Parashat Shoftim

Parashat Shoftim

 
‘When/if you come to the land that the ETERNAL your God has given to you, and you shall possess it and dwell in it, and you shall say: Let me set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me.’ – Deut. 17.14
A few hours after Shabbat, I found myself at […]

By Rhona Lesner |
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Parashat Parashat Re’eh

‘Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment’ ― Benjamin Franklin
Probably the most famous and important declaration of Jewish faith is expressed in the first line of the Shema: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Eternal One […]

By Rhona Lesner |
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Parashat Eikev

Rabbi Yochanan said: “The nail of the first generations was better than the belly of the last generations.”[1]
This statement can seem puzzling. Why did Rabbi Yochanan compare the nails of the first generations to the belly of the last ones?
The belly is the part of the body which transforms food, so that […]

By Sandy Potashnick |
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Parashat Vaetchanan

Shabbat Nachamu
If Leo Baeck College’s Room of Prayer could talk, it would tell us about the vivid life in Finchley’s Manor House. For generations students of Leo Baeck College meet here for prayer. Regularly people from various countries experience a life changing moment: They enter this room to meet the Beit Din, three rabbis […]

By Sandy Potashnick |
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Parashat Devarim

Deutoronomy: the Jewish People in a Nutshell.
 ‘Read Deuteronomy five times.’
‘Are you kidding?’
‘No. Deuteronomy. Five times.’
‘What’s your thought?’
‘It’s the great central book of the Jews and if you master it you’ll understand us.’
‘But is it worth reading five times?’
‘Yes because most Gentiles think of the ancient Hebrews as curious relics who reached Israel ten […]

By Sandy Potashnick |
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Parashat Mattot-Masei

Title: The passengers speak up
When I was a young child, most weekends my family and I used to drive from Kingston to Wembley to visit my grandma and grandpa.
Despite coming from sound Jewish taxi-driving stock (my grandpa was a cabbie), I  wasn’t remotely able to remember the route. But I did have – and […]

By Sandy Potashnick |
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Parashat Pinchas

This last year I have learned a lot about myself. In fact I have learned a lot about me as a woman, but from a men’s perspective. Every month, during the Rosh Chodesh gatherings that I have facilitated at ELELS[1], we studied topical issues about women. How the rabbis in the Talmud […]

By Sandy Potashnick |
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Parashat Balak

How lovely are your tents, O Jacob
Balaam was nervous. He rode his donkey to the steppes of Moab. The donkey trotted slowly in the desert heat, weighed down by Balaam’s travelling bags. Balaam looked this way and that, up and down at the craggy mountains, and back to the land he’d left behind. He […]

By Sandy Potashnick |
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