Judaism features

How the Talmud's idea of equality got lost

By Benedict Roth, April 19, 2012

I srael's Declaration of Independence pledged "absolute equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants, irrespective of religion, race or sex". This pledge was surely derived from the age-old Jewish idea that all human beings are created equal.


Abraham Levy: I've no resentment over the decision to retire early

By Michael Freedland, April 19, 2012

Abraham Levy has a problem with labels. As the spiritual leader of Britain's Spanish and Portuguese congregation, the Sephardim, he rejects the denominational categories that divide the rest of Anglo-Jewry. No Orthodox, Reform, Liberal or Masorti tags for him and his flock.

"I follow the halachah as Sephardim have kept it for 2,000 years," he says. "We are Jews without ideological adjectives.


The Coca Cola magnate and the Song of Songs

By Simon Rocker, April 11, 2012

An exhibition of sacred texts in the Vatican features a section of the Dead Sea Scrolls, displayed in a mock-up cave. Most visitors probably assume the exhibits were brought from Jerusalem.


Out of Africa: the story of a modern exodus

April 6, 2012

The narratives of the Jews from Ethiopia have been, until recently, an unopened treasure chest of lore and tradition. Their unique heritage has no parallel in any other community, but is gradually fading as they assimilate into Israeli society.


Why trouble should be a rabbi's middle name

By Simon Rocker, March 15, 2012

For more than 20 years, Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah has been at the forefront of the struggle for egalitarianism in Judaism - both as a feminist and as one of the first openly gay or lesbian rabbis to break through the heterosexual monopoly.

Her belief in challenging the status quo partly gives the title to her new collection of essays, Trouble-Making Judaism.


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.