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The ‘Most Illegitimate’ Regime; the Jihadist Middle East; and Remembering Yehuda Avner
 
Egyptian Culture Rife in Israel ‘For Years’ After Exodus

April 2, 2015 - 12:29 AM
 
2 Cops Hurt, 1 Female Attacker Killed Outside Istanbul Police HQ

April 1, 2015 - 11:36 PM
 
Palestinian Unknowingly Sells Bansky Mural to Gaza Artist for $175

April 1, 2015 - 11:07 PM
 
Netanyahu and Boehner Meet for Lunch

April 1, 2015 - 3:30 PM
 
Netanyahu Attacks the Iran Nuclear Deal as “Unconscionable” [video]

April 1, 2015 - 3:21 PM
 
No Insurance Available for Jewish Kindergartens in Belgium!

April 1, 2015 - 12:45 PM
 
France Leaves Iran Nuclear Talks, Will Return When ‘Useful’

April 1, 2015 - 11:53 AM
 
Car with 5 Pipe Bombs Stopped at Gush Etzion Tunnel Roads

April 1, 2015 - 9:31 AM
 
Obama Stops Punishing Egypt for Dumping Muslim Brotherhood Prez

April 1, 2015 - 1:43 AM
 
IDF Expects 1200 Daily Hezbollah Rockets in Next War

April 1, 2015 - 1:39 AM
 
Tevye the Milkman Wins Israel Prize

April 1, 2015 - 1:04 AM
 
New and Old Faces in Israel’s 20th Knesset Are Officially Sworn In [Video]

March 31, 2015 - 10:20 PM
 
113 Orphaned Bar Mitzva Boys Participate in Group Celebration in Jerusalem

March 31, 2015 - 7:39 PM
 
Live Webinar with Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier of the Shmuz Tonight: Reacting to the Tragedy in Brooklyn

March 31, 2015 - 7:33 PM
 
Attack on Yemeni Refugees Makes Israel Look Like the Girl Scouts

March 31, 2015 - 6:30 PM
 
IDF Promises to Block Missionary Activity

March 31, 2015 - 4:02 PM
 
Iran Likely to Force Obama to Back Down on ‘Deadline Threat’

March 31, 2015 - 12:56 PM
 
IDF Clashes with 40 Rioters at Gaza Border

March 31, 2015 - 11:16 AM
 
Knesset Opens the Tent to its 20th Circus

March 31, 2015 - 10:17 AM
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Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
 

Posted on: August 7th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

On the face of it, the test is simple: if what the prophet predicts comes to pass, he is a true prophet; if not, not. Clearly, though, it was not that simple.

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Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
 

Posted on: August 1st, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

These stories all have to do with the mitzvah of tzedakah whose source is in this week’s parshah.

The Prince of Wales with Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.
 

Posted on: July 25th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

One of the more unusual aspects of being a chief rabbi is that one comes to know people one otherwise might not.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
 

Posted on: July 18th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

The biblical covenant has the same literary structure as ancient near eastern political treaties.

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Portia and Shylock
 

Posted on: July 11th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Shakespeare is expressing the medieval stereotype of Christian mercy (Portia) as against Jewish justice (Shylock).

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-korach-
 

Posted on: June 6th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

For the first and only time, Moses invokes a miracle to prove the authenticity of his mission

 

Posted on: May 29th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

This week’s sedrah, Shelach Lecha, ends with one of the great commands of Judaism – tzitzit, the fringes we wear on the corner of our garments as a perennial reminder of our identity as Jews and our obligation to keep the Torah’s commands.

 

Posted on: May 22nd, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Tanach, the Hebrew Bible, is remarkable for the extreme realism with which it portrays human character. Its heroes are not superhuman. Its non-heroes are not archetypal villains. The best have failings; the worst often have saving virtues. I know of no other religious literature quite like it.

 

Posted on: May 8th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

On the face of it, the connections between the sedrah and haftarah of Bamidbar are slender. The first has to do with demography. Bamidbar begins with a census of the people. The haftarah begins with Hosea’s vision of a time when “the number of the children of Israel will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or numbered.” There was a time when the Israelites could be counted; the day will come when they will be countless. That is one contrast between the future and the past.

 

Posted on: April 24th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

In its account of the festivals of the Jewish year, this week’s parshah, Parshat Emor, contains the following statement: “You shall dwell in thatched huts for seven days. Everyone included in Israel must live in such thatched huts. This is so that future generations will know that I caused the Israelites to live in sukkot when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your G-d.”

 

Posted on: April 17th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

At the center of the mosaic books is Vayikra. At the center of Vayikra is the “holiness code” (chapter 19) with its momentous call: “You shall be holy because I, the Lord your G-d, am holy.” And at the centre of chapter 19 is a brief paragraph which, by its positioning, is the apex, the high point, of the Torah:

 

Posted on: March 20th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Judaism is less a philosophical system than a field of tensions – between universalism and particularism, for example, or exile and redemption, priests and prophets, cyclical and linear time, and so on.

 

Posted on: March 6th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

A long drama had taken place. Moses had led the people from slavery to the beginning of the road to freedom. The people themselves had witnessed G-d at Mount Sinai, the only time in all history when an entire people became the recipients of revelation. Then came the disappearance of Moses for his long sojourn at the top of the mountain, an absence which led to the Israelites’ greatest collective sin, the making of the Golden Calf. Moses returned to the mountain to plead for forgiveness, which was granted.

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Posted on: February 27th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Framing the epic events of this week’s sedrah are two objects: the two sets of tablets – the first given before, and the second after, the sin of the Golden Calf. Of the first, we read: “The tablets were the work of G-d; the writing was the writing of G-d, engraved on the tablets.”

 

Posted on: February 13th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

As soon as we read the opening lines of Terumah we begin the massive shift from the intense drama of the exodus with its signs and wonders and epic events, to the long, detailed narrative of how the Israelites constructed the Mishkan.

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Posted on: February 6th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Wherever the term “and these” is used, it signals continuity. Just as the commands in Parshat Yitro were given at Sinai, so too were the commands in Parshat Mishpatim. Why are the civil laws in the beginning of Parshat Mishpatim placed in juxtaposition to the laws concerning the altar at the end of Parshat Yitro? To tell you to place the Sanhedrin near to the Temple.

 

Posted on: January 30th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

The revelation at Mount Sinai – the central episode not only of parshat Yitro, but of Judaism as a whole – was unique in the religious history of mankind.

 

Posted on: January 23rd, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

The Song at the Sea was one of the great epiphanies of history. The sages said that even the humblest of Jews saw at that moment what even the greatest of prophets didn’t. For the first time they broke into collective song – a song we recite every day.

 

Posted on: January 9th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Throughout all Egypt the dust turned into lice. But when the magicians tried to produce lice by their secret arts, they could not. The lice attacked men and animals alike. The magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of G-d.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen.

 

Posted on: January 3rd, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

The sedra of Shemot, in a series of finely etched vignettes, paints a portrait of the life of Moses, culminating in the moment at which G-d appears to him in the bush that burns without being consumed. It is a key text of the Torah view of leadership, and every detail is significant. I want here to focus on just one passage in the long dialogue in which G-d summons Moses to undertake the mission of leading the Israelites to freedom – a challenge which, no less than four times, Moses declines. I am unworthy, he says. I am not a man of words. Send someone else. It is the second refusal, however, which attracted special attention from the sages and led them to formulate one of their most radical interpretations.

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