tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:/posts Belovski 2015-03-03T06:50:46Z Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/817962 2015-03-03T06:50:46Z 2015-03-03T06:50:46Z Purim 5775 Golders Green Synagogue Megillah Readings

Following Ma'ariv at 6.15pm (approx. 6.25pm) - GGS

11.00pm - Belovski Home

Following Shacharit at 6.45am (approx 7.20am) - GGS

10.00am - Beckman Home

3.00pm - JLE

Full details here

All welcome

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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/794251 2015-01-10T20:31:45Z 2015-01-10T20:31:45Z Belovski on New Directions Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show

09/01/15

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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/793002 2015-01-08T05:50:21Z 2015-01-08T05:50:21Z Belovski at AJOP in Baltimore Sunday 18th - Monday 19th January 2015

Topic to be announced; click here for speaker list.


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/793000 2015-01-08T05:38:28Z 2015-01-08T05:38:28Z Belovski at Torah in Motion, Toronto Motzoey Shabbat 1th January 2015

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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/792998 2015-01-08T05:36:28Z 2015-01-08T05:36:29Z Belovski at BAYT, Toronto Shabbat 16th - 17th January 2015

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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/791771 2015-01-06T08:35:27Z 2015-01-06T08:35:28Z Belovski on Wiping the Slate Clean Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show (Sara Cox sitting in)

02/01/15


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/791770 2015-01-06T08:33:35Z 2015-01-06T08:33:35Z Belovski on Christmas Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show (Sara Cox sitting in)

26/12/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/761825 2014-10-29T13:44:08Z 2014-10-29T13:44:09Z Belovski on Music and Healing Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show (Sara Cox standing in)

28/10/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/749432 2014-10-01T11:56:27Z 2014-10-01T11:56:27Z Belovski on Atonement Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show

01/10/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/745572 2014-09-23T13:42:40Z 2014-09-28T20:58:15Z Belovski on Treasured Possessions Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show

23/09/14

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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/742702 2014-09-17T18:56:56Z 2014-09-17T18:56:56Z Belovski on Momentous Decisions Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show

17/09/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/739213 2014-09-10T13:40:33Z 2014-09-17T05:31:22Z Belovski on Inspirations from Literature Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show

10/09/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/728406 2014-09-05T05:45:35Z 2014-09-05T05:46:46Z Summer Reading 2014 A number of people have expressed interest in what I've been reading during the summer break.  Here is a list in no particular order:

Nancy Kline, Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind

Jonathan Beckman, How to Ruin a Queen: Marie Antoinette, the Stolen Diamonds and the Scandal that Shook the French Throne

Adin Steinsaltz, My Rebbe

Alison Hardingham et al, The Coach's Coach: Personal Development for Personal Developers

Dennis Prager & Joseph Telushkin, Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism

Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm

Roman Krznaric, Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution

Hayyim Angel, Peshat isn't so Simple

Finis Leavell Beauchamp, The Terrible Beauty of the Evil Man

Joseph Telushikin, Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

Steven Pinker, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature

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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/725632 2014-08-10T21:20:13Z 2014-08-10T22:06:55Z Isaiah's Comfort and Today's Prophets: a Message of Hope Sermon Notes 09/08/13 - VaEtchanan & Nachamu 5774

The palpable sense of relief that generally follows Tisha B’Av is absent this year.  I usually feel that having spent three weeks contemplating the destruction of the Temple and other horrors of Jewish history, I’ve met my obligation and can leave Tisha B’Av refreshed, ready for the summer holidays and with one eye already on Rosh HaShanah.  This year, however, given the recent conflict in Israel and the shocking increase in anti-Semitism in Europe, the air is heavy, laden with uncertainty and ambivalence – almost guilt – at having moved back to normal life post-Tisha B’Av.  It feels to me that the notoriously flimsy boundary between valid criticism and naked anti-Semitism is in danger of collapse.

This past week, the spectre of divestment from Israel again raised its head.  I suspect that for many it will be the anti-Israel instrument of choice for in the months ahead, in preference to the rather more demanding option of reasoned discussion.  Those it affects most are our students on campus, who often find themselves on the front line of anti-Israel hostility. Even if their convictions are strong, their Israel experience is characterised by the constant need to justify and defend.  The opportunity that I had as a student to create what Ambassador Daniel Taub once described to me as ‘my Israel’ narrative – the space that allowed me to consider what Israel meant to me, what I aspired for it to be and what my role might be in attaining that – is commonly denied our students, who are constantly on the back foot.

It is in that vein that we turn to today’s haftarah, the first of the so-called ‘seven of comfort’ read between Tisha B’Av and Rosh HaShanah, selected from the 40th chapter of Isaiah.  It starts with the famous line:

נחמו נחמו עמי יאמר אלקיכם

Comfort, comfort My people, says your God. (Isaiah 40:1)

To whom is God is addressing His words – who should comfort My people?  The Aramaic Targum offers the obvious answer – God is speaking through Isaiah to His prophets:

נבייא אתנביאו תנחומין על עמי

My prophets! Prophesy comfort to My people. (Targum Onkelos ad loc.)

This reading (also favoured by Rashi) does not address the repetition of the word נחמו – comfort, something that can only be understood properly with reference to the next verse:

 דברו על לב ירושלם... כי מלאה צבאה כי נרצה עונה כי לקחה מיד ידוד כפלים בכל חטאתיה

Speak to the heart of Jerusalem... her time of estrangement has been fulfilled and her transgression has been forgiven, for she has been doubly punished by God for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:2)

It seems that the Jewish people require a double measure of comfort because their punishment has been doubled, a view validated by midrashic sources (e.g. Midrash Tanchuma Devarim 1).

Whatever the intention of the verses, we are only too familiar with this ‘double punishment’ – the media distortions, the obvious double standards of Israel’s detractors (where are the mass demonstrations against daily massacres in Syria and exterminations in Iraq?) and the frequent uncritical adoption of a single version of a war narrative, when, as always, there are multiple perspectives.

If we are subject to ‘double punishment’, we need double comfort, as God demanded from our prophets.  They must replace pain with comfort, negativity with positivity and despair with hope.

But today there are no prophets and so the call of Isaiah must go out to their modern-day substitutes – the leaders of our communities.  That call is not restricted to rabbis or other formal leaders, but it goes out to everyone engaged in Jewish life who is able to do something.  All of us can write a letter to an MP or minister, respond to a blog-post, speak out sensibly against all bias and bigotry, attend an event, support communal efforts to counteract the negativity and inspire others to do likewise.

An unfathomable aspect of the current situation is the unwillingness of many free-world leaders to articulate something obvious.  Many of those who violently attack and seek the ultimate elimination of the State of Israel, and especially their financial backers, harbour the same long-term intentions towards Christians and, indeed, the whole of Western society.  As much as we worry about events in Israel and Europe, we are not oblivious to the brutal, barbaric persecutions of Christians and Yazidis in Iraq.  I believe that Israel and the Jews are just first in line; in reality, the very fabric of our society is imperilled for all people, regardless of faith or creed.  Emphasising these threats is one way of focusing the attention of others.

Yet as well as highlighting these wrongs, we must double our message of hope and comfort.  If the pain is doubled, the message of hope must be doubly powerful.

The importance of articulating the message is highlighted by Isaiah a few verses further into his prophecy:

על הר גבה עלי לך מבשרת ציון הרימי בכח קולך מבשרת ירושלם הרימי אל תיראי

Ascend a high mountain, herald of Zion.  Raise your voice powerfully, herald of Jerusalem.  Raise it, do not be afraid... (Isaiah 40:9)

 We have to carry our message of hope to high places and speak it where it can be heard.  We should never underestimate the impact we can have, nor where we have friends – sometimes critical friends – but friends nonetheless.  They are everywhere, members of every religious groups – Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists – and of none.  They exist at the workplace, among journalists and at universities.  We must redouble our efforts to build friendly, functional relationships with them, even when we disagree about Israel, or, indeed, anything else.

This is one message of hope.  The other is that that our voice, even if it small, cannot and will not be silenced.

נחמו נחמו עמי יאמר אלקיכם

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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/724254 2014-08-07T21:00:33Z 2014-08-07T21:00:33Z Belovski on Events that Changed the World Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show (Penny Smith standing in)

07/08/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/720751 2014-07-30T16:21:47Z 2014-07-30T16:21:47Z Belovski on Making Amends Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show

30/07/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/717622 2014-07-23T16:10:29Z 2014-07-23T16:10:29Z Belovski on the Commonwealth Games BBC Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show

23/07/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/715952 2014-07-19T22:52:47Z 2014-07-19T22:52:47Z Belovski on the Wise Things Children Say BBC Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show

17/07/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/699043 2014-06-02T15:40:30Z 2014-07-31T05:37:11Z Belovski on Bravery BBC Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show

02/06/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/694128 2014-05-21T09:52:11Z 2014-05-21T10:11:48Z Belovski on Marriage BBC Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show

14/05/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/687748 2014-05-07T13:11:40Z 2014-05-07T13:11:40Z Belovski on Freedom BBC Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show

07/05/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/684534 2014-04-30T15:08:38Z 2014-04-30T15:08:38Z Belovski on Lessons Learned from Life BBC Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show

30/04/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/680929 2014-04-23T13:23:04Z 2014-04-23T13:23:04Z Belovski on Courage BBC Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show

23/04/14



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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/656810 2014-02-21T08:29:25Z 2014-02-21T08:29:26Z Belovski on Looking in the Mirror BBC Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show20/02/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/654470 2014-02-14T06:53:37Z 2014-02-14T10:40:19Z Dayan Gershon Lopian Obituary for Dayan Gershon Lopian זצ"ל

A prominent halachic expert, rabbinic mentor and empathetic spiritual leader with international influence, Dayan Gershon Lopian was rabbi, then emeritus rabbi, of the Edgware Yeshurun Synagogue.

Gershon Lopian, scion of a distinguished rabbinical family, was born in Portsmouth in 1938, the first child of Rabbi Leib and Tzippa (née Levy).  Rabbi Leib, a founding member of Gateshead Kolel (Institute for Higher Rabbinical Studies), was subsequently co-head of Gateshead Yeshiva.  His paternal grandfather Rabbi Eliyahu was a major figure in the ‘Musar’ (ethical discipline) movement, known for his incisive teachings and exceptional piety.

Rabbi Lopian studied first at Gateshead Yeshiva, then in Israel under his grandfather in Kfar Chassidim and at Chevron Yeshiva in Jerusalem, receiving semichah (ordination) from Rabbis Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Ovadiah Yosef and others.  He pursued advanced studies at Sunderland Kolel, where he was learning when he married Judy Saberski in 1964.  He also trained in practical rabbinics with the renowned halachic decisor Rabbi Henoch Padwa, whom he visited in London for extended periods.  While in Sunderland, Rabbi Lopian officiated at a local Shul on festivals, supervised the mikveh and butcher’s shop, and delivered shiurim.

In 1974, on a trip to the USA, Rabbi Lopian was introduced to the world’s foremost halachist, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein.  He subsequently studied intensely for several months under the tutelage of Rabbi Feinstein, who conferred upon him an advanced semichah, allowing him to deliver complex rulings in a broad range of halachic fields.

In 1976, Rabbi Lopian was elected rabbi of the Federation’s Edgware Yeshurun Synagogue, a position he occupied with distinction until his appointment as emeritus rabbi at his retirement in 2006.  For a period in the ‘80s, he also served as a judge on the Beth Din of the Federation of Synagogues; this appointment dubbed him ‘the Dayan’, a title by which he was affectionately known for the rest of his life.

The Dayan was known as an attentive and capable rabbi: compassionate pastor, expert educator and effective champion of greater halachic observance. His tenure at Yeshurun coincided with a tremendous development of the Edgware Orthodox community: an increase of Shuls and opportunities for Torah study; the construction of a mikveh in which he was a driving force; the influx of observant families and newly religious to the area and the consequent proliferation of Jewish shops and other facilities.  This transformation is in large part attributable to the efforts of the Lopians, who gradually emerged as the senior Orthodox leaders in Edgware.

The Dayan's growing role as an halachic decisor of national and, ultimately, international significance reflected a unique confluence of outstanding scholarship, absolute conviction in the benevolent universality of the halachic system, a loathing for superficiality - what he called 'sartorial Judaism', a genuine love of people and a legendary sense of humour.  He was renowned for an ability to identify intensely with an individual's circumstances and challenges, sometimes even crying with strangers who had unburdened themselves.

The Dayan's decision-making technique was bravely anthropocentric, although his reputation for blanket leniency is an oversimplification.  He would actually start from the needs and context of the inquirer and move outwards to find a bespoke, yet irrefutably authentic, halachic response.  He fielded questions from all over the world, especially in the areas of Jewish family law and the challenges of the newly religious.  With a reputation for accessibility, he learned all day in a tiny study, constantly interrupted by calls, which he answered himself.  He taught hundreds of bridegrooms and was the advisor to many organisations, especially the transformational ‘Family Week’ programme, through which he and Rebbetzin Judy became long-term friends and mentors to numerous families.

The Dayan was also friend, guru and counsellor to scores of rabbis, many of whom he trained in practical rabbinics and halachic methodology.  A true 'rabbi's rabbi', he rejected rabbinic dependence, encouraging his students to make their own halachic and counselling decisions.  Enormously influential in the current rabbinate, his students lead communities across the globe.

In recent years, Dayan Lopian suffered from a number of debilitating complaints which he bore with fortitude, supported tirelessly by the rebbetzin.  Yet his increasing immobility scarcely impacted on his communal engagements and despite his obvious pain, he continued to attend events and teach shiurim, the last of which was delivered less than 24 hours before his unexpected passing.

He is survived by Rebbetzin Judy - his partner in every aspect of his communal work, two sons, three daughters, grandchildren, a great-grandchild and seven siblings.

Harvey Belovski is rabbi of Golders Green Synagogue and a long-standing student of Dayan Gershon Lopian

A version of this obituary first appeared in the Jewish Chronicle


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/653990 2014-02-13T15:43:23Z 2014-02-21T08:28:07Z Belovski on Love BBC Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show13/02/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/651129 2014-02-06T15:25:19Z 2014-02-06T15:25:20Z Belovski on Community BBC Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show
06/01/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/648014 2014-01-30T12:55:13Z 2014-02-06T15:25:36Z Belovski on Teamwork BBC Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Show30/01/14


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/638135 2014-01-05T21:57:31Z 2014-01-06T06:17:19Z Halitatea Tea House 5 Hillel Street, Jerusalem

I've been in Israel for the last week and a half for a combination of Shul business and a winter break. While here, I've met people a couple of times at the Halitatea tea house.  It's tucked away behind Rehov Hillel and I, like you, would probably not have found it had it not been pointed out.

There's a lovely atmosphere, great selection of tea, good music (very un-Israeli - they lowered the volume on request) and the staff are friendly and helpful.

Halitatea, which bills itself as a 'Speciali'tea Shop', stocks a huge selection of black, green and white teas, herbal teas, flavoured rooibos and they also knocked up a excellent version of my latest indulgence, the chai latte.  Tea comes in a glass pot with a delightful warmer and it's actually strong enough to enjoy, belying my British cynicism about Israeli tea.  If you need a nibble, there are also breakfasts, cakes and pastries and, if you ask Gabriel, the owner, nicely, he'll give you their wifi code.

A great place to meet people, hang out, relax, pretend to be British, or buy tea accoutrements.

To find Halitatea, turn down the first passageway on the left coming from the King George end of Rehov Hillel

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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski
tag:www.rabbibelovski.co.uk,2013:Post/630837 2013-12-16T06:14:48Z 2013-12-16T06:14:48Z Reporting Sexual and Domestic Abuse A Jewish Legal Perspective

Please feel free to download and distribute

A version of this first appeared in the Jewish Year Book 2014


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Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski