Rabbi – Teacher – Writer – Broadcaster

Heart And Mind

The Website & Blog of Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg


This is the website of Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Rabbi of New North London Synagogue and Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism.


Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg is Rabbi of New North London Synagogue and Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism. More


Jonathan Wittenberg’s latest books including Walking With The Light, The Silence Of Dark Water and The Eternal Journey. More


Read the latest posts, and access archived content, from Jonathan Wittenberg’s blog. More


Latest blog posts

For Refugee Week: God sees the tears of the oppressed

While Nicky’s not been well, I’ve slept in our spare room, where we’ve often hosted guests through the excellent organisation Refugees at Home. This is Refugee Week, and Tuesday was World Refugee Day. I found a small note in that spare room last night. It was post-it size, stuck to the bedside bookshelf so that you could only see

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Why Yom Kippur and Succot are so close

I used to think it was plain bad planning. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement with its 25 hour fast, ends, leaving everyone thoughtful, repentant, exhilarated and exhausted. Then, with just four days in between, Succot, the festival of Tabernacles, begins, with its requirement to build a Succah, cover it with greenery as Jewish law demands, decorate it, and,

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What We Pray For

‘U’Teshuvah, u’Tefilah, u’Tsedakah ma’avirin et ro’a hagezerah: Repentance, Prayer and Charity remove the evil of the decree.’ These words come at the centre of our Yom Kippur prayers. Repentance, prayer and charity have the power to transform the meaning of our days, save lives, impact entire communities, and potentially even change the world. This is not because they call

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I’m troubled by how to translate those Hebrew words lephayeis et chavero, which the Shulchan Aruch, Joseph Caro’s sixteenth century code of Jewish law, tells us to do on the eve of Yom Kippur. ‘Appease our fellow beings’, ‘propitiate’: the words have a ring of insincerity, as if the important thing were to stop others from being upset with

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