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Not in Heaven
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When I was a student at university in the late 1960s – the era of student protests, psychedelic drugs, and the Beatles meditating with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – a story went the rounds. An American Jewish woman in her sixties travelled to north India to see a celebrated guru. There were huge crowds waiting […]
Nitzavim: This Season’s Leitmotif: Return!
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We have all been brought up to believe in the importance of progress. For the past several centuries, the goal of philosophy, religion, culture, and certainly science has been to develop ideas and practices which advance humankind beyond its present state. Poets have acclaimed the superiority of progress; one of them, Robert Browning, put it […]
Nowhere Man
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In the final chapters of Devarim, Moshe warns the people of the implications of abandoning the word of God: The Land of Israel has a delicate constitution, and misconduct will lead to exile. It might seem a logical consequence of this sort of exile that the covenant between God and the Jewish People would be […]
We Are What We Remember
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One reason religion has survived in the modern world despite four centuries of secularisation is that it answers the three questions every reflective human being will ask at some time in his or her life: Who am I? Why am I here? How then shall I live? These cannot be answered by the four great […]