Jewish Journal

Rabbi Michelle Missaghieh

  • Miriam Mystery

    June 28, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Like all women, Miriam is a complex human being, whom I cannot fully understand. In this week's portion she dies suddenly, leaving me as puzzled as I have always been with her role as a leader.

    I am left with many unanswered questions. Why is she the only woman in the Torah called a...

  • Healing the Sick

    April 26, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Jews don't over drink. Jews don't beat their spouses. Jews don't get HIV.

    The absurdity of it all. One lie after the other. We Jews fell in love with these lies. We ate them up and for many years our full bellies lulled us into a sleepy state of denial. Now we recognize that...

  • Laws of Love

    February 22, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    My daughter is beginning to get her hands into everything. She began crawling at 10 months, but didn't quite understand the power of her freedom. Now at 13 months, she is like a pig in mud. She climbs up the tiled step around the bathtub, pushes herself up to her feet and holds on...

  • Dream On

    December 21, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Just as the morning light begins to shine through my windows, my dreams become vivid movies. They combine images from the past, worries of the present, and a confusing dialogue that takes place in a strange but familiar parallel universe in time.

    Sometimes, like Jacob's, my...

  • Be Happy Now

    October 19, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Be happy now! Quick, you only have today, tomorrow and Sunday left. Hurry up! This is Z'man Simchataynu, the time of our happiness and rejoicing!

    No. You're not happy? Why not?

    I always found it difficult to respond to the command of Sukkot "to be happy" on the heels of Yom...

  • Repeating Ourselves

    August 10, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    As Jews, we are famous for repeating ourselves. Johnny, did you take out the garbage? Johnny, I wonder if the garbage is outside? Honey, did you give me the phone number of the place you're staying? Honey, I need the phone number of your hotel. Mom, please don't tell me to do my...

  • The Firstborn

    June 22, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    I remember the moment I was in the doctor's office staring at the screen. The technician was pointing to the monitor where I could see the heartbeat of the fetus growing inside of me. I saw it pulse and was both delighted and awestruck. Then I asked, "Does it have the same heartbeat...

  • True Meaning of Sacrifice

    March 16, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Now that my daughter is 11-weeks-old, I am beginning to understand the true meaning of the word "sacrifice." At seven in the evening when I have finished working a long day and I would like to sit down for a meal with my husband, instead we take turns entertaining our daughter. That...
  • Honoring Thy Many Selves

    January 27, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    A month ago, I gave birth to our first child, a little girl with a full head of dark hair and almond eyes. Since then I have spent countless hours struggling with the question: Whom do I serve? On the surface the answer seems obvious -- I serve my child. She is totally dependent upon...
  • Rich in Spirit

    December 9, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    There's a Yiddish saying that goes: "I've been poor and I've been rich. Believe me, rich is better!" In the Midrash we read: "Nothing in the universe is worse than poverty; it is the most terrible of sufferings." (Exodus Rabbah 31:14)

    Los Angeles is a city that glitters with gold and...

  • Separation Anxiety

    October 21, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."-- Mark Twain

    We laugh at this quote because we can sense its truth. Each of us passes...

  • The Sound of Yontif

    September 2, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    I forgot to blow the shofar this morning. No, it's not quite Rosh Hashanah and I haven't missed this year's round challah or apples dipped in honey. But there is a tradition of beginning every morning during the month of Elul, the Jewish month preceding Rosh Hashanah, with the sound...

  • The Differences Between Men and Women

    July 15, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    All of us have observed an event or participated in a conversation only to come away with a perception of what happened that's completely different from the interpretations of others.

    I imagine Moses' final speech to the Jewish people was such an experience, especially between men and...