Displaying posts written by

Alex Fein

who has written 140 posts for The Sensible Jew.


The Rabbi at the AC/DC Concert by Rabbi Yaron Gottlieb

by Rabbi Yaron Gottlieb
When I recently attended one of the AC/DC concerts in Melbourne, I  would never have guessed that an event featuring a middle aged man in a school uniform could illuminate some of life’s mysteries.
But during some of the songs and while singer, Brian Johnson, was delivering his barely intelligible patter between sets, [...]


Tip-offs, Surprises, and the Play that Won’t Die

Two Fridays ago, I received an email – almost by accident.
A non-Jewish woman, thinking I was a member of the left-wing Australian Jewish Democratic Society, contacted me to ask for assistance.
The nature of this blog is that for every comment written by a reader, tens of private emails come my way. A number of these [...]


Homosexuality, Judaism, and Hypocrisy – by Rabbi Yaron Gottlieb

This is a word that seems to unite religious people of all backgrounds around the world.
It also drives a knee jerk reaction, causing them to panic, babble incoherently, or simply pretend the word doesn’t exist.
I’ve been asked to explain the Orthodox Jewish response to homosexuality, and while I’m not going to panic or babble, I [...]


In the Absence of Loving Kindness – by Malki Rose

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series In the Absence of Loving Kindness

by Malki Rose
Rabbi Groner (the late head of the Chabad Movement of Judaism in Australia) was a great man.  I did not agree with many of his views; indeed, I’d argued with him about a number of theoretical and practical matters.
But I had enormous respect for him because he was, above all things, a father [...]


J-Wire and The Sensible Jew are Now Working Together.

J-Wire and The Sensible Jew are now working together.
Whenever you feel like a news update, click on the “Breaking News at J-Wire” link at the very top of this website (towards the right-hand side).
J-Wire is completely impartial and reports on events without editorial.
Op-Eds on the news J-Wire reports can be found here, at The Sensible [...]


Ayeka, Owning the Religion, The New Week, And Shabbat Shalom

Not being inclined towards religious learning – or indeed religious observance – I’d never imagined voluntarily sitting through a lecture on Job and Maimonides (a central religious commentator from the 12th century). If anything, I’d actively kept myself ignorant – almost as a statement of identity. The youth movement I attended as a kid, Hashy [...]


Part 3: Conclusion to the Common Characteristics shared byAnti-Zionists and The Israel-Right-or-Wrong Crowd

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Israel-Right-or-Wrong vs Anti-Zionsts

Before reading this the final installment of the series, I encourage readers to read the comments in the previous post. Many of the contentions of this series are amply demonstrated by some of  the commenters – exemplars of extremism.
Of particular note is a comment by “Michael.” He neglects to provide his full name; however, he [...]


Part 2: Anti-Zionists and The Israel-Right-or-Wrong Crowd Have Much In Common

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Israel-Right-or-Wrong vs Anti-Zionsts

This is the second installment in this series. Click here to read part 1.
So, what else do the Israel-Right-or-Wrong and anti-Zionists groups in Australia have in common?
Fury at dissent within own ranks:
For our non-Jewish readers, let me tell you about a communal treasure.
He’s a tireless letter-to-the-editor writer, and apparently an avid mass emailer about matters [...]


Series – Anti-Zionists and The Israel-Right-or-Wrong Crowd Have Much In Common: Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Israel-Right-or-Wrong vs Anti-Zionsts

What do the Israel-Right-or-Wrong crowd and anti-Zionists groups in Australia have in common?
Surprisingly, they share a number of traits and tendencies that leave sensible folk – Jews and non-Jews alike – bemused,  furious, or very, very bored.
This post begins a series examining the the similarities in these two groups:


More Than Three Opinions: A Map of The Jewish Australian Blogosphere

“Two Jews, three opinions,” is a cliché. It’s also a gross understatement.
The ease with which a blog can be set up combined with my people’s natural tendency to debate anything, means that there is now a cornucopia of Jewish Australian opinion available online.
Left and right, centre and periphery, religious and secular, Zionist and anti-Zionist – [...]