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Oaths

Anyone who has attended a Kol Nidreiservice will know that there are seven terms in Hebrew and Aramaic for vows and oaths. And three for the meaning of the process of commitment. They must have been incredibly significant once. Nowadays, not so much. The Bible is full of them. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all swore to God. They swore to other…

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Apologetics

We live nowadays in a world where, more than ever before, our ideas and values have come under scrutiny and assault. What makes our times more interesting is that we have ready access not only to ideas that challenge us, but also to ideas that support us. The question is how we can work out which ideas contain value. And…

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None So Blind

“There is none so blind as he who will not see.” That, I think, applies nowadays to very many people. Seeing is not just looking. It also means to understand. And to understand requires one to try to see things from different angles and perspectives. To see another point of view. Perhaps this is why blindness sometimes lends itself to…

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Kurds

The Kurds have been treated disgustingly. Like Israel, they are both a religious and secular ethnic group which stands outside the official Christian or Muslim world. They are neither Sunni nor Shia. They are sandwiched between Turkey or Iran,  who cannot abide the fiercely independent Kurds. And like the Israelis, they are divided, fractious and argumentative. Ever since the British…

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Shame

When I do or say something I regret, I feel shame. I am aware that I have let myself down and that I should have done better. Shame, regret are good emotions. So long as they encourage one to do better. Not if they lead to one becoming depressed. Shame is a condition of a healthy relationship with other people…

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Hatred

Isn’t it true that the whole of the Muslim world hates Jews? The newly elected congresswoman for Minnesota tweeted in 2012 “Israel has hypnotized the world; may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” She is joined by several others now in Congress who have expressed similar hatred. I too would call on Allah to get his…

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