“Mirror, signal, manouvre”. These three words, which are the mantra of all driving instructors, succinctly express the idea that before travelling forward in a vehicle you need to look back and indicate that you are about to move. In a similar vein, I have always understood Rosh Hashanah as the start of a new spiritual … More Why don’t we confess on Rosh Hashanah?
Life can be stressful. While there are moments in life when things go well, there are also situations that we encounter when things do not go to plan; as Shlomo Hamelech famously wrote עֵת לִבְכּוֹת וְעֵת לִשְׂחוֹק עֵת סְפוֹד וְעֵת רְקוֹד – [there is] a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time … More Redefining Simcha (Adar)
Embedded in the legal discussions regarding the methods of prayer and the shape of the shofar is a fascinating theological debate regarding our priorities in life. Simply put, should we focus on the physical aspects of our lives and the impact we can have on this world, or should we focus on the spiritual aspects … More The shofar teaches us about the meaning of life
There are a number of reasons given as to why Megillat Rut is read on Shavuot. For example, the Yalkut Shimoni explains that we read Megillat Ruth on Shavuot to teach us that the only way that Torah can become a meaningful part of our lives is through suffering as experienced by Ruth. Others such … More Hugging is better than kissing (Shavuot)
Chag Sameach! Thanks to Rabbi Davis and thanks to you all for your warm welcome. As we know, Shavuot is a festival of customs. For example, we have a custom of staying up late to study, and a custom of eating dairy food. Today I would like to discuss one of the many Shavuot customs … More Fragrant Jewish Living (Shavuot)
Shalom, Chag Sameach, and thank you so much for your generous welcome! Today, as we celebrate Shavuot, I would like to discuss a value that is so inextricably linked to the festival of Shavuot that – at least according to the Rabbis of the Midrash – it is the reason why Mount Sinai was chosen … More Humility as a prerequisite for receiving the Torah (Shavuot)
Today we celebrate Shavuot and commemorate the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. This was and remains a momentous event in our history and in the history of the civilized world, and it is referred to by our Rabbis as מעמד הר סיני. But, if we take a moment, we will come to realise … More Standing and learning together (Shavuot)