Jewish concepts & customs

Shalom Aleichem, Aleichem Shalom

Music and recording © Alexander Massey 26 March 2017 Composed for the ‘United for Peace – United Through Poetry’ event 10 May 2017, an initative of The Oxford Foundation delivered in partnership with the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion at the University of Birmingham.

Bikur cholim – visiting the sick

The bonds of community and mutual care are given very high value within Judaism. The importance of a Jew extending themselves on behalf of another includes offering the same practical, emotional and spiritual concern for those beyond the Jewish community. One of the key ways that this can be expressed is through bikur cholim, visiting …

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Music, Copyright and Jewish Ethics (or “Is it ok to steal from musicians?”)

Copyright law is internationally upheld as a fundamental right for composers, lyricists, librettists and writers (referred to collectively in this article as ‘creators’, and publishers for good reasons. However, these creators and copyright holders typically lose out financially to the practice of people copying or distributing (e.g. emailing) unpaid-for copies of the music instead of …

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Sukkot matters (2): Finding meaning in the Four Species

We are told in the Torah: “On the first day you shall take the product of the beautiful tree, branches of palm trees, thick branches of leafy trees, and willows of the brook and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days” (Lev. 23:40) This has developed into the tradition of arba’a minim, …

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Sukkot matters (1): Finding meaning in the sukkah

Sukkot is a wonderful opportunity to reach back into our Jewish tradition, drawing upon ancient wisdom, at the same time as making new meanings for ourselves and contributing to the evolution of a living Judaism. I’m not going to give an exhaustive account of every detail, or of every ‘official’ version of the meanings of …

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