Torah

Torah reading: why specify the obvious?

Lineage The sidra begins, "Say to the kohanim the descendants of Aaron". The definition of the kohanim as descending from Aaron seems too obvious to...

The changing tides of the Omer

Jews experience time very deeply. Different stages of our calendar are suited for different religious experiences. During the forty days leading up to Yom...

Sefiras Ha’omer: Achieving the impossible

Imagine a teenager lying on a grassy field, gazing into the night sky. As he stares up at the stars, he thinks to himself,...

Parshat Kedoshim: what is holiness?

What does the term kedusha mean? What is holiness? In what way is God holy, and how are we meant to copy it? Many...

OzTorah: vengeance – K’doshim

THE EXTRA PHRASE The Torah constantly tells us who is speaking (generally God) and who is being addressed (often Moses, often the people of Israel). We...

What sort of Jewish state?

The Palestinians and the world are not stupid. They know quite well that we are a Jewish and democratic State. Their deeds leave no...

Elon Musk and freedom of speech

Dear Rabbi I wonder what you think about Elon Musk taking over Twitter. As a Jew, the idea of him opening up “freedom of speech”...

Ask the Rabbi: being nice to terrorists

BEING NICE TO TERRORISTS Q. It says in Pir’kei Avot that we should judge each person favourably ("dan l’chaf z’chut"). Does this apply to terrorists?...

Yom Ha’atzmaut: Jewish history under construction

Redemption comes in many varieties. Sometimes it is a rapid swell and sometimes a gentle flow. Sometimes history is overhauled in a heartbeat and...

Yom Hashoah: interviews with three Jewish martyrs

On a wintry October day in 1941 The Jews of the Kovno ghetto were assembled at an Umshlagplatz (gathering place), about to be deported...

Jewish youngsters urged to ‘pass on the torch of memory’

After two years, March of the Living UK - an annual trip giving young people from the UK access to experiential Holocaust education in...

Parshat Metzorah: speech, propaganda, and Seder night

This week's Torah portion describes the procedures that must be taken to cleanse the gossiper inflicted with tzoraat. He is sprinkled with the blood of...

Expensive Afikoment presents

Dear Rabbi Is it appropriate to give expensive presents to children or stealing the Afikomen? When I was growing up it was always some sweets...

Pesach: guardians of the galaxy

As the seder winds down the tension builds. Who has stolen the afikoman, and what price will it take to release this crucial hostage,...

Ta’am’s ten plagues immersive Seder

Discussion about the ten plagues is one of the most important parts of the Seder and the story of the Exodus. And what better...

Deepening our perception of challenges

In our last article, we discussed how the purpose of a challenge, as the Ramban explains, is to push us to actualize our latent...

Women & “respect for the community” – Ask the Rabbi

Q. Why does the Talmud say that women are not called to the Torah because of "k’vod hatzibbur" – "respect for the community"? A. Theoretically...

The Chris Vs Will Debate

Dear Rabbi OK so by now everyone has seen the whole episode of Chris Rock making fun of Will Smith’s wife’s illness and the latter...

Parshat Tazria: even a miracle requires waiting

We’ve now entered the thicket of Sefer Vayikra, dealing as it does with the more obscure laws of sacrifices, Biblical leprosy, cleansing, and purity. Whilst...

Stenecourt’s Purim party: pizza, magician and puppets

Stenecourt held a Purim party last week. There was a magician, pizza and chips, and an abbreviated children's megillah reading with puppets acting out...