By Rabbi Rebecca Qassim Birk, November 29, 2012

We named our first child Reuben. It was the meaning that appealed: “Behold/See a son”.  It described the celebratory moment of a first bursting into our lives with all the anticipation of who he would be and the changes he would bring.



By Rabbi Daniel Beller, November 15, 2012

Even if the view that there are only problem parents is something of a generalisation, parents need to be extremely vigilant not to make the mistake of educating all their children identically. What was a blessing for one child could be the ruination of another.


Chayei Sarah

By Rabbi Michael Pollak, November 8, 2012

This Shabbat will see religious Jews from all over the world gathering in the ancient capital city of Hebron for what has become one of the most joyful pilgrimages of the national calendar.



By Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, November 1, 2012

On so many levels, this verse is striking. It is the first instance where the Torah validates the voice of a female protagonist, with Rashi even commenting that this verse indicates that Sarah’s prophecy was superior to that of Abraham.


Lech Lecha

By Rabbi Jeremy Bruce, October 25, 2012

Perhaps the most curious aspect of Abraham’s appointment as the first of our forefathers is the question why he was chosen in the first place. The Torah gives us no biographical sketch to indicate why he is asked to leave his home and begin a new religion in the Land of Israel.



By Rabbi Rebecca Qassim Birk, October 18, 2012

I love rainbows. They always cause a frisson of excitement in my house every time one glimpses the watery stripes in the sky. Children learn their colours from those painted streaks, and only discover later that it’s actually refracted light on meeting moist air. Despite the scientific explanation, it appears magical each time.



By Rabbi Daniel Beller, October 11, 2012

When man takes to the stage in the first chapter of Bereshit, he is described as being created in the image of God. Owing to traditional Judaism’s rejection by and large of the notion of a corporeal God, commentators are at variance as to what this phrase could possibly mean.


Shabbat Chol Hamo'ed Succot

By Rabbi Dr Michael Harris, October 10, 2012

A tradition as long and rich as Judaism inevitably contains opposing trends regarding some major issues. A case in point is asceticism, severe abstinence from the pleasures of the body and this world.



By Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris, September 27, 2012

Here the term tzur, rock, is a casus pendens, a syntactical structure whereby the term the beginning of the sentence is syntactically independent of sentences that follow. Tzur stands alone at the beginning of this verse, its inherent qualities conveying the meaning of the term: strong, solid, unalterable, weighty.



By Rabbi Dr Moshe Freedman, September 20, 2012

This week’s portion describes the commandment of hakhel, meaning gathering. During hakhel, the King of Israel would read the book of Deuteronomy to the entire people in order to inspire the nation and stimulate love and fear of God.