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Jewish Journal

Beheading My Pet Lamb and Chicken Kaparot.

By Dr. Afshine Emrani

October 1, 2014 | 5:35 pm

Babai, an endearing name for a lamb in Iran, was cute, white, fluffy- all that a child wanted.

I was eight years old when my father brought home our first pet.  Babai, an endearing name for a lamb in Iran, was cute, white, fluffy- all that a child wanted.

My father emptied the... read on

  • Giving Birth: The Cries of the Shofar.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    September 28, 2014 | 10:12 am

    The mother cries in labor, in pain, in joy, in anticipation.  Tekiah. 

    The newborn takes the first breath, crying, gasping, trembling.  Shevarim. 

    Their cries are intertwined. A cord is cut.  A dream unfolds.  Teruah. 

    All eyes with tears.  The potential for renewal.  The... read on

  • I had not intended to fall in love.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    September 23, 2014 | 7:09 pm

    I had not intended to fall in love.

    I had just entered this stage as a casual traveler, to observe.  I had watched the little kids use their slings to kill mockingbirds, and chase rabid dogs in the streets with angry bats.  I had awakened from sleep to coughing guns in front of... read on

  • Preparing to Marry God: A Near-Death Experience.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    September 21, 2014 | 11:59 am

    Today is a good day to die!

    In sharp contrast to the upcoming New Year celebration of 2015, where people party as if they will live forever, and dance to music focused around the “booty,” the Jewish New Year is a simulated near death experience, it’s focus the soul. 

    We... read on

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  • A Soul under Construction.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    September 11, 2014 | 9:09 am

    We are not born perfect- into an imperfect world.

    At birth we start with a cry.  Our grand entrance is with closed fists and our exit with open hands.  We circumcise our newborn males. Life is an exercise in humility.  Our hearts are shattered again and again as God seeks our... read on

  • Enslaving Expectations

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    September 4, 2014 | 6:44 pm

    In 2012, the late Joan Rivers said that Johnny Carson had given her the biggest break of her career.  She became very close to him and even substitute hosted when he was on vacation.  When she accepted her own show, opposite his, Carson cut all tie with Rivers.

    I once acted as an... read on

  • My Return Home

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    August 26, 2014 | 6:26 pm

    1978-2014.

    My younger self awaits me in that old home. He stares at the future that would be me; I ponder the past that was him. We connect on a bridge made of yearning and nostalgia. Hesitantly, we embrace.

    We fall to our knees and sob. I ask if he ever told dad about how he... read on

  • When God Cries

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    August 21, 2014 | 7:04 am

    In the absence of light we call night
    my children fall into the trusted dreams of tooth fairies and twirling ballerinas
    and through the sizzling silence
    I hear God crying.

    The tears are not kosher, nor halal, nor salty, nor of the cross.

    Pharaoh killed Hebrews’ first born... read on

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