Too much out in the cold

It is the festival of exile. I know the notion of wandering and of a temporary home is built into the very idea of Succot, but that's not what I mean. Rather, it's the weather. The prospect of eating and sleeping outdoors, with only the slimmest canopy...

Published by: The Jewish Chronicle

War is not always the answer

Perhaps it was my choice of holiday reading. The book that dominated my summer break was Howard Jacobson's exceptional and unsettling new novel, simply titled "J". The word "Jew" does not appear, yet that very absence is the book's haunting theme. He d...

Published by: The Jewish Chronicle

It’s not a playground spat

One of the joys of being the father of a teenage son is getting to glimpse, thanks to him, videos that have gone viral. The latest was made in 2012 but it's spread anew among Jewish teens. It's a South Park-style cartoon that, without words, depicts th...

Published by: The Jewish Chronicle

The Haggadah got it right

Man cannot live by bread alone — still, a slice or two makes a nice change after eight days of matzahs. Some JC readers will, I know, be glad to see the back of Pesach for another year, glad if they don’t clap eyes on another box of Rakusen’s this side of 2015. But I am not one of them. I’ve always loved Passover.

Published by: The Jewish Chronicle

Why Netanyahu was wrong over Mandela

There is an idle habit I picked up in childhood which I have never quite shaken off. I suspect there are other JC readers who share it too. When confronted with any kind of list of the world’s nations, my eye runs an instinctive, involuntary check to see if Israel is among them. Flags flying outside a hotel or along a boulevard: I look for the blue and white. In the lobby of an airport, where ‘welcome’ is spelled out in dozens of different languages: I search for the distinctive script that says Baruch Habah. Those bars where the enterprising landlord has collected the world’s banknotes under glass: I won’t rest till I’ve spotted the head of Moshe Sharett or SY Agnon.

Published by: The Jewish Chronicle

Why Netanyahu was wrong over Mandela

There is an idle habit I picked up in childhood which I have never quite shaken off. I suspect there are other JC readers who share it too. When confronted with any kind of list of the world’s nations, my eye runs an instinctive, involuntary check to see if Israel is among them. Flags flying outside a hotel or along a boulevard: I look for the blue and white. In the lobby of an airport, where ‘welcome’ is spelled out in dozens of different languages: I search for the distinctive script that says Baruch Habah. Those bars where the enterprising landlord has collected the world’s banknotes under glass: I won’t rest till I’ve spotted the head of Moshe Sharett or SY Agnon.

Published by: The Jewish Chronicle

Arsenal vs Spurs? It’s Doves vs Hawks

The plural of anecdote is not data, I know. A few random experiences do not a scientific sample make. I appreciate that, too. So I tread warily — not least because I am about to venture into territory where two of the most toxic divisions in our community converge. But here goes.

Published by: The Jewish Chronicle

Was the Daily Mail piece antisemitic?

You didn’t have to be Jewish, to adapt an old phrase, to feel queasy at the Daily Mail’s attack on Ralph Miliband. Plenty of Britons, including, I suspect, many Mail readers, will have disliked the notion of condemning a dead man who cannot defend himself and of suggesting a son should be blamed for the words and beliefs of his father.

Published by: The Jewish Chronicle