Music from over the fence: the joy of Lag Be’Omer

The sound of singing came over the fence with such compelling harmony that I simply had to get up from my desk and follow the music. It came from the home of my colleague, friend and neighbour, Rabbi Zahavit Shalev. Seated around the fire-pit in her garden were at least ten people playing the guitar and fifty more singing along.

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Give me back my heart! The world in search of its soul

I was given a poem this week, an entirely unexpected, wonderful gift. It’s called ‘The Ballad of the Shot Heart.’ It relates to much I care about; let me explain why. It was written by the Russian poet Nikolai Panchenko who served on the Voronezh front and was wounded twice in the Second World War: At walking pace, my horseshoes

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In spite of, or because of, all the bleak news

‘Be holy, because I, your God am holy,’ teaches the Torah in the wonderful portion we read this week which contains the commandment to love our neighbour and ‘most of the Torah’s central laws’ (Rashi) about justice and compassion. The Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed long ago, but there remain two temples we’re still able to visit in search of

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