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Conversion American Style

The evacuation from Gaza is still going on as I write so I’d rather let the dust settle before I deal with it. I am returning to the issue of conversion because the refusal by the London Beth Din and Chief Rabbinate to accept conversions carried out in Israel and elsewhere continues to rumble on and get worse. We Jews…

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Jogging in the Parks

These have been heavy weeks, out there in the open world as well as in our own navel-gazing community. Despite the imminent arrival on Sunday of the fast of Tisha B’Av when both our Temples were destroyed, a little voice inside me tells me its time to lighten up. Besides, the relentless battle against age, flab or the poisons we…

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Rabbi Kook’s Legacy

The huge Jerusalem yeshiva, Merkaz HaRav Kook, is nowadays the Alma Mater of the religious Zionist movement and is associated with the settlers and those demonstrating against the planned removal from Gaza, more than any other (and there are, of course, others). The yeshiva was founded by Rav Avraham Yitzhak Kook (1865-1935), but it was his son, Rav Zvi Yehuda…

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Eyeless in Gaza

Anyone who expresses an opinion on Israeli politics is heading for disaster. But since when have I been afraid of getting into trouble? The current turmoil over the forced withdrawal from Gaza illustrates the polarities of Zionism, Judaism and Israeli society. In Israel orange ribbons festoon cars and homes as the color of those who object to withdrawal, the “Detachment”…

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