Remembering each and every person who was lost, may their memory be a blessing.
Dedicated by Mina and Suzanne Goodman

Day 58

All You Need Is Love: Does It Matter What Jews Believe or Just What They Do?

“May the lessons of the past help improve understanding now and in the future.” Peter & Jacqui Zinkin

One responsibility in my first rabbinic position was to administer a bar/bat mitzvah test. It encouraged young adults to cover a sylla- bus of basic Jewish knowledge prior to their “big day.” I wrote the test myself and after some predictable questions such as “when is Pesach?” and “who was married to Abraham?” I posed one that was met with surprise by every examinee: “does Judaism have beliefs and not just rules?” With hindsight, it was a poor question, but it was intended to challenge adolescents to start thinking about belief and action in their lives. It is well known that Judaism includes both a detailed code of practice and a sophisticated belief system, although the relationship between them is often little understood. For many modern, thinking Jews, successfully navigating the tensions between belief and action will determine our commitment to Torah observance and pursuit of Jewish aspirations for ourselves and our families. How important is it to believe in core principles (e.g., existence of God, historical truth of the Sinaitic revelation), or is it only observance that counts? Put succinctly, does it matter what Jews believe or just what they do?


Rabbi Dr Harvey Belovski

Rabbi Dr Harvey Belovski is the Rabbi of Golders Green Synagogue, London and principal of Rimon Jewish Primary School. He teaches at LSJS in London, is the rabbinic consultant to University Jewish Chaplaincy and is a guest lecturer at King’s College, London. He is an author and a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 2.

Fact of the Day

April 19 (Ereve Pesach) – May 1943 – Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the 1943 act of Jewish resistance that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Poland during World War II, and which opposed Nazi Germany‘s final effort to transport the remaining Ghetto population to Treblinka extermination camp. The most significant portion of the rebellion took place from 19 April, and ended when the poorly armed and supplied resistance was crushed by the Germans, who officially finished their operation to liquidate the Ghetto on 16 May. It was the largest single revolt by Jews during World War II.

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Today's Video

“Lonely Man of Faith: The Life and Legacy of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik”

70 Days for 70 Years is a project of The United Synagogue