The Myth of 'Closure'

The Myth of 'Closure'25 Nov 2016

As I come to the end of my three-month stint as Rabbi-in-Residence for JEU, and reflect on the privilege of being able to offer a Jewish rabbinic (and psychotherapeutic) perspective on Judaic themes and current events, I find myself thinking about loss. - Rabbi Howard Cooper

Between Truth and Lies

Between Truth and Lies17 Nov 2016

In light of Brexit, Trump, etc., what can the story of Abraham impart on the position of 'truth' and 'lies' in Jewish thought? Rabbi Howard Cooper offers an interpretation.

Abraham's Journey

Abraham's Journey11 Nov 2016

Sometimes, stories can help us heal. In light of political developments, we turn to a creative re-telling of a famous story, a midrash, of sorts, on the journey of Avram ben Terach to becoming Avraham Avinu.

After the Flood

After the Flood03 Nov 2016

This week we read the story of Noah. Our Rabbi blogger, Howard Cooper, takes a look at the rainbow and it's meaning within the biblical story as well as Judaism of past and present.

In the beginning

In the beginning27 Oct 2016

Just after Simchat Torah, as we commence with the Torah readings anew, it seems only right to start things off with an in-depth reading of the very first lines... Rabbi Howard Cooper takes us on an exploration with a little help of Rashi and Genesis Rabbah.

Kafka's Midrash

Kafka's Midrash20 Oct 2016

A final meditation on the festival behind us, prompted by a parable by Franz Kafka: on the calendar year, on the Torah, and the journey.

The Feast of Wandering and Rest

The Feast of Wandering and Rest14 Oct 2016

“The invitation of guests, strangers, ‘outsiders’, into one’s home or one’s community is a habitual part of Jewish social living, but it receives a special emphasis during Sukkot.” Read on to discover its symbolic layers and practical implications.

On Yom Kippur

On Yom Kippur07 Oct 2016

For the religious, the meaning (and weight) of Yom Kippur are clear. Our Rabbi-in-Residence, Howard Cooper offers a perspective on Yom Kippur that might prove meaningful - and useful - to all.

Way out of the forest

Way out of the forest30 Sep 2016

"A man had been wandering about in a forest for several days..." What can an old parable offer us for consideration over Rosh HaShana and the upcoming holidays?

Our homeland, the text

Our homeland, the text23 Sep 2016

Rabbi Howard Cooper:"The Talmud was a Euro-text centuries before the European Union was dreamed up." In light of the rise of right-wing nationalism across Europe, we are reminded of our centuries-old belonging to a trans-national community, neither dependent on, nor limited by, nationality.

Difficult Questions

Difficult Questions16 Sep 2016

Rabbi Howard Cooper: Are we ‘in the hands of God’ - as traditional religious language might put it? Or are we ‘the hands of God’ - as contemporary religious existential language might put it? This is the season for a creative wrestling with this question.

To the unbelievable

To the unbelievable09 Sep 2016

"Fifteen years on, have the toxic images generated by that event faded? Or have we come to normalise terror?" It is the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and Rabbi Howard Cooper offers a reflection on external as well as internal threats, and Judaism's attitude to both.

Elul: the stories we tell

Elul: the stories we tell02 Sep 2016

The High Holidays are ushered in with the onset of Elul - a month of reflection and preparation. Our Rabbi-in-Residence, Howard Cooper, shares his thoughts on the importance of personal stories and storytelling, and how they relate to personal change.

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