Thoughts and reflections on current affairs.
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”
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”
Edward Colston being thrown into the River Avon by BLM protesters
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?”
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”
(15 May 2020 Times of Israel) Week 9 of lockdown and we are beginning to see certain parts of society ‘unlocking’. People unable to work from home can travel to work, people can now meet outside with one person not from their household (following the 2-metre social distancing rule). In lockdown terms, this is aContinue reading “As a “Spiritual Risk Taker”, I don’t actually need to risk anything.”
(Times of Israel 8 May 2020) Friday marks the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory of Europe) Day. After 6 bloody years of war raging in Europe, the allied forces formally announced the surrender of Nazi forces and brought the curtain down on the second world war in Europe. The war against Japan raged on forContinue reading “VE Day – A lesson for us in winning our current battle”
Published Times of Israel 04 May 2020 Spiritual herd immunity’ has redeemed our nation for thousands of years – these values haven’t disappeared in the current crisis. With each passing day, it is becoming clearer that part of the solution to COVID-19 will include some level of “herd immunity,” acquired over time. However, according toContinue reading “Physical, cognitive or spiritual herd immunity – which will help us survive?”
Perhaps the most startling aspect of President Trump’s leadership both as Republican nominee in the election and even more so as President was the pointed and often offensive tweets that Trump chose to share with the world at large. The advantage of tweeting if of course the ability to disseminate one’s opinion and message instantaneously. He no longerContinue reading “Trump’s Communication: Intimate or disconnected?”
Living by ethical priniciples in an imperfect world tests a person’s character. How do we resolve tensions when moral principles conflict? Lawrence Kohlberg presented the following dilemma: 1.In Europe, a woman was near death from a specialkind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form ofContinue reading “Lecture – Heinz Dilemma: His money or her life?”
Stories, rather than numbers, are where we can find rich meaning in life. The UK’s death toll has reached over 10,000 – in a little over 5 weeks. The sheer enormity of these numbers overwhelms each personal tragedy. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, Former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, the youngestContinue reading “Never just a number”
What Positives from the Coronavirus? A couple of weeks ago, travelling on the underground, I stared in disbelief at the spectacle of a couple of Chinese commuters with masks over their faces, in London, I thought? Absurd!? Fast forward a few weeks, and commuters, whether in London, New York or Paris are filled with growingContinue reading “The silver lining of Covid”
My insights on COVID so far… A couple of weeks ago, travelling on the underground, I stared in disbelief at the spectacle of a couple of Chinese commuters with masks over their faces, in London, I thought? Absurd!? Fast forward a few weeks, and commuters, whether in London, New York or Paris are filled withContinue reading “The Viral Virus”
Pope Francis had been making his way to the Nativity scene in Vatican City on Tuesday, New Year’s Eve. When he began to walk away from the crowd that had gathered to greet him, video shows a woman grabbing his hand and yanking him toward her. He became visibly upset, slapping the woman’s hand inContinue reading “A Papal slap”
For many in this country it’s an exciting time of year and I am told only 10 shopping days to go for the non jewish world to prepare themselves and make sure they have done all the shopping Yet many feel tremendous pressure to ensure that they succeed in buying something for everyone in theContinue reading “Shopping and finding the perfect gift”
This week we witnessed the horrendous abuse directed towards Anna Soubry MP during the course of a live TV interview. Shouts of Nazi drowned out her interview and she was subsequently harassed and her path blocked as she attempted to walk into Parliament in full gaze of the Police who chose not to intervene. ThereContinue reading “Freedom of expression as a basic right in society”
The Pianist & The Music of Human Dignity The Pianist is the remarkable true story of the pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman. Half crazed and half starved, having lived through the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi occupation, in 1944 Szpilman was facing the ominous prospect of being sent to a concentration camp to be killed like theContinue reading “The Music of Human Dignity”
The Purim story surround the epic battle between the Jewish people and Haman who attempts to exterminate them. This battle is in fact one chapter in an epic eternal conflict between the Jewish people on the one hand and Haman’s antecedents Amalek on the other. By understanding the underlying rationale in the original battle andContinue reading “The only way is up!”
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