Yom Kippur and the Importance of Unity

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Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), for many Jews, is the most important day in the Jewish calendar. It is embodied by prayer and fasting with the ultimate aim of repentance. Yom Kippur means different things to everyone, some people focus on the abstention from food, for others it is a time of reflection on the… Read more »

Reflecting on the 2019 Yad Vashem Seminar

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The 2019 Yad Vashem Holocaust educational seminar personified participative intercultural transformation. What does that mean?  Well: jump-in and be part of the discussion, enjoy the fun and laughter, and the sheer gentle kindness of each other, whilst pausing in awed surprise at our genuine differences from each other. That’s just on a personal level.  A… Read more »

Rosh Hashanah

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This Sunday evening marks the start of the two day Jewish New Year festival Rosh Hashanah. The Hebrew word Rosh Hashanah translates as “the head of the year” and commemorates the anniversary of the world’s creation and the beginning of humanity[1]. The essence of Rosh Hashanah can be understood as both that of rejoice and… Read more »

Tisha B’av

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This Sunday marks one of the saddest days on the Jewish calendar Tisha B’av. The Hebrew word Tisha B’av translates as the 9th day of the Hebrew month Av, a date which throughout Jewish history has come to manifest tragedy and disaster[1]. Many observe the day by practicing customs of mourning such as fasting and… Read more »

Good and Bad News: a sermon after visiting Israel-Palestine

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Based on a sermon delivered at West London Synagogue by Rabbi David Mitchell*   What do you want first, the good news of the bad news? I have good news which should reassure you and bad news which should trouble you. I’m afraid that you’re going to get both, but which would you prefer first?… Read more »