For anyone who’s been living without internet connection, four weeks ago Jack Cohen wrote an article on this website. At the time, I thought I’d let things cool down and maybe do some revision, but with exams done and camp approaching, I’ve laid out a few points that I think follow on from the previous discussion.Continue reading “We Need To Talk”
As a way of beginning my response to this week’s article by Jack Cohen in Yediot, these views, although shared by others, are my own opinions. This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the Nivcharim or the Mazkirut and is as such not a party line.
To begin with: as a body of Bogrim it is about time that we stopped being so reductionist when it comes to analysing Bnei Akiva. We are by no means a perfect movement that fulfils all of its aims, yet at the same time, it’s about time we stopped scapegoating past and present Mazkiruyot. Continue reading “Sink or Swim: A Response”
Editors’ note: The content of this article is in no way representative of the views of Yediot, but its publication reflects the policies and aspirations outlined at the time of its launch (here and here). We hope that resultant debate will be vigorous and respectful, and welcome the submission of articles and letters to the editors
We live in a world where the notion of attracting Jewish youth to local and national programs is fast becoming an anachronism. This, combined with the rapid shrinking of the “middle ground” on which Modern Orthodoxy is situated, makes it no surprise that BAUK has taken heavy hits, with camp closures in the winter, and more of the same likely this summer. This is an ominous time for the Tnua; continue as it has been and it seems unlikely things will improve. Put simply, its options are sink or swim. The problem is that, at present, the movement seems woefully ill-equipped to deal with these challenges, and, unless it faces up to this unwelcome reality, its days may well be numbered.Continue reading “Sink or Swim: How BAUK Needs to Change”
Alex Dover and Adam Cohen
We have been on Shlichut in Sydney for almost 8 months. Our work involves dividing our energies between the many different organisations across the Sydney Jewish community. The biggest portion of time goes to Moriah College (a Jewish day school which caterers for 1800 pupils aged 2-18) and Bnei Akiva.
The way Bnei Akiva works in Australia is that local snifim are run by Hanhagot for each city and national projects such as summer machane and certain areas of chinuch fall under the federal Hanhaga, which usually operates from Melbourne.
The local Hanhagot are responsible for everything that goes on in their city and, in Sydney, they organise daily Minyanim, shiurim, content for Shabbat afternoon peulot, as well as many more activities.Continue reading “From Denbigh to Bondi”
The day started like any other day. I sat down to have my breakfast whilst watching the Cricket World Cup semi-final before going off to work – another normal day, enjoying an amazing game of cricket. I then turned to the Jerusalem Post – and everything was stopped when I read the sad news that Yehuda Avner had passed away during the night.Continue reading “Yehuda Avner: The Man Who Lived a Dream”
Much like everything else to do with Pesach, its names come in a group of four; Pesach, Z’man Cheyrutenu (The Time of Our Liberation), Chag HaMatzot (The Festival of Matzot), and Chag HaAviv (The Festival of Spring).
The first three of those names enjoy exalted, prime places in the vocabulary of Pesach, as the common, ubiquitous term for the festival, and the two names by which the festival is referred to in liturgy respectively. The black sheep is the name Chag HaAviv, which is almost never mentioned. Continue reading “Daffodils on the Seder Table”
There is a famous Israeli song which (apparently) all Israeli children know called Be’Egozim Nesacheka. The opening line reads: ‘with walnuts we will play, pesach is here.’ It refers to a game traditionally played with walnuts over Pesach. If you are interested in the song further, you can listen to it here
I’ve never heard of it either and, yes, it sounds ridiculous to me too.
However, it’s not as bizarre as it sounds. Continue reading “Seder Night- when questions are more important than answers.”
It’s getting late. It’s almost time. Will you make it? You’re rushing home… 10… 9… the sun has disappeared… 8…7… you run up to the front door… 6… 5… you fumble for your keys… 4… 3… you burst through the door… 2… you look around desperate for that special kiss… 1 SHANA TOVA!!!
Grandparents and extended family shower you with kisses after the long week you’ve spent away at uni before returning home for the Rosh Hashanah celebrations. After all, you can’t celebrate Jewish New Year at uni, no matter how good the Freshers’ Fair promises to be. But is Rosh Hashanah the New Year? If not, it’s oddly named, but back at HGSS Hebrew Classes I remember being taught that the months of the year began with Nissan.
Well, as my Oma would say, if you need one you need two (a rule by which we Davidsons strongly abide) and Jewish new years are no exception. Continue reading “Time flies when you’re learning Torah…”
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 person, it seems bizarre to miss a whole day of work for an action that takes a few minutes. But I have come to realise that the reason why we don’t work is because today is truly a national holiday.
Continue reading “Israeli Elections Day: The Festival of Freedom”
It’s at this time of year that we begin to skim read the Parshiot in shul. The sheer magnitude and detail of the building of the Mishkan is inconceivable to most. Not only is the information about the building of the Mishkan expressed once in intricate detail, it is repeated over and over again. Now, unless you’re an architecture keeno, which I am not, it’s difficult to find something to connect to in Parshiot such as Vayakhel and Pekudei.
I’d like to focus on analysing the choice of Betzalel as the one to oversee the building of the Mishkan, based on ideas that I heard from Rav Bailey of Midreshet Harova.
Perek 35, Passuk 30 reads:
‘And Moshe said to Bnei Yisrael; See, the Lord has singled out by name Betzalel, son of Uri, son of Chur, of the tribe of Judah.’
Who is this Betzalel? Continue reading “Betzalel – Who?”