The power of our past to define our future

In this week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, literally “The Life of Sarah”, we are informed of her passing. The Torah states: “These are the years  of the life of Sarah 100 years, twenty years and seven years the years of her life”. Rashi noting the seeming repetition of the phrase years of her life comments that “allContinue reading “The power of our past to define our future”

Clinging to our Tree of Life

This week, I came across the remarkable story of a family in Boca Raton, Florida that had featured on several news bulletins; Paul and Tammy Clarke’s  family home had caught fire and in a matter of a few hours their house and almost everything they owned went up in smoke. As they stood outside theirContinue reading “Clinging to our Tree of Life”

Jewish and Privileged

Nationwide protests over inequality are encouraging more conversations not only about race but also about white privilege.  For many of us it is something abstract, conceptual but difficult to relate to. As American sociologist, Michael Kimmel put it succinctly: “Privilege is invisible to those who have it.” Historically, white privilege was often described through theContinue reading “Jewish and Privileged”

Shelach & Eli Cohen

   This weeks Torah portion Shelach , relates the story of Moshe sending 12  spies on a reconnaissance trip to the promised land. A trip which had catastrophic consequences for the Jewish people. My mind always recalls the story of Eli Cohen Israel’s greatest spy. He is best known for his espionage work in 1961–65 in Syria,Continue reading “Shelach & Eli Cohen”

Racism- is that relevant to us?

The natural reaction that I think we all felt was utter revulsion as we heard the news from America of the murder of George Floyd and many of us watched the video.  But as the protest spread and the accusations of institutionalised racism and societal racism, I could not help but wonder what does thatContinue reading “Racism- is that relevant to us?”

George Floyd and the Axed Heifer

Whilst the streets of America burn, it is incumbent upon all of us to support one another through these dark hours with kindness and peace. One cannot help but feel a sense of deep anger and incredulity as one watches the video filmed by an onlooker of George Floyd’s death – handcuffed and helpless withContinue reading “George Floyd and the Axed Heifer”