Jewish Journal

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson

  • Shavuot: A Link to God

    May 6, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    "Why is the festival of Shavuot called 'The time of the giving of our Torah' and not the time of the receiving of our Torah? Because the giving of the Torah happened at one specified time, but the receiving of the Torah happens at every time and in every generation. -- Rabbi Meir...

  • Dear Rabbi

    May 22, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Tattoos and Bar Mitzvah

    Dear Rabbi,

    I am an 18-year-old male who has just recently become more interested in my religion. First, am I too old to have a bar mitzvah? Second, I have a tattoo. What kind of problems does that create with heritage?


    Dear Stan,

    First, mazel tov on...

  • Dear Rabbi

    March 6, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Remarriage After Divorce

    Dear Rabbi,

    When can a woman remarry after divorce?


    Dear Katherine,

    Since marriage is itself a religious enactment (called kiddushin in Hebrew), it requires a religious ceremony to terminate a Jewish marriage. And since rabbis also act as...

  • Why Be Jewish?

    September 5, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    What is the nature of the struggle for Jewish continuity? What is it that the Jewish community is trying to sustain, and why should we bother?

    Part of the difficulty, part of what I think has gotten us to this place, is the radical transformation of who is part of the Jewish...

  • Dear Rabbi

    January 24, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Wants Religion, Hates Pomposity

    Dear Rabbi:

    Since I moved out to my new, rural home, I have become much more connected with nature. As a consequence, I felt a reawakening to observe Jewish rituals. I began lighting candles, not working on Shabbat and attending Friday night...

  • Dear Rabbi

    January 10, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Naming a Child in an Interfaith Marriage

    Dear Rabbi,

    I was brought up practicing the Jewish faith. While I have not continued the practice as an adult, I do plan on being more proactive with my beliefs. My husband is Protestant and we are currently expecting our second child....

  • Dear Rabbi

    July 5, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Dear Rabbi,

    My father was in trouble legally -- well, he got two years jail time. He's been in jail for one month now, is slowly but surely trying to cope, but he does have his days. He is Christian and he says he prays a lot. He says he leaves things in the Lord's hands: that I...

  • Dear Rabbi

    May 10, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Artificial Insemination

    Dear Rabbi,

    My sister is married to my husband's older brother. He was diagnosed with Kleinfelter's syndrome. They have been trying in vitro fertilization with donor sperm and even went into his testicles to retrieve sperm, but nothing has worked.

    We have...

  • Dear Rabbi

    April 12, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Dear Rabbi,
    To make it brief: I am married (with a new daughter) to an Israeli American and am a ba'al teshuvah (recently Orthodox). My brother is married to a non-Jew and has a son (1 year old). I love him very much, but we have chosen different career paths and obviously...

  • Dear Rabbi

    March 29, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Dear Rabbi,

    I have been taking on new mitzvot throughout the past years. I have begun wearing tzitzit regularly and have been working at becoming stricter concerning Shabbat. These activities have come from my understanding of the commandments in the Torah and how Jewish tradition...

  • Is Observance Fanaticism?

    March 1, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Dear Rabbi,

    Although I was raised Jewish, attended Hebrew school and became a bar mitzvah, my family was not particularly observant. At some point, my father -- the grandson of Orthodox rabbis -- became less and less involved in Jewish life, except during holidays and yahrtzeits.


  • On Being Targeted

    August 19, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Imagine my surprise to read in the Los Angeles Times that Buford O. Furrow had "scouted three of the West Coast's most prominent Jewish institutions."

    Among those institutions is the place that I work, a place I have loved for many years. By that news report, what previously had been...

  • The Mitzvah of Tzedakah

    February 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    On the surface, the mitzvah of tzedakah, the commandment to give, is a very simple one. Deuteronomy says, "If there is a needy person among you, don't harden your heart, don't shut your hand against your needy kin. For there will never cease to be people with need in your land, which...

  • Commentary

    August 27, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    No Haven For Terror

    By Bradley Shavit Artson

    One of the most remarkable stories in the Bible is the deathbed scene of King David. The aged monarch, ready to hand over the rule of his kingdom, speaks to...

  • Community

    June 11, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Mori's World

    An 11-year-old boy creates a loving depiction of his autistic brother's life

    By Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson

    Diagnosis: Compassion

    Through a unique program, UCLA Medical School students donate their...