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Jewish Holidays

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 […]

A Review of Hilchot Yom Tov

April 10, 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 Rama, 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 Grand Slam

February 13, 2014, by

Until the dream occurred, Jack Stein didn’t get the message, nor did he connect the dots. Sometimes it’s like that, you know. A person can miss the point, even when it stares him right in the face. It was true that Jack had a difficult life. He struggled to earn a living and was always […]

The Heavenly Call

February 13, 2014, by

First, A Disclaimer The following story describes the irreverent behavior of a group of worshipers in a shul. The author wishes to make it clear that this is not an accurate representation of what actually occurs in most synagogues. Rather, it is a verbal caricature of sorts, which exaggerates certain patterns of human behavior for […]

The Pendulum

February 13, 2014, by

The following manuscript was accidentally discovered in a dusty chest in the attic of an old abandoned building. It is not known how it came to be placed there. We present this document because it is of vital interest to the Jewish community. Isaac Streicher’s Manuscript I, Isaac Streicher, hereby record the eerie conversation that […]

Unexpected Visitors We Encounter in the Machzor

September 21, 2012, by

Rabbi Weil discusses themes we encounter in the Machzor including the 13 Middos, Akeida, Yom Teruah, Eim Sisera, Zechariah, Rachel, Shofar Gadol, Chana, & the Seir HaMishtaleach, and how both the Living & the Dead are Judged. Download the Source Sheet.

Haftorahman: Rosh HaShanah Day 2

September 17, 2012, by

In Jeremiah Chapter 31 the prophet urges the Jews, who are going into exile to return to God so that He will show mercy on us on this day of judgement. Haftorahman brings you a shiur on this Shabbat’s Haftarah from the Book of Prophets, explaining it in a dynamic and exciting way, making learning […]

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