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Jewish Journal

  • Torah portion: Balancing our priestly lives

    By Rabbi Anne Brener

    3 weeks ago

    I have particular fondness for Parshat Yitro. While it contains some of the defining moments of Israelite religion — the revelation at Sinai, the giving of the Decalogue and the injunction that we should become “a kingdom of priests” — my delight is in the tale that precedes these...

  • Harvesting expert advice to save family’s beloved tree

    by Edmon J. Rodman, JTA

    January 28, 2015 | 12:43 pm

    If Tu B’Shevat is such a happy New Year for Trees, why am I sucking lemons?

    The holiday, usually a time for planting — except this year in Israel, where many are observing the shmita year, a Torah-mandated break every seven years in the agricultural cycle — for me may be a time...

  • Torah portion: Preserve freedom by remembering slavery

    by Joshua Holo

    January 28, 2015 | 11:09 am

    Finally, after two consecutive weeks of cliffhangers, B’shalach, the heart of the Exodus tale, tantalizes us with what appears to be a complete story. It recounts an entire drama that builds tension and unfolds in a cinematic climax with the Israelites escaping Pharaoh and crossing...

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  • Why are fruit trees important to Jewish people?

    by Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz

    January 28, 2015 | 9:51 am

    We first hear about Tu BiShvat – the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat -- in the Mishnah (Rosh HaShanah 1:1) as one of the four days that start the year. Tu Bishvat was not then considered a holy day. It was simply the legal date marking the new year for fruit trees. As a date...

  • World Zionist Congress elections: A voter’s guide

    by Uriel Heilman, JTA

    January 26, 2015 | 11:49 am

    World Zionist Congress elections began earlier this month and run through April 30. Here’s a primer on what the congress is, how (logistically) to vote, who’s on the ballot, and why you just might want to sign up for PayPal before casting your vote.

    What is it?

    The World...

  • Torah portion: The light of truth

    by Rabbi Avivah W. Erlick

    January 21, 2015 | 11:11 am

    I received an email from a website called Growing Bolder (growingbolder.com) consisting of images of people who have continued to attain wonderful achievements into their later years. These are people in their 80s, 90s and even 100s who are triathletes, surfers, artists, rodeo...

  • Across L.A., Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, a Charedi, casts wide net

    By Jared Sichel

    January 14, 2015 | 2:43 pm

    In his six-day visit to Los Angeles last week, Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau made some unlikely stops. 

    At the pluralistic New Community Jewish High School (NCJHS) in West Hills, Lau spoke to 200 students and faculty members, opening the assembly by reminding students...

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