Jewish Journal

Rabbi Michael Gotlieb

  • The seder offers 15 steps toward empowerment

    March 29, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Fifteen steps or ritual components make up the Passover seder.

    Knowing that in advance can empower your guests and everyone else gathered around the dinner table. Most haggadot list the 15 steps at the beginning of the text. Think of it as a key, or GPS, to help you navigate...

  • Chanukah holds important lesson for all faiths

    December 14, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Chanukah is popularized by a rabbinic myth -- one that embodies a story told of a container of oil lasting seven days beyond its expected usage.

    The story appears only in the Talmud, not the Bible or even the Apocrypha literature.

    In fact, the primary lesson of Chanukah has...

  • Misguided Passion About Gibson’s Film

    April 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The great 20th century philosopher, Martin Buber, had an uncanny ability to speak to ecumenical gatherings. He would often begin his lectures highlighting the many theological tenets shared by Jews and Christians.

    "Jews," he said, "believe the Messiah has yet to come." To which he...

  • The Holiness of Life

    April 18, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    All of us have heard, or experienced a variation of the following story, told of a father and his daughter. She, a busy professional; he, a retired widower. In one of their virtually nonexistent exchanges, he asks: "With your booked schedule, will you be able to attend my funeral?"...

  • God’s Covenant

    January 10, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    From the Torah's beginning until its end, God is portrayed as being personally involved in the welfare of humanity. Deism is not a Jewish notion. God is not an "unmoved mover," the proverbial clockmaker who after assembling and winding his ware, steps back watching it tick down,...

  • Sukkah of Change

    October 4, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    By design, the sukkah is a temporary structure. For one full week, we are commanded to live in makeshift huts, leaving behind the "solid" comforts of home. As if the message of the High Holy Days weren't strong enough -- that life is exceedingly fragile and temporary -- Sukkot...

  • Counting the Days

    May 24, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Sunday evening the Jewish world begins its celebration of Shavuot (which literally means weeks). In preparation for the holiday, the Torah orders us to count 49 days (seven weeks) from the second night of Passover until the festival's start.

    As the Bible states, "On [the 50th day] a...

  • Body and Soul

    March 22, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Who celebrated the first Shabbat? God! Six days after the earth's creation, God both mandates and hallows the Sabbath day. (Genesis 2:3-4) In the same way the creation of the world concludes with the commandment to observe the Shabbat, so, too, does the construction of the mishkon...

  • Books: Beyond Mortality

    February 15, 2001 | 6:59 pm

    "Does the Soul Survive? A Jewish Journey to Belief in Afterlife, Past Lives & Living with Purpose"
    By Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz
    Jewish Lights Publishing, $21.95

    For those who struggle with the concept of God, the primary issue is God's existence. Once established, one's belief in...

  • Questioning Authority

    July 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    All of us question authority at times. We do it for any number of reasons. Sometimes our ego motivates us. Sometimes the motivation stems out of a true desire to bring about a needed change. Whatever the reason, and no matter the era, authority is constantly being challenged,...