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Oxford Jewish Thought

Lectures, essays, questions & articles

by Rabbi Eli Brackman

A Jewish view on the British riots: who’s to blame?

A Jewish view on the British riots: who’s to blame?

 

A proposal for effective engagement with Britain’s disenfranchised youth

We have witnessed rioting in London and across the UK over the last few days on a level that those who grew up in London have never witnessed before. Wide spread looting, thieving, vandalising in broad day light with people watching is something that is just astonishing and shocking. It seemed to most English people that society had fallen apart and replaced by raw savagery of gangs and mobs.

The debate that immediately followed in the intellectual society of liberal Britain, even while the riots were still going on, was over whether this behaviour can be justified. Is it sheer criminality or… Read More »

‘What is Jewish Identity? An Oxford Debate’

‘What is Jewish Identity? An Oxford Debate’

 

A question that has been debated recently amongst Jewish intellectuals in Oxford and indeed for many centuries is what constitutes Jewish identity. This question is more potent today when there are additional factors and definitions in the Jewish lexicon relating to the modern Jewish experience, with the return of Jews after 2,000 years to Israel, and to complicate matters further, this is accompanied by an unprecedented level of assimilation amongst Jews worldwide. Combined, it makes it difficult to find a single definition that satisfies scholars on the question of Jewish identity.

 

This essay will try and shed some light on this question that has been debated in… Read More »

The King James Bible and the Kabbalah

The King James Bible and the Kabbalah

 

This essay will explore whether Kabbalistic ideas found in the classical work of the Midrash referenced to in the contemporary Jewish English translations of the Torah can also be found in the King James Bible of the seventeenth century. We will argue that according to the traditional Jewish translations, there are two Biblical verses that can be perceived as pertaining to Kabbalistic ideas, whereas in the King James Bible (KJB) both translations seem to elude this deeper interpretation from the Midrash, whether knowingly or inadvertently. This is despite the fact that it helps to a certain degree with the literal reading of the Biblical text.

 

Although we are discussing principally a… Read More »

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