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Rabbi Deborah Blausten

Yom Kippur 5782

You can listen to Rabbi Deborah's sermon or read it below:

 

I should be honest here that the sermon I am about to give is not the sermon I originally wrote. I spent, as many rabbis do, my spare time over the summer reading and learning, I spent my weekends talking with study partners and writing, and on Saturday I finished my sermon and sent it to some friends to proof read. 

The...Read more...

Rabbi Miriam Berger

Kol Nidre 5782

You can listen to Rabbi Miriam's sermon or read it below:

 

It’s the image of the shop window which intrigues me most. People standing stock still, looking out, watching the real people on the street go by. They stand making the display look enticing, willing passers-by to come in and choose them, but all the while noticing the minutest detail of the routines just the...Read more...

Rabbi Howard Cooper

Rosh Hashana Day 2

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So here we are. With our ‘new normal’ – and our ‘new caution’ – in our New Year. 

You know what I mean by the ‘new caution’. That we’ve come to the end of something we were used to, and new questions and doubts have infiltrated our thinking: where do we feel comfortable going, out the house? who do we...Read more...

Rabbi Tony Bayfield

Rosh Hashana day 1 5782

REPENTING THE SMUGNESS OF SUCCESS: TWO MICHAELS AND A KARL

THE TYRANNY AND ARROGANCE OF MERITOCRACY: MICHAEL SANDEL
I was standing at my study window looking at the garden and thinking life isn’t so bad. Lovely house, big study lined with many hundreds of books, West Ham season ticket – admittedly less than half the price of the Etihad or the Emirates but fidelity to...Read more...

Rabbi Deborah Blausten

Behar - Bekhukkotai- Words That Burn

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I want to tell you a story about a woman named Imma Shalom. Mother of Peace. She’s one of the few women to be named in the Talmud, she’s only mentioned four times, but it’s not quantity that matters here, it’s quality, and Imma Shalom delivers a lesson in Torah and in daily life that feels particularly relevant for...Read more...

Rabbi Deborah Blausten

Shabbat Emor - Blasphemy and Inclusion

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I absolutely hate it when someone is having an argument on their phone in public. It’s so inconsiderate. Shouting down the receiver, emoting shock, sadness, outrage, it’s so selfish. At least they could have the argument on speaker phone so that I’d know whose side to take!

The joke isn’t mine, but it...Read more...

Rabbi Deborah Blausten

Tazria Metzora - Seeing Each Other's Faces

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Dr Sandra Lee has 7 million followers on youtube and 4.2 million on instagram. She’s better known as dr pimple popper and she has made a name for herself by producing what you might think is niche content but apparently is anything but- filming her work as a dermatologist, removing cysts, squeezing pus, and...Read more...

Rabbi Miriam Berger

I am Jewish - Sermon and readings

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Quotes from the book in memory of Daniel Pearl in answer to the question of what is means to say "I am Jewish"

“I am Jewish. It began at birth purely by chance. It continues through my life as a great challenge and will end in the final moments of my life. What is most amazing, though, is...Read more...

Rabbi Miriam Berger

Markaz Yitro

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This week’s Torah portion identifies the creation of one of biggest problems I see in society. It ruins lives and leaves people completely let down by the structures that are meant to be there to support them.

Let me explain. This week’s...Read more...

Rabbi Howard Cooper

Shabbat Bo - Mental Health Awareness Shabbat

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Exactly one hundred and one years ago this weekend,  Martha and Sigmund, a bourgeois Viennese couple, received some devastating news. The phone call came at noon. Their pregnant...Read more...

Rabbi Deborah Blausten

Kabbalat Shabbat - Mental Awareness Shabbat

You can listen to Rabbi Deborah's Drash or read it below

 


I’ve started writing this Drash several times this week. Why? Because this Shabbat is mental health awareness Shabbat and it means that clergy around the country have been asked to talk about mental health from the bimah. It’s such an important initiative, and one that means a huge amount to me personally, so why...Read more...

Rabbi Miriam Berger

Shabbat Sh'mot 5781

You can listen to Rabbi Miriam's sermon or read it below

 

 

 

Over the last few days, I’ve been struck by the ever so stark, different outlooks of the population. The news has been full of vaccine updates. The second vaccine being used...Read more...

Rabbi Howard Cooper

Shabbat Lech L'cha 5781

You can listen to Rabbi Howard’s sermon or read it below.

 

It’s a truism to say that these are strange times, disturbing times, vexing times: if you are not feeling destabilised in some fundamental part of yourself, somehow on edge, unable to fully relax, fully let go and enjoy life in all its abundant richness, if you are feeling you have lost some essential inner calmness of spirit, or...Read more...

Rabbi Miriam Berger

Shabbat B'reishit 5781 - 17th October 2020

You can listen to Rabbi Miriam’s sermon or read it below.

 

This week I’ve felt rather sad and helpless. My grandma who has been so stoic since losing her husband of 75 years to Covid at the beginning of lock down has...Read more...

Rabbi Jeffrey Newman

Simchat Torah 5781 – celebrating 50 years of Rabbi Jeffrey Newman's rabbinate

Whenever we have two scrolls, there is a PAUSE to honour the first and prepare to read from the second. Today, however, it has especial significance as we imagine re-rolling all the way from the end of Devarim back to the beginning of Bereshit.

I would like to highlight this pause, and make three points.

First, thank you, Rabbi Miriam, Bob and all...Read more...

Rabbi Howard Cooper

Yom Kippur Shacharit 5781 

You can listen to Rabbi Howard’s sermon or read it below.

 

I remember around 20 years ago reading about an American rabbi who was also a member of the Society of American Magicians. It’s a kosher organization – founded in 1902 by Harry Houdini, the Budapest-born illusionist and escapologist, son of a rabbi as it happens, who found fame and fortune in America (once he’d changed his name...Read more...

Rabbi Miriam Berger

Kol Nidre 5781 

You can listen to Rabbi Miriam’s sermon or read it below.

 

I have started this sermon many times. I have focused on loneliness and isolation. I have been worried for our elderly as the R number rises. I have feared for our children as their childhood is so disrupted. I have worried for us all as the economy is in free fall. And yet it is not my job to play on your fears and confound your anxieties; we...Read more...

Rabbi Miriam Berger

2nd Day Rosh Hashana 5781

You can listen to Rabbi Miriam’s sermon or read it below.

 

My kindle has a tendency to lead me down a literary rabbit warren. Its Artificial Intelligence is hard to resist “If you enjoyed that book, you will like…” is even more astute than the “Rabbi, I’ve just read…” which is of course also a source of fabulous recommendations – don’t be offended I haven’t replaced you...Read more...

Rabbi Deborah Blausten

1st Day Rosh Hashana 5781

You can listen to Rabbi Deborah’s sermon, together with Cantor Zöe singing Sa’akhi, Sa’akhi or read the sermon below.

 

When McDonalds opened its first store in Moscow in 1990 they faced a host of challenges. They brought a menu full of unfamiliar dishes and ingredients that needed importing, the logo was in the Latin alphabet, and indeed the very idea of fast food was a relative...Read more...

Rabbi Howard Cooper

Erev Rosh Hashana 5781

I’ve been thinking a lot this last few days about Spike Milligan – who else would you think about at Rosh Hashanah? –  and the epitaph he chose for his tombstone “I told you I was ill”. Maybe this is just how my mind works, making this connection, but it feels like every High Holy Days, for I don’t know how long, there’s one theme I would return to, a touchstone for what’s at the heart of this...Read more...

Sun, 26 September 2021 20 Tishrei 5782