Keeping the commandments – what’s the point? (spoiler: there is one!)

Do you keep kosher? Now there’s a question Jewish people can get into long and detailed discussions about – how far do you go? How long do you wait after a meat meal before allowing yourself to enjoy a latte? Do you have separate sinks in your kitchen, or are you laid back like my mother was, and wash meat and dairy dishes in the same one?

And then there’s all the myriad rules about what you can’t do on Shabbat. My mother kept some of those – not writing, for example – but had no qualms about cooking, or doing the washing up.

Me? I rebelled against the whole thing in my teens – didn’t see the point in any of it. And now? Now I do see the point, and that’s what I want to talk about today. Because the point of it all is not what most Jewish people think it is… Continue reading

“because of our sins we were exiled”

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Dipping into a book about Judaism, I came across an interesting prayer. It’s one that was added to the synagogue liturgy after the destruction of the Temple, and it’s basically telling God why we can’t bring him sacrifices as he … Continue reading

“Did you keep your religion?” someone asked me today

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I think it was because I’d mentioned that I come from Israel, and he assumed (rightly, as it happens) that I’m Jewish – and then assumed something more… Not that I’m surprised – it’s a very common assumption, and perfectly … Continue reading