Judaism features

A seder table tour

April 18, 2008

Five rabbis take a trip around the Pesach plate and explore the symbolism of the items that will feature on it tomorrow night



How horseradish came to be the chosen herb

By Rabbi Chaim Weiner, April 18, 2008

Rabbi Chaim Weiner on how communities have preserved their history through Pesach customs

Passover is a commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt. But religious rituals do not survive solely as historical reminders. Rituals that endure over time embody eternal truths that capture the imagination over time and space. The real power of Passover is that it is a celebration of freedom. It marks the struggle of a people to escape slavery and to determine their own destiny.


The trouble with God

By Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah, April 4, 2008

When Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah set out to define the key principles of Liberal Judaism, one proved a greater challenge than the rest — belief in God

Why do people choose to belong to a synagogue? No doubt, for different reasons. In my experience as a rabbi for the past almost 19 years, belief in God does not tend to feature very high on the list.


How an atheist came to accept God’s existence

March 28, 2008

A new Reform sermon collection responds to the militant atheism of Richard Dawkins. Here are two excerpts

Rabbi Daniel Smith  

I remember when I left home to go to university. I was 18, away from my family and from my close Jewish community, launched into an atmosphere where religion was either criticised or mocked by highly intelligent people.


The alternative medic who practices Kabbalah

By Simon Rocker, March 14, 2008

Rabbi Yuval Hacohen Asherov on why there is more to Kabbalah than mysticism

As he offers me water, Rabbi Yuval Hacohen Asherov chuckles softly behind his beard: “You don’t get coffee here.” He must have detected my cappuccino withdrawal symptoms. “Coffee,” he continues in a voice of friendly advice, “is a stimulant. It weakens the heart and the kidneys. Why should a person do this, if not an addiction? You must learn to stop it.”