Category Archives for "Blogs"

Jul 17

11 July 2019

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, Food can tell us a lot about history– and often, food undermines our own self-conceptions of what ‘history’ is all about. Take the example of paella. Paella is (unofficially) Spain’s ‘national dish’– it exudes Spanishness and Hispanophiles the world around cherish the smell and savour of a proper paella (cooked of course in […]

Jul 04

4 July 2019

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, Cars burning, thousands protesting, motorways blocked, tearful families at tragic funerals– these sights are ones that are sadly familiar to Americans after the last few years. Nearly five years ago, in Ferguson, Missouri, 18 year old Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer after an altercation (the details of which are […]

Jun 28

27 June 2019

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, I have the privilege of being in Florence this Shabbat to celebrate the Shabbat Chatan, and wedding on Sunday, of a lovely couple who I’m marrying here. However, I’m very sorry to miss our other celebration of love and want to wish Adam Grant and his fiancé Georgine Waller a huge mazal tov […]

Jun 21

20 June 2019

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, Last Shabbat, as typically happens a few times a year, we didn’t yet have a minyan at the time when we were meant to begin the Torah service. Without a minyan, we skip the Torah service and go right to the Haftarah. From the point of view of halakhah this is a loss– though I’m […]

Jun 13

13 June 2019

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, This week, in Parashat Naso, we read: “… [the Nazir] shall abstain from wine and any other intoxicant; they shall not drink vinegar of wine or of any other intoxicant, neither shall they drink anything in which grapes have been steeped, nor eat grapes fresh or dried.” (Numbers 6.3) Naso introduces several aspects […]

Jun 06

6 June 2019

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, This is the Petrified Forest National Park in Northern Arizona: It’s a magical place– though not for any obvious reason. Really, all it is is a 230 square mile park which is almost entirely empty, except for the petrified trees which lived there during the Triassic period, 225 million years ago. As a […]

May 30

30 May 2019

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, Often, when I talk to people who tell me they’re an atheist, I can be a bit dismissive. This isn’t because I have any issue with questioning faith or with the idea that one might struggle to connect with God. Rather, it is because I have met very few people who were genuinely […]

May 24

23 May 2019

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, Today is Lag Ba’Omer, a very uncreatively-named Jewish holiday (Lag or ל״ג is simply the way to write 33 in Hebrew), which falls on the 33rd day of the Omer– the time that bridges the divide between Pesach and Shavu’ot. Whereas many Jews observe a variety of mourning customs during the Omer (no […]

May 16

16 May 2019

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, It may have escaped your attention with all the (other) horrible news these days, but one of the strangest recent developments is that Steve Bannon, former advisor and key strategist of the Trump campaign, has recently taken up residence in a remote Italian monastery. This is not, unfortunately, a result of him seeing […]

May 09

9 May 2019

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, I’m sure many of you will agree: there are many confusing and often jarring aspects of contemporary Israeli society and culture. Yet, personally, I think none is stranger than the extreme switch between the two chief days of the secular calendar: Yom haZikaron and Yom haAtzma’ut. Today (Wed night-Thur night) is Yom haAtzma’ut […]

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