Purim blog – Simon Eder

Purim and the UnMasking of False Certainties The philosopher Isaiah Berlin in a 1953 essay contrasted two types of thinker –  the hedgehog and the fox. The hedgehog has one big idea. Everything else is filtered out. The fox conversely has lots of ideas. It likes to see the broader context, how concepts fit together and is always anxious to … Read More

Ben Simon’s Bar Mitzvah, 30 January 2021 – Simon Eder

Benjamin, I can’t help feeling that only you could have mastered such an incredible riddle – we can be seen or we may be invisible, we can be heard but may be muted, we are all celebrating together and yet we are not in the same place, we may be dressed smartly actively taking part in the shul service and … Read More

Vayechi/Genesis 50, 2 January 2021 – Rachel Berkson

On Saturday 2 January we read the last chapter of Genesis. With the start of the secular new year in really tough circumstances, it seems a good time to repeat the formula for ending a book: be strong, be strong, and let us strengthen one another. Chapter 50 covers the deaths of both Jacob and Joseph. Both of them, dying … Read More

Parashat Vayeyra, Taking Flight, 7th November 2020 – Rabbi Charles Middleburgh

Ireland went into a full lockdown a few days before we did last March. As Rabbi Emeritus to the Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation, previously visiting the community one weekend a month, we decided to embrace Zoom and on the first post-lockdown Shabbat I led the service and have been doing so ever since. One of the first challenges was thinking … Read More

Yom Kippur 2020/5781 – Ed Kessler

One day, a travelling circus came to town. Its star was a lion, kept in a cage 30 metres long, 30 metres wide. For hour upon hour each day, the lion paced up-and-down, back and forth. One night, it broke loose from the cage. His escape was soon discovered and the search was on. Before long, the keepers found him. … Read More

Sealed for Life or Death? Kol Nidre 2020 – Marc Saperstein

Many passages of our liturgy, and especially the High Holy Day liturgy, derive their power from the integral connection between music and words. Indeed in some cases, the melody seems far more important than the words. Kol Nidre is an obvious example. This evening I would like to focus on the Unetaneh Tokef, for many generations a showcase for ḥazzanim. … Read More

Nitzavim – Vayeilech, 12th September 2020 – Fred Diamond

When Fiona asked me to give this week’s sermon, I thought “Oh no, I can’t possibly.” I had several big work commitments right around now – I was still supposed to be travelling next week. But I took a quick look at the portion anyway:  Nitzavim – Vayeilech, and there it was in today’s reading – one of my favourite … Read More

Sof’tim, 22 August 2020 – Leslie Wheeler

For my sermon today I have chosen two important themes from Parahsha Sof’tim: The guarantee and pursuit of justice within Jewish society The protection and safeguard of trees The pursuit of justice in Jewish society evolves from the instructions Moses gave to the Israelites who are about to cross the Jordan to become responsible for their own lives in their … Read More