Category Archives for "Blogs"

Aug 19

15 August 2019

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, This is a weird week in the Jewish calendar. On Sunday we commemorated Tisha b’Av (the 9th of Av), the day on which the ancient Temple was destroyed and numerous other calamities befell our people. It ties with Yom Kippur as the saddest day of the Jewish year (and shares many ritual similarities as […]

Aug 02

1 August 2019

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, Back when I was a young, doe-eyed, proto-rabbi– there was one thing above all else that I felt the need to hide from my classmates and teachers. It was an opinion which was very much not in vogue (#unpopularopinion) and I thought it best to not be too eager to share it. Basically, […]

Jul 26

25 July 2019

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, The big Summer music hit this year in Israel– a country predominately made up of Jews who have emigrated there from around the world– is an unconventional Arabic-inspired R&B hit by Alessandro Mahmood, an Egyptian-Italian singer. Soldi (money) is sung in Italian, but that hasn’t stopped it from being wildly popular in Israel, where, […]

Jul 23

18 July 2019

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, On the wall of my office, there’s a large poster which features the Hebrew text of a quote from the Book of Michah (Chapter 6, Verse 8): הִגִּיד לְךָ אָדָם, מַה-טּוֹב; וּמָה-יְהוָה דּוֹרֵשׁ מִמְּךָ, כִּי אִם-עֲשׂוֹת מִשְׁפָּט וְאַהֲבַת חֶסֶד, וְהַצְנֵעַ לֶכֶת, עִם-אֱלֹהֶיךָ. You have been told, mortal, what is good– and what God […]

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 […]