Being Grateful for what Everyone Else Does for You

June 20, 2011

“A friend of mine, Rabbi Leibel Benjaminson, described a self-improvement (“mussar”) group in which he participated. In order to improve their sense of gratitude, everyone in the group was to select one thing that they do frequently – and then think for 10 minutes about its ramifications. My friend drank one cup of coffee every […]

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“The personal is political” – some thoughts from Christopher Hitchens

July 19, 2010

I am currently reading the extremely interesting autobiography of Christopher Hitchens at the moment. Besides the vast, vast , VAST amount of name-dropping, the work is enthralling, the narrative compelling, and the prose grandiloquent. But Hitchens’ recollection of the time he spent as a young Marxist revolutionary while at university is the part I find […]

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Fasting in solidarity with Yarlswood Women’s Detention Centre

February 12, 2010

Republished from Radical Rabbit. I’m also fasting and this fits my sentiments entirely. Today I am fasting in solidarity with the 84 women from Yarls Wood detention centre who are hunger-striking over poor conditions. Below is the testimony of one of the women – Majirola Daniels – who came to Britain in 1987. What is […]

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Dispatches from Copenhagen II: Being a Protest Medic

January 25, 2010

I’ve just got an article published about my experiences in Copenhagen in The Mule. Here’s an excerpt: Despite failure at the Summit to reach any meaningful agreement, there were positives to be drawn from Copehagen. The mass convergence of social movements from across the globe showed that there are people who won’t just wait for […]

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“Re-evaluating Family Matters”

January 7, 2010

“…the government needs to straighten out the arbitrariness of a system that puts blood relations over emotional relations. That isn’t to say that my actual parents and my actual sister aren’t very important to me, but right now, I feel more responsibility towards my housemate, who’s parents live 250 miles way than to my parents […]

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“Muslim profiling is a recipe for insecurity”

January 2, 2010

“In both Britain and America demands for profiling all Muslims at airports are increasing in volume. This mindset not only fails to understand that most Muslims around the world detest al-Qaeda, but this outlook also cannot comprehend how terrorists are always one step ahead of the game. If it is Muslim-sounding names that are to […]

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Extract from Aeneid Book 10

December 1, 2009

This is my favourite part of Book 10 of the Aeneid. In it, Pallas, the son of Aeneas’ main ally, King Evander, engages in close combat with Turnus, a local king, and is killed. Pallas’ death is some of the most wrenching poetry I’ve ever read. Interea soror alma monet succedere LausoTurnum, qui volucri curru […]

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Born on a Blue Day

December 1, 2009

Daniel Tammet is an autistic savant. What makes him unusual is that he’s also capable of living independantly, and also of explaining how his mind processes, which no other autistic savant (think Kim Peek or Dustin Hoffman in the Rainman) can do. He is gay, but what I found more interesting is that he is […]

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Moab is My Washpot

December 1, 2009

Stephen Fry’s riveting autobiography, Moab is my Washpot (derived from Psalm 60:8), never fails to make me appreciate the power of words. In particular, I have this passage permanently bookmarked. Warning: this is quite long. "There are plenty of other things to be got up to outside the orbit of the anal ring, but the […]

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