Rabbi Aaron Goldstein

Reacting against FEAR

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., March 4, 2010

It is incredible but not terribly surprising that the quest for 'freedom' and 'equality' is met with headline makers highlighting 'fear!'

This is an interesting case study on progress in religion.



Looking Forward to Celebrating First Ever Civil Partnership in a Synagogue

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., March 3, 2010

Liberal Judaism welcomes the new amendment to the Equality Bill, which will lift the ban on Civil Partnerships being held in religious buildings. The vote was passed in the House of Lords on Tuesday 2nd March, by 95 votes to 21.


Equality in the Equality Bill for lesbians and gay men

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., February 24, 2010

The amendment to the Equality Bill, proposed by Lord Alli, does not seek to force any organisation or individual to do anything in respect of civil partnerships. It merely allows those who wish to do so to open the doors – literally – to their houses of worship and sanctuary, so that gays and lesbians can celebrate their loving unions alongside their straight brothers and sisters.

For more see my piece in the Guardian:


Let us perform civil partnerships in our Shuls

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., February 23, 2010

Liberal Judaism has always been committed to promoting justice and equality for all members of society. In 2005 we became the first religious movement in the UK to publish official liturgy, the B’rit Ahavah, for same sex partnership blessings. However, a same sex couple wishing to have their civil partnership take place in a religious building is currently prevented from doing so by UK law. Liberal Judaism regrets this and is therefore supporting Lord Alli's amendment to the Equality Bill which will permit civil partnerships to take place inside religious buildings.


Letter to Bibi in support of democracy in Israel

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., February 5, 2010

Dear Sir,

A few weeks ago, I, together with my lay leadership, wrote to the Israeli Ambassador to the UK to express our concern for the increased intimidation of Progressive Jews in Israel. I am appalled that there seems to be an increasing number of incidents culminating in last week's attack on the New Israel Fund as being the cause of the Goldstone report, with a vicious personal attack on the New Israel Fund president and former deputy Knesset Speaker Naomi Chazan.


Hate disrupts protocol

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., February 1, 2010

Humanity needs leaders but it needs leaders to help humanity to live in harmony with one another. The time for a colonial mind-set is gone. One people can not subjugate another. I do not believe that the vast majority want this. But they can be led, just as Pharaoh led his courtiers, into believing a destructive narrative. Humanity is not well served by extreme narratives.

Read more at http://www.npls.org.uk/Sermons/New/Shira%20Bshallach.html or from www.npls.org.uk


Exploitation of Haiti

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., January 17, 2010

I am sure that like me, you have been horrified by the pictures coming out of Haiti following the earthquake on January 12th. We are only beginning to find out about the human tragedy and circumstances that are difficult for us to imagine. The vivid photography and descriptions are extremely painful to see and hear, let alone directly experience. This earthquake marks a heart-wrenching pinnacle of devastation to a people ravaged by multiple man-made and natural disasters that has witnessed Haiti becoming the poorest country in the western hemisphere...


Intimidation of leading Progressive Jew by Israeli Police

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., January 11, 2010

A few days ago, on January 5th, Anat Hoffman, the director of the Israel Religious Action Center, who spoke in our Shul last year was interrogated by the police for more than an hour about her activities during Women of the Wall's last monthly service in December. Speaking by phone from Jerusalem, Hoffman said she did nothing differently that day than she had for the 21 years of her group's existence.


JFS: How your neighbours hear about us from Radio 4

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., December 21, 2009

Fantastic listening from the best show on religion and faith issues.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00pb900/Sunday_20_12_2009/ on the JFS affari. Interesting opinions that reflect to me, the past and the present and future of Anglo Judaism.


Continued support for Harrow Central Mosque

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., December 14, 2009

Getting the message through to our local Community that we will not stand for the hatred being put out by the English Defence League and their ilk. The following was posted by the Harrow Central Mosque:

"Today’s demonstration by the Stop Islamisation of Europe and the English Defence League was in every measure a miserable defeat for the hate mongers and the Islamaphobes.

The Harrow Central Mosque is extremely grateful that people from so many backgrounds and faiths stood shoulder to shoulder in support of and in solidarity towards this great centre of peace and harmony."


Supporting our Muslim neighbours

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., December 13, 2009

Today as I write our Muslim neighbours are being scapegoated by the English Defence League and other groups from outside of our area whose only goal
is to instil hatred. My Shul and other Liberal and Reform Synagogues are supporting our neighbours.
Read more from our Rabbis at



Thinking of Gilad Shalit

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., November 30, 2009

There are some thoughts that might come to us when we are on our own and living in fear that could not be conceived when we are with others and feeling comfortable. Who are the secure to judge those living with insecurity?

In our parashsa, Jacob’s isolation is one of utter fear....In this instance, I forgive Jacob his apparent bargaining with God. For in the solitude of fear, who are we to judge the prayers, the vows, the pleas of utter desperation, even the demands on God? One person who has now been in solitary confinement for 1252 days is Gilad Shalit...


Mitzvah Day: Honouring our role models

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., November 15, 2009

When looking for role models in the Torah, one often has to look at an episode in their lives rather than take into account all the aspects of their lives. Rebecca does not come out smelling like roses, when we consider a literal interpretation of the devious and single-minded way that she favours Jacob over Esau and encourages him to con his brother out of what was rightfully his and to take advantage of his own father’s disabilities to achieve his goals.



By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., November 15, 2009

This Sunday marks the 75th Annual Remembrance Ceremony and Parade. The ex-Servicemen and women will fall in at Horse Guards Parade before marching to the Cenotaph at Whitehall for a memorial service.


BNP: The one who must be named

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., October 27, 2009

This Shabbat, my nostrils are still full of the stench of the one who, in the words of J.K. Rowling and incidentally following many ancient traditions, ‘shall not be named!’ Like Noah, I am assaulted by the rancid attempt to corrupt society that directly confronted us on Thursday night. The Lord Voldemort of contemporary British society. Unlike Noah, we cannot hide ourselves away in an Ark to let flood waters cleanse our land.


If ever my Shul were cool

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., October 25, 2009

It was just another 'ordinary' social evening at our Shul (never quite ordinary, raucous seems more appropriate!) a 60's rock 'n' roll evening with homegrown house band, the whole set of Hairspray in attendance (ok, my congregants and friends but they were deadringers), fab food complete with cheese & pineapple hedgehogs and babychams. Yet there I was sat next to Boy George and his protege, Coby Koehl chatting about stuff I would later find out Jonathan Ross had talked abotu the night before on telly.


A chance to remove the tarnish of midsdeed from the spirit and in repentance start over again

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., September 25, 2009

It is well known that most Jewish rituals are associated with food: honeycake for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), cheesecake for Shavuot (Pentecost) and doughnuts for Chanukah to name but a few.

This is why every Jewish household contains both at least one celebrity chef but many food critics! It is therefore noteworthy when a ritual is associated with abstinence from consuming food and imbibing liquids. There are in fact a number of minor fasts in the Jewish calendar, but the one that is observed by the majority of Jews is Yom Kippur: the Day of Atonement.


Synagogues have got to transform themselves this 5770

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., September 24, 2009

So what is the future of the Synagogue in the UK today?

See my general thoughts on: http://www.totallyjewish.com/the_jewish_news/view/c-12452/jewish-news-jn...

And specifically for my own Community, Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue http://www.npls.org.uk/Sermons/New/RH%20Morning%205770.html

Shanah Tovah to you all.



There is no waste when you forget

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., September 1, 2009

Being a forgetful person, it is wonderful to learn that I am not always a source for frustration and annoyance. There is one possibility that my forgetting is actually a mitzvah and I even get blessed for forgetting! Bizarre but true. Why not read on...http://www.npls.org.uk/Sermons/New/Ki%20Tetze%205769.html


The release of the 'Lockerbie Bomber'

By Rabbi Aaron Gol..., August 28, 2009

This week must have God writhing in agony for what had been created. If we were in ancient Israel, we would have prophets of God crying out in every gate of every city and the inhabitants of those cities would be in garbed in sackcloth and sat, fasting and wailing lamentations amongst ashes, desperate to avert the expected wrath of God.