Judaism features

The poor whom we can't afford to ignore

By Rabbi Gideon Sylvester, October 19, 2011

This week, we come in from the cold. A midrash suggests that our time spent out of the house living in a temporary hut is a kind of divinely imposed exile. It is an opportunity for reflection before the final judgment which takes place tomorrow on the festival of Shemini Atzeret (Yalkut, Emor 753).


We are so much more than what we own

By Rabbi Daniel Glass, October 11, 2011

A round the year 1845, the American writer, Henry David Thoreau, left his house to live in a log cabin in the middle of the forests of New England.


We cannot always rely on the voice of reason

By Naftali Brawer, October 6, 2011

This past August at the height of the London riots a 24-year-old university graduate named Natasha Reid stole a flat-screen TV from the Comet store in Enfield.


Why the longest day is the greatest of gifts

By Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, October 6, 2011

Many people are simply too busy for existential questions.
"The meaning of life? - I've half an hour to get the family dinner on the table!" "Meaning? I'll give you meaning! The lady next door's got chemo and needs a lift to the hospital." The hustle of everyday, caring for our neighbour: who has got time for philosophy?

These people are probably natural givers.


Freshen up your festival

September 22, 2011

● Stand by a river:

The tradition of reciting the Tashlich prayer by a flowing stream on the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah seems to stem from the 15th century (see the New Koren Sacks Machzor p.927; Artscroll p.630). But it is not really about throwing away your sins.


At Rosh Hashanah we get a second bite of the apple

By Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum, September 22, 2011

The most astute description of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur I ever read came from an essay by a non-Jewish student on a basic Judaism course. The teacher had spent much time explaining the customs and traditions of these Yamim Noraim, these "Days of Awe", but the student had heard and understood something else.


Spiritual pioneers or just a passing trend?

By Simon Rocker, September 15, 2011

Over the next few days marquees will be popping up in various places to serve as prayer venues for the High Holy Days.


A Palestinian state will give us peace of mind

By Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah, September 8, 2011

In recent years it seems that there has been a growing division within the diaspora Jewish community between the supporters of a "secure" Israel, on the one hand, and the promoters of a "just" Israel, on the other. But the landscape of Jewish attitudes has been changing.


Meet America's top congregational rabbi

By Simon Rocker, September 1, 2011

A couple of years ago, Rabbi Norman Lamm, the respected chancellor of Yeshiva University, caused a stir when he predicted the demise of non-Orthodox Judaism in the USA. It would soon be time to say Kaddish over the Conservative and Reform movements, he told the Jerusalem Post.

Certainly, Conservative Judaism appears to be in the grip of accelerating decline.


Will science prove God's existence?

By Rabbi Dr Moshe Freedman, August 18, 2011

It was early February 1971. The three-man Apollo 14 crew had just completed their mission and were returning home. Edgar D. Mitchell, the lunar module pilot, gazed out of the window of the command module Kitty Hawk as it hurtled towards its landing target in the Pacific Ocean.