We believe that what we possess we don't ultimately own. God is merely entrusting it to us. And one of the conditions of that trust is that we share what we have with those who have less. So if you don't give to people in need you can hardly call yourself a Jew. Even the most unbelieving Jew knows that.
Which European leader today would not relish the wonder-working powers of a Moses? Budget deficit? Unpopular cuts? How about just a little miracle an overnight increase in gold reserves a new oil field or the next world-changing communications technology? Surely that's not too much to ask.
Stabilizing the euro is one thing healing the culture that surrounds it is another. A world in which material values are everything and spiritual values nothing is neither a stable state nor a good society. The time has come for us to recover the Judeo-Christian ethic of human dignity in the image of God.
If you want a free society teach your children what oppression tastes like. Tell them how many miracles it takes to get from here to there. Above all encourage them to ask questions. Teach them to think for themselves.
Since Hiroshima and the Holocaust science no longer holds its pristine place as the highest moral authority. Instead that role is taken by human rights. It follows that any assault on Jewish life - on Jews or Judaism or the Jewish state - must be cast in the language of human rights.
In the post-enlightenment Europe of the 19th century the highest authority was no longer the Church. Instead it was science. Thus was born racial anti-Semitism based on two disciplines regarded as science in their day - the 'scientific study of race' and the Social Darwinism of Herbert Spencer and Ernst Haeckel.
Science will explain how but not why. It talks about what is not what ought to be. Science is descriptive not prescriptive it can tell us about causes but it cannot tell us about purposes. Indeed science disavows purposes.
Religion creates community community creates altruism and altruism turns us away from self and towards the common good... There is something about the tenor of relationships within a religious community that makes it the best tutorial in citizenship and good neighborliness.
If we are to negotiate the coming years safely we may need a new kind of leadership. To put it more precisely we need the rediscovery of an ancient kind of leadership that has rarely been given the prominence it deserves. I mean the leader as teacher.
Jews read the books of Moses not just as history but as divine command. The question to which they are an answer is not 'What happened?' but rather 'How then shall I live?' And it's only with the exodus that the life of the commands really begins.
Frequent worshippers are also significantly more active citizens. They are more likely to belong to community organizations especially those concerned with young people health arts and leisure neighborhood and civic groups and professional associations.
The message of Passover remains as powerful as ever. Freedom is won not on the battlefield but in the classroom and the home. Teach your children the history of freedom if you want them never to lose it.
The Jewish festival of freedom is the oldest continuously observed religious ritual in the world. Across the centuries Passover has never lost its power to inspire the imagination of successive generations of Jews with its annually re-enacted drama of slavery and liberation.
Yom Kippur the Day of Atonement is the holy of holies of Jewish time. It is that rarest of phenomena a Jewish festival without food. Instead it is a day of fasting and prayer introspection and self-judgment when collectively and repeatedly we confess our sins and pray to be written into God's Book of Life.
Food prices are often kept artificially high. The result is that the Millennium Development Goals set out by the United Nations at the start of the new millennium are not being reached. Fine words have not yet been turned into deeds.
We do not always appreciate the role the Queen has played in one of the most significant changes in the past 60 years: the transformation of Britain into a multi-ethnic multi-faith society. No one does interfaith better than the Royal family and it starts with the Queen herself.
Whole communities are growing up without fathers or male role models. Bringing up a family in the best of circumstances is not easy. To try to do it by placing the entire burden on women - 91% of single-parent families in Britain are headed by the mother according to census data - is practically absurd and morally indefensible.
In thinking about religion and society in the 21st century we should broaden the conversation about faith from doctrinal debates to the larger question of how it might inspire us to strengthen the bonds of belonging that redeem us from our solitude helping us to construct together a gracious and generous social order.
The faith religious believers have in God is small compared to the faith people put in politicians knowing how many times they have been disappointed in the past but still insisting that this time it will be different.
Jews survived all the defeats expulsions persecutions and pogroms the centuries in which they were regarded as a pariah people even the Holocaust itself because they never gave up the faith that one day they would be free to live as Jews without fear.
Jews know this in their bones. Our community could not exist for a day without its volunteers. They are the lifeblood of our organizations whether they involve welfare youth education care of the sick and elderly or even protection against violence and abuse.
We are biological creatures. We are born we live we die. There is no transcendent purpose to existence. At best we are creatures of reason and by using reason we can cure ourselves of emotional excess. Purged of both hope and fear we find courage in the face of helplessness insignificance and uncertainty.
What creates freedom? A revolution in the streets? Mass protest? Civil war? A change of government? The ousting of the old guard and its replacement by the new? History more often than not shows that hopes raised by such events are often dashed sooner rather than later.
Part of the beauty of Judaism and surely this is so for other faiths also is that it gently restores control over time. Three times a day we stop what we are doing and turn to God in prayer. We recover perspective. We inhale a deep breath of eternity.