The Rabbi's Essays

  • The Rabbi's Essays

    OUR 1984 TRIP TO THE USSR

    OUR 1984 TRIP TO THE USSR Recalling our harrowing tale 30 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain By Rabbi Chaim Ingram OAM (with the invaluable assistance of  Mrs. Judith Ingram) 1. Last week on 26th December, a landmark anniversary went almost unnoticed by the world. It marked exactly 30 years since the dramatic and unprecedented dissolution of the Former Soviet Union and its repressive and atheistic ideology. For seventy years, it held captive in its iron vice thousands of active dissidents including Jews many of whom were murdered, tortured and imprisoned for the crime of wishing to express their Judaism in the form of mitsva observance, education of…

  • The Rabbi's Essays

    IS OUR MISSION BEING ACCOMPLISHED?

    The essential reason that the blessed G-D, sanctified us through giving us His Torah and Mitsvotand set us apart to be His peopleis in order that we may reverence Him and sanctify His name in the world (Rabenu Yona of Gerona: Sha’arei Teshuva 3:158)  ******************* What Is Our Mission? The greatest source of merit for the nascent nation of Israel was their declaration at Sinai 3,330 years ago that they would execute whatever G-D mandated (Exodus19:8 and again at 24:3) and that, moreover, they would carry this mandate out even in advance of hearing its particulars (24:7). This latter declaration comprises the celebrated two words na’aseh ve-nishma. Often it is translated…

  • The Rabbi's Essays

    APOLOGY AND FORGIVENESS – THE PARAMETERS

    APOLOGY AND FORGIVENESS WHAT ARE THE PARAMETERS? By Rabbi Chaim Ingram OAM The first week in February has been declared i4give week in certain communities in Australia. Many religious Jews make a solemn declaration every night before they retire. This declaration precedes the bedtime Shema (ArtScroll Siddur p 289). The words are: I hereby pardon anyone who angered or antagonised me or who sinned against me, whether physically, monetarily or emotionally … and may no-one be punished on my account. Of course, true forgiveness lies within the heart. While one is overcome with anger or resentment, such words will be empty shells and will achieve nothing. Yet when the bitterness…

  • Acute Angels Series

    ACUTE ANGLES: The Shabbat Project – Is It Still A Project

    ACUTE ANGLES Real Questions on Jewish Thought Answered An Occasional Series – 22 By Rabbi Chaim Ingram OAM THE SHABBAT PROJECT – IS IT STILL A PROJECT? Dear Rabbi.  Is it just me or has The Shabbat Project got in a bit of a rut?  I would be glad to hear what you think. Yours, Jayden. Dear Jayden, One year after Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein initiated The Shabbat Project in South Africa in 2013, it hit world Jewry like a tidal wave. It quickly became established as an eagerly-anticipated annual event as more and more communities came on board until it hit a peak. Your question, which others are also…

  • Acute Angels Series

    ACUTE ANGLES: Is Tai Chi Kosher

    ACUTE ANGLES Real Questions on Jewish Thought Answered An Occasional Series – 28 By Rabbi Chaim Ingram OAM IS TAI CHI KOSHER? Dear Rabbi. My friend who, like me, is newly-retired and Orthodox, told me she had recently enrolled in a weekly tai chi class. I asked her if she had consulted her rabbi about it and she said no, why should she have? I told her that its origins were steeped in Eastern religions, and that she would do well to check. She asked me to inquire on her behalf. So, rabbi, is tai chi kosher? Yours, Stella K. Dear Stella, It is very good that you thought to…

  • Acute Angels Series

    ACUTE ANGLES: Is Judaism The Sole Monotheistic Faith

    ACUTE ANGLES Real Questions on Jewish Thought Answered An Occasional Series – 56 By Rabbi Chaim Ingram OAM IS JUDAISM THE SOLE MONOTHEISTIC FAITH? Dear Rabbi Ingram. Last week you wrote that Christianity and Islam “share our adherence sort of to monotheism”. While I understand your ambivalence about Christianity with its trinity and “god-incarnate” theology, I had always thought that Islam was purely monotheistic like Judaism, despite our deep ideological differences. So why “sort of”? And what about Sikhism which you don’t mention? I would appreciate your comments. Thanks so much. Naomi G. Dear Naomi, I received your question prior to the furore surrounding the remarks of Indian senior political…

  • Acute Angels Series

    ACUTE ANGLES: Is Judaism Racist

    ACUTE ANGLES Real Questions on Jewish Thought Answered An Occasional Series – 25 By Rabbi Chaim Ingram OAM IS JUDAISM RACIST? Dear Rabbi. The Torah tells us to wipe out the progeny of Amalek. Elsewhere we are commanded not to welcome Ammonites or Moabites into “the community of G-D” and to destroy or expel the Canaanite nations from Israel. In today’s parlance, would this not be termed ‘racist’? How do you, as a defender of the Torah, respond to this charge? Yours, K. B. Dear K. B. Firstly let’s define ‘racism’ according to the primary definition proffered by Professor Google who, we assume, belongs to all races equally! ☺ It…