in America’s modern Orthodox community has come from an article by Jay Lefkowitz in Commentary, called “The Rise of Social Orthodoxy”. Lefkowitz considers himself to be social Orthodox, which means that he largely observes halachah, but not because he (necessarily) believes that God commanded him.

More..

Should faith schools be able to drop evolution?

By Simon Rocker, May 19, 2014

The children and their adult escorts have gathered beneath the long bony neck of Dippy the diplodocus, the giant replica skeleton which stands in the lobby of the Natural History Museum. Sunday morning cheder for these pupils from Belsize Square Synagogue is not going to be in class.

More..

Women should be able to carry the Torah, too

By Benedict Roth, May 11, 2014

Access to Jewish education for women was debated in the Mishnah nearly 2,000 years ago.

More..

Same-sex marriage will widen the religious rift

By Rabbi Zvi Solomons, April 27, 2014

Three years ago the internet was awash with pictures of two frum Jewish men under a chupah in New York, wearing white kittels. The headlines screamed that this was the first “Orthodox” gay wedding.

More..

Why did we sing when the Egyptians drowned?

By Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum, April 18, 2014

With each of the Ten Plagues, God escalated the attack on Pharaoh, but it was the Splitting of the Red Sea which finally finished off the Egyptian menace. This occurred seven days after leaving Egypt, so we now read this story annually on the seventh day of Pesach. But why did Pharaoh and his army all have to drown?

More..

Why one is the Seder's special number

By Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, April 11, 2014

At the Seder table, we celebrate the fact that every single person can connect with our Torah tradition. We read in the Haggadah that the Torah addresses itself to four types of children who represent a cross-section of the Jewish people. “The Torah speaks to four children: one who is wise, one who is wicked, one who is simple and one who does not know how to ask”.

More..

Pesach frees us from the tyranny of time

By Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer, April 6, 2014

Last year during filming BBC1’s programme about the Seder, I was asked a question by one of the participants that challenged my thinking and enriched my Seder experience.

More..

The fruits of shmittah do not only grow on trees

By Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, March 23, 2014

A twig once delivered an epiphany. One warm Jerusalem evening I was part of an outdoor Friday evening prayer service. I felt a branch, from the tree next to me, brushing against my shoulder. I went to snap it off and stopped. It was Shabbat. On Shabbat I move and the twig lives to bud another day.

More..