What is a Jew?

Depends on who you ask. It is not just a religion, but without the religion of Judaism it would not exist. One thing that Jews aren’t, is a race. You can’t convert to a race. Mind you, no one can give me a consistent answer as to what is the definition of a ‘race’, whichContinue reading “What is a Jew?”

Hanukkah 5782

It seems everyone this year is getting into Hanukkah in a big way, all the local synagogues are throwing huge parties. I would suspect that they are super keen to get everyone back to shul after all the lockdowns. I don’t blame them, there are likely to be many people who have drifted away asContinue reading “Hanukkah 5782”

Holidays in the Southern Hemisphere

Although not quite as ridiculous as pine trees covered in snow in 40°C weather, Jewish Holidays are not in sync with their intended seasons. Pesach, that joyful celebration of the arrival of spring and the freedom of the Hebrews from Egypt, is in autumn. Late the same season is Shavuot, which of course is partlyContinue reading “Holidays in the Southern Hemisphere”

Fighting ignorance

Often I’ll see people say ‘oh don’t bother engaging with the bigots, they’re too __ to understand’. Sure, there are many out there who just say bigoted crap to get a rise out of people. But there are many who come from a place of ignorance and genuinely don’t actually understand all the nuances. StayingContinue reading “Fighting ignorance”

How Jews look to non-Jews – Part 1

I’m going to try and be objective here, so obviously a lot of this is not how I personally view things. However, I think it’s important to understand some of the negative ways that we are viewed in order to help foster more understanding and hence less hate. I had very little understanding of whatContinue reading “How Jews look to non-Jews – Part 1”

Going back to shul

So many converts will have spent the majority of the last 1.5 years cut off from their chosen community. Reading through material without any other converts around to ask seemingly silly questions. Contemplating how on earth they could ever possibly understand all the intricacies of kashrut let alone follow the majority of them. It mustContinue reading “Going back to shul”

Nature and God

There are blessings for natural phenomena, for rainbows, the ocean, things of beauty large and small. The blessing for lightning is particularly interesting, as it translates as: Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who performs the work of creation. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית Electricity as theContinue reading “Nature and God”