Parashat Bo

Parashat Bo

In the Babylonian Talmud, the rabbis teach: ‘If sufferings come upon someone, [or] if illness came upon someone, or if someone buries their children, do not say to them in the way that Job’s friends said to Job, “Is not your piety your confidence, your integrity your hope? Think, now, what innocent man ever […]

By Sandy Potashnick |
DETAIL

Parashat Vaeira

 
 © Marcelo Strauch
 
LAMROT HAKOL – In Spite of Everything
The story I was told about the above pictured synagogue in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is that it was named Lamrot Hakol by its European Jewish refugee founders in a spirit of determined chutzpah. They were saying – to themselves and to the wider world – ‘in […]

By Sandy Potashnick |
DETAIL

Parashat Shemot

On 19 December the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte apologised for the role the government of the Netherlands had played in slavery. In Dutch, English, Sranantongo and Papiamento (languages spoken in Suriname and the Caribbean part of the kingdom) he said sorry for the they way in which the government had facilitated slavery, for […]

By Sandy Potashnick |
DETAIL

Parashat Vayechi

The Lionesses and Anne-Marie Imafidon don’t initially seem obviously related: the former won the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 competition, with some of the footballers receiving awards in the 2023 New Year Honours list; the latter is a former child prodigy in mathematics who has co-hosted Countdown and in late 2022 was honoured with a […]

By Sandy Potashnick |
DETAIL

Parashat Vayigash

Even before I became a student rabbi, people would often ask me why I studied Torah. The answer for me is as simple now as it was then; regardless of its origins, which I do not believe to be divine in the traditional sense, and the why and wherefore regarding who put it together […]

By Sandy Potashnick |
DETAIL

Parashat Mikketz

Parashat Mikketz: All Dreams Follow the Mouth
In Rabbinic tradition, “All dreams follow the mouth [of the interpreter]” (Berakhot 55b). That is, the meaning of a dream is determined by how we interpret it.
In Parashat Mikketz, Pharaoh has two dreams: seven sickly cows consume seven healthy ones; seven wilted ears of corn consume seven healthy […]

By Sandy Potashnick |
DETAIL

Parashat Vayeshev

It’s not where you start it’s where you finish
 
Check out December 16th as a date in history and you will find much of interest going back to the 8th century. Having reviewed them all I think I can assert with confidence that the most significant December 16th was that of 1950, the day on […]

By Sandy Potashnick |
DETAIL

Parashat Vayishlach

 
 

 
Our family didn’t do ‘broiges’.  I was not even familiar with the term as a child. There were plenty of arguments and raised voices, but we were quite incapable of “not speaking” for longer than a few hours.  My parents had one acquaintance however, an otherwise reasonable and often wise person, who clung to […]

By Sandy Potashnick |
DETAIL