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Jan 17, 2019, 6:29 PM
The Unheeded Cry of the Trees
The Jewish festival of Tu Bishvat, described in the Mishnah as the Rosh Hashanah of the Trees, will be celebrated this year starting on Sunday night January 21 through to the following evening. As I reflect on the significance of...
Nov 30, 2017, 4:47 PM
Face to Face: A quest for interiority
The contemporary philosopher Roger Scruton describes the human face as the portal through which the other becomes apparent as a subject and not an object. According to Scruton, animals may have eyes, ears, a nose, mouth, but these elements...
Jun 13, 2017, 10:48 PM
Faith Shattered and Restored: Judaism in the Postmodern Age by Rabbi Shagar a Book Review
Rabbi Shimon Gershon Rosenberg (1939 -2007), commonly known as Rav Shagar, was a deep and original thinker whose flow of creativity was prematurely cut off with his untimely death. While of great inspiration to his students, his thought is still...
Apr 6, 2017, 5:07 PM
Rehabilitating the Wicked Son
The wicked son of the Haggadah asks a perfectly reasonable question: “What is this service to you?” In other words “What is this all about?” And for this, he is humiliated and silenced. We respond with a self-righteous sneer: “Because of this, God did...
Sep 2, 2016, 8:14 PM
Degas and Hasidism: Why Impressionism Matters
On a recent trip to Melbourne, Australia, I visited the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) art museum to see an exhibit on the nineteenth-century French artist Edgar Degas. Degas was a man of strong opinions and he took exception to...
Apr 28, 2016, 1:28 PM
Licence to Doubt
One of the first sermons I delivered was about the nature of faith. I told my congregants that faith is not a constant, that it ebbs and flows and that doubt, in the words of the great Protestant theologian...
Apr 18, 2016, 2:49 PM
Time after Time: Pesach, History and the Meaning of Time
It was the end of a clear, brisk autumn day. We were driving back to London from Bath and decided to take a detour past Stonehenge to take in the mysterious prehistoric monument. We arrived just as the sun...
Feb 24, 2016, 2:36 PM
Traveling with a maharat
From a husband of valor: His wife rises while it is still nighttime to study Torah, and he helps carry her books
Sep 16, 2015, 10:45 PM
Faith is not a science, it’s an art
One of the most popular Jewish books published this year is All Who Go Do Not Return, by Shulem Deen. It belongs to a growing genre of memoirs written by ex-ultra Orthodox Jews. However, within this genre Shulem’s book...
Aug 31, 2015, 8:29 PM
Disney-Pixar and Teshuvah: The Dynamics of Joy and Sadness
Recently we took our youngest to see the new Disney Pixar film ‘Inside Out’ and it is pure genius. It tells the seemingly ordinary tale of an eleven year old girl named Riley who has a comfortable and cosy...
Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer is the Neubauer Executive Director at Tufts Hillel, and Jewish Chaplain at Tufts University.