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judaism Archives - David Werdiger

Of Dead Cricketers and Dead Shul-goers

By | Personal Blog | No Comments

The national outpouring of grief following the tragic death of cricketer Phil Hughes after being struck by a cricket ball on the field has been quite overwhelming. Every day there have been several pages in the daily newspapers as cricketers around the country and the world deal with the tragedy. A huge campaign of people putting their cricket bats out as a public expression of grief – it was even featured on the Google search page,…

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#breakingItTogether (satire)

By | Personal Blog | One Comment

After the failure of the global Shabbat Project to usher in the Messiah, organizers have had an urgent rethink of their strategy, and released their startling new initiative. Tradition tells us that if all Jews keep just one Shabbat, then the Messiah would come. This was in fact the secret agenda of the Shabbat Project organizers, even though they are not affiliated with Chabad. South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein admitted in a candid interview…

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The Chanukah Tree

By | Articles, Galus Australis, J-Wire, Personal Blog, Times of Israel | One Comment

The Menorah is one of the most enduring Jewish symbols we have – instantly recognizable, and adopted as part of the emblem of the state of Israel. The menorah lit in ancient times was symbolic of the Temple, and Judaism, being a source of light to the entire world. Facebook friends are posting many moving photos of Chanukah celebrated after WW2 and in other dark times – a much-needed source of light and inspiration.  Here’s…

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You might be a racist

By | Personal Blog | 2 Comments

The world owes comedian Jeff Foxworthy a debt of gratitude for his funny and clever stand-up routine “You might be a redneck”. While some rednecks might take pride in the label, other labels, particularly “ist”s, are rapid argument enders. No-one wants to be labelled a racist. Indeed a recent blog post gives a guide to supporters of Israel who do not want to be labelled a racist. This looks like a follow-up to the earlier…

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Truth and Consequences

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In the lead up to Rosh Hashana, the weekly Torah readings are very pertinent. As we draw to the end of the weekly reading cycle, the book of Devarim – Moshe’s final words to his beloved nation – draw to a close. Last week, the reading of “Ki Tavo” contains the second “tochecha” – a long and bitter rebuke that speaks in great detail of the terrible calamities and curses that will befall the Jews if…

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Rambam – Three (and a bit) Years Later

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It all started  at a very merry Simchat Torah in 2008. Each year, a small group of friends had developed a custom of “making deals” – as I like to characterize them. As an example, the previous year we pledged a donation if my long-haired nephew would get a crew-cut. In amongst the alcohol-infused joy and benevolent mood that followed, these things made plenty of sense at the time, and reasonable sense the next day….

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Shul Conduct Review Panel

By | Personal Blog | 9 Comments

A bizarre new sign went up in Yeshivah Shul this week The letter welcomes families to participate in the shul’s programs and services, and introduces a new children’s program. It then warns quite ominously: “Unfortunately, some children continue to remain unsupervised on Yeshivah grounds on Shabbos … we remind parents that their child must either be attending a program or under your supervision … The behaviour of some children .. is sakonas nefoshos … Reports…

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Sabra is dead. Long live Daneli’s.

By | Galus Australis, Personal Blog | One Comment

I preferred Sabra before they switched from their previous kosher authority to their most recent one – their chips were just delicious. My friend who works in the kosher industry told me they were fried in oil that contained tallow, which is animal fat, and therefore not kosher. As a kosher consumer, I place a degree of trust in the supervising authority, so that if the food consumed turns out not to be kosher, it…

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Galus Australis – a new frontier

By | Articles, Galus Australis, Personal Blog | No Comments

From a journey that began with writing some comments on a blog called The Sensible Jew, I had the opportunity to meet several fellow bloggers/writers who became associated with that blog. As quickly as that one fizzled, it was “replaced” by the cleverly named Galus Australis, a forum for discussion and debate about Jewish life in Australia. The editors kindly asked me to become a regular contributor on the blog, and I was pleased to…

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Daniel Pollak chose life

By | Personal Blog | One Comment

I’ve buried relatives and friends – some old, and some not old enough. For the first time, I have buried a student. The grief of his sudden passing comes over me in waves, and is like nothing I have experienced before. They carry a pain that rises to the surface in tears that feel like an outpouring from the depths of my soul. Perhaps this is a result of the special bond between teacher and…

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