Jewish Holidays

The Merry Go Round

August 25, 2015, by

The Malach (angel) sat behind the desk and looked sternly at Sam Stein. “79 times,” said the Malach. Sam had no idea what he meant. “Where in the world am I?” Sam asked with much trepidation. “Am I in heaven now?” “No. In a time warp,” the angel answered tersely. “A time what?” “Time warp,” […]

Halacha L’Maaseh on Rosh Hashana

August 25, 2015, by

Introduction Rosh Hashana is the beginning of the Jewish calendar year (there are three other dates that begin other aspects of the Jewish year). Rosh Hashana is observed for two days, which are considered to be one continuous day. In Temple times, a Kohen would offer a sacrifice but might not know until the following […]

Hilchot Eruv Tavshilin

September 24, 2014, by

The following is meant as a convenient review of Halachos pertaining to Eiruv Tavshilin. The Piskei Din for the most part are based purely on the Sugyos, Shulchan Aruch and Ramah, and the Mishna Berura, unless stated otherwise. They are based on my understanding of the aforementioned texts through the teachings of my Rebeim. As […]

Hilchot Yom Tov

September 24, 2014, by

The following is meant as a convenient review of Halachos pertaining to Yom Tov. The Piskei Din for the most part are based purely on the Sugyos, Shulchan Aruch and Ramah, and the Mishna Berura, unless stated otherwise. They are based on my understanding of the aforementioned texts through the teachings of my Rebeim. As […]

Hilchos Uminhagei Rosh Hashanah

September 24, 2014, by

The following is meant as a convenient review of Halachos pertaining to Rosh Hashana. The Piskei Din for the most part are based purely on the Sugyos, Shulchan Aruch and Ramah, and the Mishna Berura, unless stated otherwise. They are based on my understanding of the aforementioned texts through the teachings of my Rebeim. As […]

The Cry of the Shofar

There’s an old and totally apocryphal story about the nineteenth century French Jewish aristocrat Baron de Rothschild, whose wife was in her bedroom with a nurse, in the last stages of delivery while he was sitting downstairs playing a game of cards with his friends. Suddenly they heard her cry, ‘Mon Dieu, Mon Dieu.’ ‘Baron,’ […]

The Future of the Past

It’s strange, very strange. Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the aseret yemei teshuvah, the ten days of repentance. We reflect on the past year, recall the bad we did and the good we failed to do, apologise, confess and ask for forgiveness. Yet there’s almost none of this on Rosh Hashanah. There is no confession, […]

The Love That Says No

When I was Chief Rabbi, each year before Rosh Hashanah I used to make a television film for the BBC. It was an interesting challenge. 99.5 per cent of the viewers were not Jewish. Jews are only half a per cent of the population of Britain. Besides which, many, even most of them weren’t religious […]

Teshuva: Averting The Decree

This year we approach the New Year with more fear and trembling than for a very long time. This summer, in Gaza, we saw Israel, at double risk of Hamas missiles and tunnels, forced into some of the most difficult choices a nation has ever had to make. How do you fight a war against […]

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