About

learn more about the team behind the scenes

Who We Are

the community

We believe in building a place that welcomes all

Together Rabbi and Mrs Simon have taught many hundreds of young Londoners who are interested in finding out more about their Jewish heritage. Since opening the doors of the Kesher Kehillah at its current premises, 933 Finchley Road NW11, the Simons have created a community which is welcoming to Jews of all levels of observance in an environment that is halakhically authentic, intellectually stimulating and spiritually fulfilling. Kesher caters to singles, couples and young families, with a variety of programs to suit everyone, from young to old(er).
Rashi & Ruthie Simon

Rabbi and Rebbetzin of Kesher

Kesher

Our History

Kesher/The Learning Connection was founded by Rabbi Rashi and Ruthie Simon in 1997.
American-born, Rabbi Simon founded the highly-successful Jewish Learning Exchange in Little Venice, W9 in 1989 and was responsible for the introduction of the trailblazing Explanatory Services and Crash Courses to Anglo-Jewry. He has inspired and helped to set up regular Shabbat and annual High Holyday Explanatory Services in 30 synagogues around the country. Kesher also pioneered the concept of Lunch & Learn sessions in the City of London.

Ruthie Simon, a native of Los Angeles, USA, is a full partner in her husband’s work. Ruthie has run a programme of successful courses for women and couples, held in people’s homes and featuring a range of international guest speakers as well as her own insights into the Woman’s Role in Judaism.

Kesher People

Meet the Team

Rabbi Simon

Rabbi

Rebbetzin Simon

Rebbetzin

Dovid Kraus

Chazan

Leona Wieder

Administrator
Questions & Answers
this week

Questions and Answers

Ask the Rabbi: Easy as א-ב-ג?
Dear Rabbi Simon,
I hope you fasted well yesterday.
Thank you for the insights into the Kinnot, making them easier to understand.
In the afternoon, I was listening to a shiur on Eichah on Torahanytime.  As an aside, the speaker mentioned that the 1st perek of Eichah is the source for the order of the alef bet as we know it.  Other chapters also follow the alef bet chronology but with ayin en peh interchanged.
He quoted Rabbi Shimon Schwab as his source.
Although he did not elaborate on this, surely Sefer Tehillim predates Megillat Eichah by centuries.  Several psalms are written in the alef bet order (e.g.
psalm 119).
Can you please clarify?
Thank you & best wishes.
PhilippeHi Philippe
***
TY for your sophisticated Q.
I have also heard that the question of the sequence of samekh and 'ayin is subject to dispute. It seems that there are indications that in Paleo-Hebrew the order is reversed from what we know. It is alleged that chapters 2, 3 and 4 of Eichah (chapter 5 is not alphabetical) reflect the original order. Of course, as you say, ch 1 conforms to the order with which we are family.
You are right that Tehillim predates Eichah, however a critic can claim that the order was redacted to bring it in line with the accepted/preferred sequence. This is particularly true for ch. 119, where each of the 8 vv per letter are their own group, and each set of 8 vv. can easily be repositioned. The question is in Ps. 34 or 145, if the internal logic of the passage sheds light on the correct sequence. In Ps. 34, some claim that the v. starting with the letter peh makes more sense to follow the verse starting with samekh (due to the common appearance of the word ra'). I am not convinced that this argument is compelling.
I will stick with the mesorah, that 'ayin belongs before peh. Best to look before speaking.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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