Aug 17

16 August 2018

By Editor | Blogs

*content warning: discussion of mental illness/suicide* Dear Friends, This past week I saw, on Facebook and elsewhere, a sudden influx of posts about Robin Williams, who died by suicide four years ago. I think for many people in my own life, particularly my peers in age-terms, Williams’ death was a tremendous eye-opener about the danger […]

Aug 10

9 August 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, This week I want to open with a quote from R’ Bradley Shavit-Artson, the dean of the Ziegler School for Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles: “We have what to share with the world: our values, our stories, our traditions and guidelines, our love of a place, our ways of sanctifying time and family, […]

Aug 03

2 August 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, When I was a kid, one of my favourite activities was the inevitable ‘scavenger hunt’– the more baroque and complex the clues– the better. The absurd combination of puzzles and geography was extremely satisfying. As I got older, the ubiquity of global positioning system (GPS) technology meant that there were new avenues of […]

Jul 27

26 July 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, There’s been many aspects of my Jewish life where I’ve often felt an ‘outsider’. I consider it a badge of honour to be a rabbi who understands what it’s like to not be able to read Hebrew or not know what page we’re on during services. Yet perhaps the most profound lack of […]

Jul 19

19 July 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, Just under two thousand years ago, the Jewish people found themselves amidst a civil war. For the better part of the 1st century, the Land of Israel saw previously inconceivable upheaval: a Roman invasion and occupation, a split between Jews who would collaborate with the Romans against those who insisted on violent resistance, […]

Jul 03

28 June 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, This week we mark an anniversary which would normally never have even pinged on my radar: seventy years of the NHS. As a recent immigrant from the Colonies, the massive and apparently-endlessly bureaucratic NHS has been an interesting curiosity for me. Long since a supporter of single-payer healthcare in America, I was eager […]

Jun 22

21 June 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, It’s Summer Solstice. It just sounds good to say! The longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice officially represents the point at which the Earth’s axis tilts the closest to the Sun (the peak point was actually 11:07 BST.) In an added benefit, the weather also cooperated to ensure our maximally-sunny day was […]

Jun 15

14 June 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, It seems that summer is the season of weddings. We have four new SAMS couples celebrating their upcoming nuptials over the next few months. Four different stories of laughter, learning, loss, and, of course, love. Often the most difficult part of my job is trying to answer those pressing questions facing the newly engaged: how […]

Jun 08

7 June 2018

By Editor | Blogs

I’ve always been a big fan of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. From a young age, I can remember the characteristic swell of strings in the background of memories. I always enjoyed the story the music told, taking the listener through the course of the year– beautifully realising the patterns of nature into the harmonics of music. The […]

Jun 01

31 May 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Much has been made of the sibling challenge to Moses in this week’s parashah: “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Kushite woman he had married: ‘He married a Kushite woman!’” (Num. 12:1) Various commentators have proposed to explain this strange verse, saying that either 1) Miriam was jealous of Tsipporah’s beauty, or […]

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