Jewish Journal

Rabbi Karen Deitsch

  • Restoring Moses

    October 9, 2008 | 11:53 pm

    It isn't nice to say, but if I were hanging out in the desert with my friends -- all excited about moving in to a land of milk, honey and great falafel -- and an old man with a stutter insisted on "speaking into our ears" a weird doom and gloom poem, my likely remark would be: "That...
  • The sins of our fathers

    July 16, 2008 | 11:43 pm

    While many people shower in the morning, I have always preferred bathing at night. Although somewhat unconventional, it makes more sense to go to sleep clean and relaxed after being out all day. Moreover, God created His days beginning in the evening, and I adhere to the notion that...
  • The Great Reveal

    April 17, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    From now on, I'll only go on dates in pajamas.

    On Wednesdays.

    At 10:45 p.m.

    Such midweek engagements in sweats and old T-shirts, with stress and exhaustion at their peak, would eliminate some pretense -- therefore saving my suitors and me time in assessing marriage potential....

  • More than skin deep

    February 14, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    A holy day approaches: a day of judgment. Mundane activity will cease as we hearken to the call for worship in awe and reverence. Echoing from high-definition flat screens across the land: the not-so-still, not-so-small voice of Reb Joan Rivers will usher in the sacrosanct festival...
  • Present Perfection

    November 15, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    I overslept this morning. I woke up an hour after I was expected to teach. Lost in a barrage of self-punishing thoughts and assumptions of dire consequences, I panicked aimlessly, still wearing my pajamas, thinking of ways to fix it. I was in the darkness of a wakeful nightmare: the...
  • Four simple words

    October 4, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    "Because, I said so!" Four simple words effectively restore order when alternative tactics for ending the cacophony of whys or pleases have not. This declaration can render the most persistent young kvetchers powerless against their authority's final say on the matter.


  • Blessing a Curse

    August 9, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Here I am in Israel. My throat is sore, and it seems as if I'm going to spend my remaining days stuffy-nosed while watching subtitled television. This stinks.

    I just bid farewell to the 40 Birthright participants I helped connect with Israel and Judaism over 10 amazing and...

  • Not By Bread Alone

    August 2, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    "Carb" is a four-letter curse word in the estimation of most L.A. residents. Its nasty connotation came by way of one Dr. Atkins, whose "Diet Revolution" became more widely read than the Bible among many a secular Jew. Seemingly overnight, Atkins' "prophecy" became an orthodoxy for...
  • Give Her a Rest

    May 10, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Fact: 54 percent of Americans worry about their daily stress levels.

    Stress instigates anxiety disorders. Medically categorized as "neuroses," these nonpsychotic mental illnesses trigger feelings of uncomfortable inner emotional apprehension that dominate perception and impair...
  • All That Glitters

    March 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    My friend had somehow convinced me to get my makeup done. "It brings out your features so stunningly," she continued, as we exited the Barney's cosmetics department. "Don't you see how people are looking at you? You're gorgeous!"

    "I feel like I'm wearing a mask," I retorted.


  • For Cryin’ Out Loud

    December 28, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Upon analyzing Vayigash, one of my bar mitzvah students commented: "Joseph sure cries a lot ... it's kinda weird."

    Well put. In fact, Joseph does not simply cry -- he weeps. A lot! "Aloud [so] that all of Egypt and the house of Paro heard."

    He turns on the waterworks upon revealing...

  • A grown-up children’s story

    October 26, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Inner child therapy is a psychological method aimed at giving voice to part of the adult psyche that remains eternally childlike. It purports that a vulnerable innocence exists within our subconscious; when acknowledged, a more complete and mature life experience is attained.

    For example, were my inner child invited to describe Parshat Noach, she might say:

  • Within Us

    September 14, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Once upon a time, as God created the world, He decided to make beings in His image. As he generated his own reflection in man and woman, the angels got word of the project, and were consumed with jealousy.
    "How unfair!" they cried. "Those humans will have it all. They get to...
  • God Is Gray

    June 15, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "This is heaven," I announced Sunday afternoon.

    Cruising the city (the absence of traffic in itself celestial), sunroof open, exposed shoulders browning. Wild poppies glistening, swaying in a soft breeze scented by orange blossoms; singing along to KOST 103.5 FM:

    I can see clearly...

  • A Woman’s Touch

    March 23, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The stereotypical Jewish woman is strong, supportive, receptive and respected. Growing up, she is showered with love,

    pampered by objects and experiences of beauty and quality. She keeps a welcoming home. She attends to detail, wants what she wants and is unapologetically "high...

  • Out of the Shadows

    December 15, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    It is the middle of the night. I hear a strange sound in the living room.

    Heart pounding, I get out of bed, grope awkwardly through darkness for the light switch ... push up ... nothing happens. I try another switch. No light. I feel desperately alone. My surroundings remain one...

  • Moving Forward Passover

    April 28, 2005 | 8:00 pm


    I was sitting at lunch with my best friend the other day discussing life. This is her tsuris at the moment: she is involved with a guy who loves her very much, accepts her unconditionally, is cute, bright, Jewish, healthy, loyal. But she knows that he is not the one. She is so...

  • SWF Rabbi

    March 31, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    It begins typically. I am sitting at the bar with some friends drinking a beer out of the bottle. I peel the soggy label off with my freshly painted nails; an odd ritual I took up back in college that has infuriated bartenders all over the world. I scope the scene out of mascaraed...