Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet arrived in the UK in 1991. Having previously served as assistant principle of Oholei Torah Boys School in New York, he assumed the position as Minister of the Richmond Synagogue in Southwest London for two years, while also teaching Advanced Jewish Studies at the Jews Free School. In 1993, at the age of 28, he was offered the position as rabbi of the Mill Hill Synagogue. His vibrancy and dynamism has resulted in a continuous growth of membership, now in excess of 3000 members.
He has a Masters Degree in Jewish Studies from University College London. He authors numerous articles for newspapers, magazines and journals. He served as Diary Rabbi to the Guardian Newspaper and also writes for the Jewish Chronicle as well as a very popular weekly column in the Jewish News. He has featured in The London Times as well as Time Magazine International. Rabbi Schochet can often be seen on television including BBC as a regular panelist for The Big Questions as well as CNN.
Rabbi Schochet is a sought after international speaker on a vast range of topics. He has lectured across the world including Russia, Australia, Israel and all parts of the USA and Europe and has been rated top speaker at the National Jewish Retreat in The USA for several years running.
Rabbi Schochet served on the Chief Rabbis Cabinet with the portfolio of the family and as chairman of the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue. He was named by the Jewish Telegraph as one of the ten most influential Rabbis in the United Kingdom. The Jewish Chronicle recently described him as "one of the most outspoken Rabbis in the world."
One of Anglo-Jewrys most dynamic orthodox rabbis, who has turned his synagogue into a vibrant source of religious and social activities.
The Jewish Chronicle
He's extremely entertaining..
The London Times
...the rebel rabbi doubled his synagogue attendance in four years
The Daily Mail
with Rabbi Schochet
Shabbat Afternoons after Mincha
Men & Women welcome
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As a Hebrew name is intrinsically linked with the essence of one’s soul, it is of course especially meaningful to have one. I am deeply sorry as to the circumstances that prevented you getting one at birth and I am thinking that you should go with Shoshana which means Rose. Besides its common correlation with Suzie, it also reflects your circumstances, having been born during such a tragic time in history, bringing light into the prevailing darkness, like a rose amongst thorns. Perhaps you could get someone to make a special prayer for you by the Torah reading on Shabbat to formerly assume the name. But even if not, you could adopt it and make it yours. Wishing you only goodness in your future, Shoshana.
First you wait till you’re addicted, then you ask? I changed your name but your real one came through on the email. I should call your Mom and rat you out, but I was a teen once too, so I know the thrills and kicks involved. Does the Torah say, “Thou shalt not smoke, lest a lightning bolt will emerge the sky and smoke you?” No. But insofar that smoking damages your health and can kill you it is against the most basic fundamentals of Torah and all of Judaism which cannot overemphasize the importance of good health and the sanctity of human life. Your young, so quit while you’re ahead and while you can still use your head.
“ dust you come and to dust you shall return.” The ideal is in fact to be buried directly in the earth in keeping with that verse. There are laws against that though in most countries who insist on a coffin instead. Coffin or earth – wishing you a long life before you get there.
That is something of a generalisation. There are certain Yeshivot the boys learn part time and do their military duties part time. Interestingly enough, in Biblical times, every male over the age of 20 had compulsory military duty. Of course there were exceptions but that was the standard rule. There are two things to take into account: the first is how the Israeli army today is mixed and that presents a problem for many young Orthodox men. However the army got around this problem by allowing for the separate troops when so required. The other point is that inasmuch as the military serves to protect us physically, the Torah serves to protect us spiritually. Even as we may have foot soldiers we also need soul soldiers. While the rest of us are caught up in the daily grind, the world is being infused with spiritual oxygen through the power of those who study.
Many Yeshiva boys are raised in a certain mould and a whole new-fangled experience as that which the military provides can be very counter-intuitive to their whole stability. In short, they simply wouldn’t be able to handle it. It’ll throw their religious stability off kilter.
Having said that, again, the Israeli military today provides for Rabbis to be with their troops and offers more by way of dealing with this problem as well. Therefore, inasmuch as you and I cannot see that sweet Charedi boy Bnei Brak in military fatigue running through the trenches, there are many others who can, and dare I suggest, should get more involved. The army is there to protect the people and everyone, to one degree or another, shares in that mutual responsibility.
My younger brother and I fell out several years ago. I was really bothered by the way I felt he acted badly toward our parents and I decided to stop talking to him. I heard through the grapevine that he got ill a few weeks ago. I was thinking of calling but before I had a chance, he passed away. The family told me not to bother coming to the funeral. I am now really confused. Did I do the right thing by ignoring him? I feel nothing for him inside but should I have been there in his hour of need? Can you help me with my conscience?
You say you feel nothing for him inside and yet you speak of a conscience and are dealing with confused emotions about not being there for your brother. Obviously you do feel for him more than you care to admit – even to yourself.
There are always issues in life that cause tension between people. It then becomes a question of you we choose to deal with it. You can ignore the problem by ignoring the person and like a critical disease that you choose to ignore, that’s a recipe for disaster. Or you can bring the issue to the fore, tear it open, cut it out, and like any ailment, when operated on, however painful and sometimes long the recovery – ultimately you get better.
Many people don’t know this, but there were two brothers, Adi and Rudolf Dassler who started making sports shoes together in their mothers bathroom in the 1920s. During World War II they fell out, it is presumed on account of political differences and in 1948 they set up rival companies. One became known as Adidas (Adi Dassler) and the other Puma – two of the leading sportswear companies in the world today. Such was the level of acrimony that the whole Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach both companies are based was split between those who were employed and therefore loyal to one brother or the other. Only last year they made their peace for the first time, on that ultimate of all sacred peace-making grounds – a football pitch, directors of both companies shook hands and then played. Sixty years as a split community – and because of what - political differences?
Your brother was/is your flesh and blood. Bonds between loved ones have to transcend the stuff that gets in the way trying to pull us apart. And in regard to the rest of the world we have to live by the notion of Two Jews, Three Opinions, One Heart.
I am not going to make your conscience any easier. When you have a moment, go to your brother’s gravesite, pray there, connect to him on some level, ask him to forgive and tell him that you do too. I don’t know if it is too late to make peace with the rest of his family but you could certainly still make your peace with him in your own special way.
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|Wednesday, January 6 2016
THE PERIL OF INDIFFERENCE
Take a Stance
Sometimes we are in the mood and sometimes we resist. And sometimes we simply don’t care. But we learn from the plague of frogs that we can’t just sit back and relax. It is in these moments that it is important for us to face ourselves and make decisions.
Wednesday, January 13 2016
AND THEN THERE WAS NIGHT
The Darkness of Division
When our lives are filled with unity and hope, the light shines brightly. But when we are alone and there is little hope, just darkness remains. Just how bad is darkness, and what can we do to avoid it?
Wednesday, January 20 2016
THE ENIGMA OF EGYPT
Why Jews Are International
Jewish people can be found anywhere; this isn’t a coincidence. There is a deeper reason why your cousin moved to Europe, and why your friend has a stopover in Bahrain. What is that purpose, and why is Egypt the exception?
Wednesday, January 27 2016
THE CLEVES’ GET
An 18th-Century Saga
On August 14, 1766, Isaac, son of Eliezer Neiberg of Mannheim, married Leah, daughter of Jacob Guenzhausen of Bonn. Days later, the bridegroom took 94 gold crowns of the dowry and disappeared. This troubling episode began a stormy debate between the great rabbis of the time.
Wednesday, February 3 2016
THE SUN AND THE MOON
Understanding the Jewish Calendar
Our calendar is unique—not quite lunar, not quite solar. What is the rationale behind it? Why is it such a central part of our faith, and what lessons can we learn from it? This class takes an in-depth look at this fascinating aspect of Judaism.
Wednesday, February 10 2016
THE WOMAN WHO CRIED WOLF
A Jew Is a Jew
The story of Miriam Bat Bilgah is a tragic one. She abandoned her faith and married a Greek minister, before brazenly entering the Holy Temple and attacking the Holy Ark. How do we approach someone who has sunk so low?
Wednesday, February 17 2016
WHEN MOSES WAS MISSING
Understanding True Leadership
From the time Moses enters the story, he is the central character of our nation. But this week, his name is absent from the Torah portion. Why? To answer this question is to understand who Moses really was, and what leadership skills we can learn from him.
Wednesday, February 24 2016
NEED CHANGE? INQUIRE WITHIN.
How Repentance Works
Sometimes we are really good at being imperfect. After all, that’s how G-d created us. On the flip side, G-d also created us with the ability to change. We can fix our errors, but it requires effort.
Wednesday, March 2 2016
Building the Tabernacle Together
The Jewish nation as a whole maintains a certain flavor. But the nation is comprised of individuals, each with his or her own unique character. So, if combined effort is the goal, do I need to be myself, or can I just go with the flow?
Wednesday, March 9 2016
GOATS OF THE TABERNACLE
Perceiving the Pain of Others
A person who is caring will help someone when they have the time. A person who is generous will share what he has. Sometimes, however, later is not an option and helping out is not enough. Sometimes we need to abandon the modus operandi and just take action.
Wednesday, March 16 2016
IN YOUR HANDS
The Dialogue of Mordechai and Esther
If we see someone who needs help, logic suggests that we try to help out. But must we go above and beyond? But what if we don’t feel up to it? Maybe, just maybe, the whole world is waiting for each of us to rise up to the challenge.
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