June 3, 2024

1st June 2024, B’chukkotai – Mike Levy


My sermon today comes with a health warning. Be wary of pledges. Shock, horror! Pledges can be broken and for us Jews, this can have consequences. Of course, we are now in a time of pledge-flation. Harold Wilson, former prime minister, o...

May 5, 2024

4th May, Aharei Mot – Sean Laidlaw


Scapegoats, purification offerings, animal welfare, and forbidden relationships – hard to see at first, but the central theme of this parasha is holiness. Holiness in Judaism has a distinct meaning. Although its equivalent in latin – sac...

March 26, 2024

23rd March 2024, Shabbat Zachor – Mike Frankl


My sermon today has two strands, because, as well as starting to read the Book of Leviticus, it is also Shabbat Zachor and this I have found to be very challenging. Shabbat Zachor, the Shabbat of Remembrance, occurs today because tomorro...

February 9, 2023

Beshalach, 4th February 2023 – Marc Saperstein


We have listened to the words of our Torah reading from parashat Beshalach, Exodus 14 and 15, in Hebrew and English, and I would imagine that I am not the only one who found some rather strange problems with the words of our parashah, ...

November 9, 2022

Lech Lecha, 5th November 2022 – Martin Cahn


When I was presented with this parsha as a basis for my sermon, I began to ask myself what should I comment on. This is the story of the wanderings of Abram and his family, Sarai, his nephew Lot and Sarai’s maidservant and later Abram...

February 4, 2022

Mishpatim – 29th January 2022 – Franz Fuerst


Today’s Torah portion Mishpatim with its rather stern list of divine statutes, ordinances and potential punishments may seem slightly at odds with a simcha, the joyous occasion of celebrating a bar mitzvah.  The BM boy’s dvar torah ...

January 10, 2022

Bo, 8th January 2022 – Mike Frankl


Those of you who have heard me speak before will know that if at all possible I like to put myself in the shoes of the characters involved. Today’s Sedra covers the plagues and the requirement that we remember and recreate Passover eac...

December 21, 2021

Vayechi, 18th December 2021 – Fred Diamond


This week’s portion, Vayechi, is the last one in Genesis/B’reishit – it so happens I gave a sermon on it just 2 years ago, right before Covid began affecting all our lives.  I spoke then about Jewish identity, partly inspired by K...

February 26, 2021

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 h...

October 5, 2020

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 w...

August 25, 2020

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 in...

June 28, 2020

Hukkot, 27 June 2020 – Tali Artman


On this last shabbat of pride month I want to talk about people who rarely get a mention in our communities, the people who regardless of their sexual orientation are simply alone. In this parasha we read of the death of Miriam and Aaron...

June 26, 2020

 Shabbat 20 June 2020 – Simon Eder


This has no doubt been said but no longer does wanting an extra lie in on a Shabbat morning now preclude us from coming to shul and neither is geography an obstacle and of the infinite opportunities now to attend shul all over the planet...

October 12, 2019

Yom Kippur 2019, Ed Kessler


A Rabbi loved golf so much that one occasion, on Yom Kippur, he left the house early and went out for a quick round by himself, thinking no-one in the community would notice. An angel who happened to be looking on immediately notified Go...

October 11, 2019

Kol Nidre 2019, Marc Saperstein


How do we learn to cope with the most difficult decisions we will have to make, how do we learn to choose properly at the critical crossroads of our lives? Psychologists tell us that one way is through models – parents, older siblings,...

July 12, 2019

Parashat Korah, 29th June 2019, Tamar Drukker


Traditionally, Parashat Korah is a popular portion for with those delivering sermons. Rashi’s opening commentary for this parasha is often misquoted to suggest that it must be read accompanied by a sermon. And why is it so popular? There...

July 8, 2019

Chukkat, 6th July 2019, Leslie Wheeler


The Red Heifer and the purification of tumah We read in (Numbers 19:2) “This is the statute of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying: Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer, faultless, wherein is no b...

June 13, 2019

Niso, 8th June 2019, Tali Artman Partock


Religion without guilt I once more want to visit today the teaching of my Rabbi Shlomo, a man whose understanding of human nature and religion shaped my life. I try to imagine what he would have to say about this week’s parasha, the lo...

April 29, 2019

The House is On Fire, 27 April 2019, Simon Eder


At a meeting of the college faculty, an angel suddenly appears and tells the head of the philosophy department, “I will grant you whichever of three blessings that you choose: wisdom, beauty or £10million.” Immediately the professor...

April 9, 2019

Amidah Meditation, 6th April 2019, Mike Frankl


Given that we have had three scrolls today because it is Rosh Chodesh, I am not going to discuss any of the readings today but would just like to say a little about the short meditation at the end of the Amidah. It’s a piece that we almo...

January 14, 2019

Two new sermons – 5th and 12th January 2019


Bo – Fred Diamond, 12th January 2019 As you’ll have heard, this week’s Parasha, Bo, is building up to one of the main events of Sh’mot, the book of Exodus, namely the Exodus itself. Let me start by plugging the weekly parasha discu...