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Sometimes it’s funny being Jewish in Ireland!

I’m not a religious Jew. But I am culturally and secularly Jewish. And living in Ireland. This year, as in the previous few, I attended my local Jewish community’s Rosh Hashana service. This year, though, due to Covid, it took place online, on Zoom. All fifteen of us in our little boxes on the screen, […]

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Streaming Rosh Hashanah

Nathan Abrams talks to Dr. Joshua Edelman about his new research project into how best to conduct religion online. As Rosh Hashanah looms, how do we conduct online religious services in the age of Covid? This is an essential question, as we prepare for what is, unquestionably, the most important period in the Jewish calendar. […]

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How Will This Rosh HaShanah Be Different From Every Other? It Won’t

Nathan Abrams reflects on how there will be little change to his Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. There is a great deal of talk about how Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will be different this year for many people but for me it won’t. In fact, it will be better. I live in Bangor, in […]

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Scottish Identity and the G-d of Israel: an orthographic error that speaks louder than words

What does the Scottish Referendum on Independence have to do with Jews and their G-d? Is it about Politics? Or Theology? Or Political Theology? Or Theological Politics? I bet you will never guess. It is about . . . orthography. Yes, you read it correctly! It is about uppercase and lowercase letters that speak louder […]

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Shtiebls Sans Frontieres

Sometime ago, before the ‘lockdown’,  I was talking to a United Synagogue Rabbi who was bemoaning the lack of younger people in Shul on a Friday night; I guessed by “younger” he meant under 60, but he was thinking about those in their 20s.   So, I told him they were all in their shuls.  SHULS!? he spluttered with incredulity.  Yes, shuls: […]

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Locked Down Jews in Leicester

As the lockdown extends in Leicester, Lucy Michaels considers the pros and cons of being based in a small Jewish community during COVID-19.

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Auto-Generation: Religious services on Hendon’s streets

They have always been religious, they have always been rich, and I am welcome there. They don’t need anything from me, I don’t need anything from them. It’s Shabbos many months into coronavirus lockdown and because the dozen or so synagogues within a 15 minutes’ walk are closed, prayers are happening on my parents’ street – average age 60. Someone spoke to the […]

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How the virus turned us all a little bit Jewish

There was a moment during the lockdown when it seemed the whole world was turning Talmudic. ‘What if?’ became the question on everybody’s lips. Even the letters page of The Grauniad (noch) was filled with arguments straight out of the yeshiva. ‘I live alone’, one reader wrote, ‘If I go and meet my son and his partner in the park, I am breaking the rules […]

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Pandemic, Jewish Learning and Us

There is liberation to be gained through reading and writing. One can feel a kind of freedom through the process of placing words and finding order, by the idea that there could be necessity of a function in narrative. Reading and interpretation form much of our Jewish experience, and I wonder how might lived and inherited narratives be used within our private and public lives to develop strategies for […]

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