From the desk of Rabbi Elli

ASERET Y'MEI T'SHUVAH 2020-5781 A4

Rabbi Elli Sarah

Writing by Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah

Exactly ten days ago, on November 4th, it was the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin by an Israeli right-wing extremist.[1] Last Shabbat, on the day of the announcement that Joe Biden had become President Elect of the United States, Lord Sacks, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the […]
Author: Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah
Posted: November 14, 2020, 11:00 am
Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah – LJ E-Bulletin, November 2020 /Cheshvan 5781 25 years ago, the publication of Siddur Lev Chadash was a huge milestone. After two decades of Jewish feminism, the new prayer book of Liberal Judaism put gender equality at the top of the agenda. The main difference in this respect between the new siddur […]
Author: Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah
Posted: November 12, 2020, 7:00 am
During this festival of Sukkot, may the fragile sukkah that recalls our ancestors’ forty-year sojourn in the barren wilderness, remind us of our obligation to assist the poor and the homeless, those in flight from persecution, war and destitution, and all those across the globe experiencing oppression, anguish, grief, loss, hardship and humiliation at this […]
Author: Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah
Posted: October 5, 2020, 7:37 pm
At this festival of Sukkot, when we remember how our ancestors wandered in the wilderness for forty years before they were ready to create a new society, we are painfully aware that after decades of wandering in a wilderness of war, enmity and conflict, Israelis and Palestinians are still not yet ready to enter a […]
Author: Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah
Posted: October 5, 2020, 7:35 pm
We have arrived at the festival that the early rabbis called ‘the season of our rejoicing’ – z’man simchateinu. After laying bare our souls and immersing ourselves in the depths of Yom Kippur, the new year begins in earnest with a celebration of the bounty of life. On the surface the contrast between Yoma, ‘the […]
Author: Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah
Posted: October 3, 2020, 10:00 am
What an extraordinary Yom Kippur we are experiencing this year. When I was a child, and right up until I began my rabbinic studies at Leo Baeck College in the autumn of 1984, aged 29, I used to spend Yom Kippur with my Mum. We would sit together in the family home, talking about the […]
Author: Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah
Posted: September 28, 2020, 5:48 pm
Tens of thousands of words are uttered on Yom Kippur; words expressing Jewish teaching; mostly words of prayer. Words are powerful. The impact of the TaNaKH[1], the Hebrew Bible on the world testifies to this. The Torah reflects the understanding of ancient times that words were, literally, a force for life – or for death […]
Author: Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah
Posted: September 28, 2020, 5:48 pm
2nd Tishri – T’ki’ah, T’ru’ah, Sh’varim On Rosh Ha-Shanah, we are commanded ‘to listen to the voice of the shofar‘ – lishmo’a kol shofar.[1] In traditional communities, 2nd Tishri is the second day of Rosh Ha-Shanah, and when the first day falls on Shabbat, the shofar (ram’s horn) is only sounded on the second day. […]
Author: Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah
Posted: September 20, 2020, 10:05 am
The New Year has dawned and we are still living in this coronavirus crisis that began to overwhelm our lives back in February. And we don’t know when it will end. So, we are marking Erev Rosh Ha-Shanah this year, not in the shul sanctuary, with the congregation gathered together, but on a technological online […]
Author: Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah
Posted: September 20, 2020, 10:00 am
Preparations for the High Holy Days this year began very early at the shul. I usually start working on my sermons for Rosh Ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur in August, but this year, the continuing coronavirus crisis led to the decision that we could not gather in the synagogue for the autumn festivals, which meant that I began thinking about […]
Author: Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah
Posted: September 20, 2020, 10:00 am

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