Jewish Journal

  • Waging Today’s Battles

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    6 days ago

    We read in the Mishna about Moshe and the Jewish people’s battle with Amalek, which we will recall this Shabbat, Parsha Zachor, the Shabbat preceding Purim.

    “And so it was, when Moshe raised his hand, Israel prevailed…” (Exodus 17:11). Did the hands of Moshe make or break the... read on

  • Yizkor for Khojaly: Sharing Sorrow and Hope

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    1 week ago

    On February 21-22, Pico Shul, our newly established spiritual community in Los Angeles, organized a “Solidarity and Commemoration Weekend” with local Azerbaijanis and the Consulate of the Republic of Azerbaijan. These are some of my reflections.

    On the world stage, Jews and... read on

  • Where God is Depends on Us

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    2 weeks ago

    When children ask us, “Where is God?”  We usually tell them that “God is everywhere.”

    It's a beautiful answer, completely true, but it doesn't help when you are older. When we see what goes on in the world, we often ask ourselves the very same question, “Where is God?” The truth... read on

  • Acting With Godliness

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    3 weeks ago

    The Torah tells us in Parsha Mishpatim, “Distance yourself from falsehood." (Ex. 23:7) No other transgression, said Rabbi Simcha Bunim, has this commandment. What it is about falsehood that God is so concerned about us falling into?

    There is the obvious problems that lying can... read on

  • Saturday Night Online Shopping Report: Nazi Valentine’s Card on Etsy, Protocols for Kindle on Amazon

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    February 7, 2015 | 11:35 pm

    Just weeks after the 70th Anniversay of the liberation of Auschwitz, and a month after the brutal slaying of Jews and others in Paris, I am reminded of the fact that for most Americans the Holocaust, and Hitler, are so far removed from our times that they are OK to joke about.

    ... read on
  • Shabbat is Everything

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    February 6, 2015 | 11:52 am

    Can’t wait for tonight.

    Candlelight, a bottle of Bro-Deux from Shirah Wine, fresh challah from our French-Persian bakery with a heavy dose of sesame seeds on top, some special guests, our four children, my beautiful wife of over eighteen years, and certainly a feast befitting... read on

  • Feeding Birds on Shabbat Shira is Holy

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    January 30, 2015 | 2:49 pm

    As the saying goes, there is a Jewish holiday for every kind of Jew. Including Bird lovers.

    There is a very holy Jewish custom — some scholars say this started in Jerusalem — to place out food for wild birds on Shabbat Shira when we read the torah portion of Beshalach.


    ... read on

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