Rabbi Harvey Belovski

An Orthodox view of other faiths

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, July 6, 2015

Judaism and Other Religions: Models of Understanding
Alan Brill, Palgrave Macmillan, £21


The book they couldn't suppress

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, March 2, 2014

In this intriguing work, Harry Freedman, former chief executive of Masorti Judaism, offers a two-part approach to understanding the development and impact of the Talmud. The first considers the Talmud as a developing text, exploring its origins in the post-destruction Roman Empire.


Too much dancing is bad for the simchah

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, September 25, 2013

Simchat Torah is an emotional day, concluding the Tishri Yomtov season and ending the entire festival sequence that started with Pesach. As its name, Joy of the Torah, indicates, it’s a day focused on the Torah, when we complete the annual cycle of Torah reading and begin it all over again amid singing, dancing and communal festivities.


How the rabbis made history

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, April 27, 2012

The second of Rabbi Dr Benny Lau's monumental Chachamim series to be translated into English, this work, like its companion three volumes (three so far), looks at the development and challenges of the Jewish people through the lives and teachings of rabbinical leaders.


Angels at the Table: a Practical Guide to Celebrating Shabbat

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, November 21, 2011

Yvette Alt Miller
Continuum, £22.99

This ambitious and unusual work combines a step-by-step guide to Shabbat observance, with recipes, song-lyrics and ideas for 'fostering meaningful conversations'. Harvard-graduate Miller's work dispels myths about the value and practicalities of Shabbat observance for modern suburban families.


Festivals of Faith: Reflections on the Jewish Holidays

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, June 16, 2011

Norman Lamm
Edited by David Shatz, OU Press, $45

This is an edited collection of sermons delivered over a 50-year period by Rabbi Norman Lamm, Chancellor of Yeshiva University and a well-known voice of modern Orthodoxy.


A Torah haven in the Geordie heartlands

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, March 24, 2011

I have just spent a week in Gateshead, a yeshivah town in the north of England, where my wife and I lived when we were first married and I was a student at the Gateshead Yeshivah. I remain eternally indebted to Gateshead for the outstanding Torah education I received there, and particularly for the encouragement I received to develop into an independent rabbi and halachist.


The Relationship of Orthodox Jews with Believing Jews of Other Religious Ideologies and Non-Believing Jews

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, March 10, 2011

Edited Adam Mintz, Ktav $30

As suggested by its rather unwieldy title, this volume tackles some of the thornier aspects of inter-denominational interaction from modern Orthodox perspectives. It is a sequence of papers, originally presented at one of Yeshiva University's Orthodox Forums by a distinguished group of educators, professors and yeshivah heads.


Exodus: The Book of Redemption

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, December 29, 2010

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
OU/Maggid, £16.99

This second volume of Chief Rabbi Sacks's essays on the weekly parashiyot, containing articles adapted from his popular electronic Covenant and Conversation series, will find a broad and receptive audience.

Attractively produced, the book includes a powerful thematic introduction to Shemot and four essays for each of the 11 parashiyot. As ever, Rabbi Sacks blends literary and philosophical references with classic rabbinical sources to create a sophisticated, thought-provoking, yet readable, collection.


An Orthodox American revolutionary

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, November 12, 2010

Rabbi Sherer: the paramount Torah spokesman of our era
Yonoson Rosenblum
ArtScroll Mesorah, £21.25

This book is a biography of Rabbi Moshe (Morris) Sherer, the visionary leader of American (and latterly of World) Agudath Israel from the 1960s until his death. Its author, Yale-educated Rabbi Yonason Rosenblum, is perhaps the most eloquent English-language spokesman for Charedi Jewry.


A trip to Israel is the best batmitzvah gift

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, April 28, 2010

A couple of months ago, I had the great pleasure of spending eight days in Israel with my second daughter Tehilloh, who is due to celebrate her batmitzvah at the end of June. The trip, her first to Israel, was her batmitzvah present from my wife and me.


So why isn't our meat good enough, rabbi?

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, December 3, 2009

A rabbi goes to heaven and is invited to sit at a banquet attended by Moses himself. He makes a discreet enquiry and discovers that the food is under Divine supervision. The rabbi whispers in a waiter’s ear, “I’ll take the fish!”


Review: An Introduction to medieval Jewish philosophy

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, July 30, 2009

By Daniel Rynhold
IB Tauris, £16.99

In this erudite, yet accessible, work, Daniel Rynhold of Yeshiva University (and previously of King’s College London and the London School of Jewish Studies), introduces the primary medieval Jewish philosophers and their main ideas.


JCoSS is non-Orthodox, not ‘cross-communal’

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, June 25, 2009

The scheduled opening of JCoSS (the Jewish Community Secondary School) next year has generated unprecedented interest. Adorned with the slogan “excellence, choice, openness, inclusion”, its website describes it as “the first cross-communal Jewish secondary school in the UK”. JCoSS takes pride in its admissions policy, which “will treat on an equal basis all pupils recognised as Jewish by any of the UK’s mainstream movements” and its intention to deliver Jewish studies “while being non-judgemental between the various mainstream Jewish traditions”.


There’s plenty of colour among the black hats

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, December 11, 2008

The students of a prominent Eastern European rabbi were about to join him to light the Chanucah candles. The rabbi noticed a broom near the window next to his menorah and asked for it to be removed; apparently he was concerned that in their zeal to emulate him, his followers would place a broom by the window before lighting their menorahs too. There is a humorous (and definitely fictitious) end to the story: having visited the rabbi, each of his students went home, placed a broom by the window and then removed it before lighting his candles.


Is it ethical to ‘hijack’ an Internet connection?

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, August 15, 2008

We look at piggy-backing - using someone else's wireless web connection without their knowledge

In 2005, a West London man, Gregory Straszkiewicz, was fined £500 and given a 12-month conditional discharge for "hijacking a broadband connection". Using a laptop while sitting in his car, Straszkiewicz had connected to the Internet by piggy-backing on the wireless network of a local resident.


How rabbis take on the software pirates

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, July 11, 2008

Is it permitted to copy software for personal use?


Welcome to techno -Torah

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, June 6, 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.


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