CHANUKAH:Culture and Anarchy Hebrew and Hellenist

Hebraism and Hellenism, – between these two points of influence moves our world. Matthew Arnold First, never go against the best light you have; secondly, take care that your light be not darkness. Thomas Wilson It was Eric Gruen, in his Heritage and Hellenism, who wrote that the Macabbean revolution sparked a process that helped to define Jewish characterContinue reading “CHANUKAH:Culture and Anarchy Hebrew and Hellenist”

VAYISHLACH: Are we meant to be comfortable with ourselves?

“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.” Bereishit 32:24 It was the great American leader and Rabbi, Joseph Soloveitchik, who asked, in his seminal work The Lonely Man of Faithn whether loneliness can be either the Kierkegaardian anguish – an ontological fear nurtured by the awareness of nonbeing threatening one’s existence –Continue reading “VAYISHLACH: Are we meant to be comfortable with ourselves?”

VAYEITZEI: Learning to nourish the voice within

It was Israel Zangwill, the close associate of Theodore Herzl, who said that the Jewish people were “a people without a land”. We are a wandering nation. As Paul Johnson, in his seminal History of the Jews notes – after the Roman sacking of the Second Temple, the Jewish nation began the long and arduousContinue reading “VAYEITZEI: Learning to nourish the voice within”

CHAYEI SARA: 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 “CHAYEI SARA: The power of our past to define our future”

Behind the Face Mask what are we hiding?

Passing through Krakow airport on my return from an education trip to Auschwitz, there was a sight that I found particularly unsettling.  I remember staring at a group of Chinese tourists wearing masks. Having just learned that we were the last group to leave Birkenau as it was forced to close due to Covid,  IContinue reading “Behind the Face Mask what are we hiding?”