Judaism features

Could talmudic debate point the way to peace?

By Rabbi Gideon Sylvester, March 8, 2012

A few weeks ago, I witnessed a pitch battle in downtown Jerusalem involving Israelis and Palestinians.


Why women are raising their voices on Purim

By Lindsay Simmonds, March 1, 2012

Women's Megillah readings have become increasingly popular over the past decade, reflecting the growing interest of women in their religious development. I know of at least half a dozen that will take place next week in United Synagogue communities at Purim including Radlett, Borehamwood and Muswell Hill.


Is Boteach's 'Kosher Jesus' a treif idea?

February 16, 2012

Kosher Jesus
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Gefen, $26

Jesus was an observant Jew, a loyal patriot who fought to save Israel from Roman tyranny. His message was distorted by Paul, the architect of Christianity. This resulted in Jesus's alienation from his people.


The gay dilemma that confronts Orthodoxy

By Joe Wolfson, February 9, 2012

Homosexuality refuses to leave the community headlines.


Why a Bronx yeshivah is a beacon for Brits

By Simon Rocker, February 2, 2012

It is not uncommon for yeshivah heads to come here in search of potential students. But Rabbi Dov Linzer, who will be speaking at several United Synagogues over the weekend on his first trip to the UK, is different. His yeshivah, Chovevei Torah, is based in New York, not in Israel.


Your neighbour could just be the Messiah

By Simon Rocker, January 26, 2012

We like our religion dark and dangerous, at least according to trends in contemporary fiction. Since Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code - the best-known example - a steady stream of conspiracy thrillers has fed our fascination with ancient scrolls, secretive sects and Templar knights.


We must end disunity for the sake of Israel

By Rabbi Stuart Altshuler, January 19, 2012

I recently had a conversation with a leading MP, a friend of the Jewish community and the state of Israel. This individual has gone to great lengths to protect the UK-Israel connection.


Learn to meditate the strictly Orthodox way

By Simon Rocker, December 29, 2011

When Aharon Rubin was young, his family went on a picnic to Kew Gardens. "I saw a man sitting perfectly still on the grass, who my father told us was 'meditating'," he recalled.


How Sunday cheder can adapt to survive

By Rabbi David Lister, December 22, 2011

Throughout much of the 20th century, cheder played a major part in Anglo-Jewish education. Particularly when Jewish schools were few and far between, or widely viewed as too religious, generations of Jewish children attended mainstream schools in the day and cheder on weekday evenings and on Sundays.


How the rabbis turned swords into candles

By Mordechai Beck, December 15, 2011

Chanucah, the festival of lights, is, in our own day, mainly the commemoration of a spiritual event. Its historical roots, however, as set out in the Book of Maccabees, were the celebration of a great military victory over the Syrian-Greek overlords.

The Talmud's description concentrates on the laws of keeping the Chanucah lights burning (Masechet Shabbat 21b-24a).