Judaism features

Why a bleak fast can still be called a festival

By Rabbi David Lister, August 7, 2008

The fast of Tishah b'Av this weekend is one of the most mournful days in the calendar. But the rabbis still found seeds of hope within it

Much of Tishah b'Av is designed to break our morale. On this bleak day we mourn the destruction of the First and Second Temples on Temple Mount in Jerusalem, along with many other tragedies that have befallen us in the centuries that have passed.


Why the credit crunch can have a silver lining

By Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, July 31, 2008

The economic downturn may be hard but it can help free us from the slavery of materialism



Say a prayer before you fly

By Elisheva Katanka, July 24, 2008

Airport prayer rooms can help bring together people of different faiths

A rabbi and an Israeli bus-driver go to heaven. The bus-driver is let in first, but when the rabbi protests, an angel proclaims: "When you used to speak from the pulpit, you put congregants to sleep, but on the bus, everyone prayed!"


You need a barmitzvah renewal every 18 years

By Scott Shay, July 17, 2008

Why stop at 13? Scott Shay urges ‘bar- and batmizvah-plus’ celebrations throughout life — and shuls are taking him up

Like many Jews, I don’t procrastinate: I put things off right away. This is especially true of spiritual and ethical pursuits, because of heavy career and personal responsibilities. How many of us have made plans finally to sit down and read Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, but just never got around to it?


How rabbis take on the software pirates

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, July 10, 2008

Is it permitted to copy software for personal use?


The slimline siddur with a touch of Bob Dylan

By Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein, July 3, 2008

The new gender-inclusive Reform siddur is both ‘more traditional and more creative’, with some radical new material

Forms of Prayer
Edited by Jonathan Magonet, The Movement for Reform Judaism, £24.95 (pocket £9.95)


Two United rabbis show disunity over conversion

By Rabbi Mordechai Ginsbury, June 12, 2008

Last month, Rabbi Naftali Brawer publicly condemned an Israeli court’s decision to annul thousands of conversions. Today, Rabbi Mordechai Ginsbury takes his colleague to task for his views

Dear Rabbi Brawer,

I read reports of your recent sermon on the conversion crisis in Israel with some sense of dismay. The Talmud (Ta’anit 4a) teaches that a rabbinic scholar who displays anger should be treated tolerantly, as it is the idealism and sensitivity engendered by the passion of his learning which drives him to anger.


Welcome to techno -Torah

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, June 5, 2008

The people of the book now have a vast online resource to aid their study

A Jewish child is thinking of Moses about to receive the Torah. Moses ascends the mountain, and God’s hand reaches through the cloud and hands him not tablets of stone, but a laptop, a CD and some Hebrew keyboard stickers.


The latest conversion row could tear us apart

By Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, June 5, 2008

The conflict over Israeli conversions will lead modern Orthodox to split from Charedim

Shavuot is a time for reading the book of Ruth: “Wherever you go, I go, your people shall be my people and your God shall be my God …” It is a time when Jews should focus on matters relating to conversions. There is much to consider.


A rabbi’s guide to torah and jewish study sources online

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, June 5, 2008

Bi-directional word-processors, keyboards and keyboard stickers:
Jewish Software

Selected Torah websites:
Jewish Law
Virtual Beit Midrash