Judaism features

Why it would be wrong to elect a Chief Rabbi

By Daniel Greenberg, November 10, 2011

There has been a good deal of speculation how the next Chief Rabbi might be appointed. It seems likely that consultation within the community will be considerably wider than on previous occasions and it has even been suggested that an election might feature as part of the process.


Why I held a funeral for a stillborn child

October 27, 2011

Sometimes not knowing what you cannot do is a dangerous thing, sometimes it is a blessing. The recent stories of families unable to bury and mourn their children - highlighted in the JC - tear at the heart strings and seem, at this perspective, unbelievably lacking in empathy.


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.