Chanukah: lighting candles in a time of danger

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The Jewish festival of Chanukah begins on Sunday night. The Chanukah story tells how, having regained control of the Temple in Jerusalem, the Maccabees needed to light the great menorah. Although they could only find one day’s worth of oil, that oil lasted for eight days. In commemoration, Jews light the chanukiah – a special… Read more »

Reflections on Sukkot and Universalism

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The Jewish festival of Sukkot begins on the eve of 23 September and lasts for eight days.Here, Rabbi Barry Kleinberg reflects on the festival. To learn more about Sukkot, click here. Alan Brill wrote a book called Judaism and Other Religions: Models for Understanding. He clearly sets out 4 models for such an understanding. In… Read more »

Yom Kippur: Meditation in the Belly of a Whale

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As Yom Kippur approaches, Jews are involved in self-reflection and self improvement. We navigate our way from the Day of Judgement (Rosh HaShana) through the Ten Days of Repentance, until we reach the pinnacle of human self-awareness and humility — then we atone for twenty-five hours on Yom Kippur. We separate ourselves out from ordinary… Read more »

Rosh Hashanah: Creating the World Together

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Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, falls this year on 10-11 September. ‘Today the world is at birth.’ After each set of horn blasts on Rosh Hashanah, Jews recite these words. Unlike most Jewish festivals, Rosh Hashanah does not commemorate any events from Jewish history or particular to the Jewish people. Instead, it marks the… Read more »