Judaism features

The fateful rejection behind Haman's hate

By Benedict Roth, March 14, 2014

The nation of Amalek is presented in the Bible as a nihilistic, destructive force that attacks without mercy and without reason. Saul, Israel’s first king, had an opportunity to exterminate Amalek entirely but, whether because of compassion or because of greed, he stayed his hand and was punished for his hesitancy.


Ritual is the DNA that defines who we are

By Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, March 10, 2014

The language of Judaism is ritual and, as quintessential moderns, we Jews have lost our appreciation for its expressive power. For one thing, we’re not very good at it and like normal adults we don’t like doing what we don’t do well.


Partnership minyans are not going away

By Dr Miri Freud-Kandel, February 23, 2014

Over the past few months, the term “partnership minyan” or PM, has increasingly been on people’s lips Though rather clunky, it refers to a relatively new concept on the Orthodox prayer scene in which women play a larger role in tefillah.


The secrets of successful synagogues

By Simon Rocker, February 16, 2014

The gap between practice and belief among UK Jews was again demonstrated in the new National Jewish Community Survey carried out by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research.


Culture, not faith, is the key to continuity

By Rabbi David Goldberg, February 6, 2014

Last week, the JC summarised the findings of the largest-ever survey of UK Jewry. The results broadly confirm my own amateur observations, based on over 40 years in the Progressive rabbinate.


We must not abandon the Jews left in Ethiopia

By Rabbi Sybil Sheridan, January 26, 2014

It is Friday late afternoon and the synagogue is packed. Though we still have 10 minutes to the start of the service, we have to make our way to the very back of the women’s section — at least 400 have got here before us. Looking behind the curtain, we see that there are far fewer men.


Segregating men and women is not sexist

By Rabbi Daniel Levy, January 17, 2014

In early 2013, several British universities followed University College London by allowing separate seating for men and women during talks organised by certain Muslim groups.


Why people are like trees

By Dr Ben Elton, January 12, 2014

Tu Bishvat in my Jewish primary school was celebrated as a largely Zionist festival, emphasising the importance of planting trees in the state of Israel. That was not an inappropriate slant; after all, Tu Bishvat was originally concerned with the trees and the produce of the Land of Israel.


Can friends argue without falling out?

By Simon Rocker, January 5, 2014

God chose the Jews because He likes a good argument, the Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks joked. Jews are a quite an argumentative lot, said Simon Schama in his recent TV series.


Are religious labels past their sell-by date?

By Matt Plen, December 27, 2013

I’m about to head to the Limmud conference, where thousands of Jews of every conceivable stripe will spend five days learning, debating, celebrating and socialising together. Coming hot on the heels of that other winter highlight, Chanucah, Limmud sets out a particularly fashionable message about contemporary Jewish existence.