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Michael Rainsbury
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Post-Chanukah Depression
Is anyone suffering from post-Chanukah depression? This
condition is unique to Chanukah, for most other festivals have a happy ending.
The story of Pesach ends with the giving of the Torah at Shavuot. The wandering
in the desert, as celebrated at Sukkot, en...

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Israel’s leadership and the challenge of consensus
It’s getting unbearably hot in Israel. The aftermath of
Friday’s terrorist attack, which bears all the hallmarks of being carried out
by Jews, has led to anger, outrage and a sense that something needs to happen,
fast. And rightly so — Israelis and Jews aro...

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Reflections on visiting the King Solomon Israel Trip
I was privileged to spend Shabbat with the King Solomon Israel Trip two weeks ago, and also saw them as they landed in Ben Gurion and at the Kotel on Tuesday night, just before they returned to the UK. As well as being special personally, since I taught man...

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Jerusalem Day: Reroute the parade, reframe the day
I've changed my mind, though the High Court haven't. For years I've been uneasy about the Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) Flag Parade taking place in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem due to the provocative actions of some marchers, but this year I have beco...

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15th Iyar: The Origins of the Omer
“They journeyed from Elim, and the entire community of the children of Israel came to the desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt. The entire community of the chil...

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“They journeyed from Elim, and the entire community of the
children of Israel came to the desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai,
on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of
Egypt. The entire community of the chil...

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Israeli Elections Day: The Festival of Freedom
Whether right, left or centre, the one thing all Israelis agree on is that they are happy today is a national holiday. As a religious person, it makes a pleasant change to have a day off that doesn't include biblically-ordained restrictions. As a British pe...

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Guide to the Persian Elections 2015
It's been a year of turmoil for Persian politics. Following a year of war, internal palace backstabbing and political maneuvering, we have arrived at yet another election. Here's a short overview of the leading candidates and parties aiming to take control ...

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Wanstead and Woodford Synagogue: End of an Era
This article was written for the Shul Times, marking the last Shabbat of Wanstead and Woodford Synagogue, Parashat Beshallach 5775. "We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us" - Sir Winston Churchill, MP for Wanstead and Woodford Some sh...

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I'm sorry, I haven't a clue
Please, thanks and sorry. Three simple words that formed the
cornerstone of my earliest sentences. They were not superfluous extras, and if
I did not mention one of them where appropriate, a reminder from my parents
would swiftly follow. All three words are...
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