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  • 7 Haiku For Chayei Sarah - Spoiler Alert: Lots of Main Characters Die

    By Rick Lupert

    November 25, 2016 | 8:50 am

    I
    Sarah’s Life begins
    with her death. Abraham does
    not flinch at the cost.

    II
    Sarah under ground.
    Now it’s time to find Isaac
    a nice Jewish girl.

    III
    Rebecca waters
    the camels. This, the first sign
    she was a keeper.

    IV
    All parties agree
    this match was made in Heaven.
    Laban spends the night.

    V
    Isaac marries and
    loves Rebecca. The loss of
    his mother consoled.

    VI
    Abraham gets hitched
    again. Many more kids, the
    very first Jew dies.

    VII
    Never forget the
    sent away son. Another
    nation’s father dies.

  • 7 Haiku for Parsha Vayeira Where Someone Becomes a Condiment

    By Rick Lupert

    November 18, 2016 | 11:00 am

    I
    When the Holy One
    says a baby is coming
    you better not laugh.

    II
    How many righteous
    people will save a city?
    Who has this power?

    III
    Angels make angry
    locals go blind. It’s not called
    Sodom for nothing.

    IV
    Go ahead. If you
    want to be a condiment
    disobey the One.

    V
    The story of two
    brothers. One cherished, and one
    sent to the desert.

    VI
    A deal is made for
    three generations of peace.
    We can learn from that.

    VII
    Give your son to Me
    on the mountain. Abraham
    does right or wrong here?

  • 7 Haiku for Parsha Lech Lecha

    By Rick Lupert

    November 11, 2016 | 8:50 am

    I
    No one likes to move.
    But go where I will show you
    and you will be great.

    II
    This will not be the
    last time our family ends up
    in Egypt. Beware.

    III
    Dueling shepherds send
    Lot and Abram down two paths.
    One to Evil-town.

    IV
    Family reunites
    after mean old kings battle.
    Abram saves the day.

    V
    What good is treasure
    with no heirs? As many as
    stars in sky, God says.

    VI
    Unwanted son founds
    another nation. Abram
    gets God in his name.

    VII
    You’d think it’s too late
    at ninety-nine years. But no.
    Time to call the mohel.

  • A Recipe For Living Well

    By Beit T'shuvah

    October 31, 2014 | 9:55 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of my Bar Mitzvah. It also marks the 26th anniversary of my release from Prison in Chino. So, it is truly a weekend of freedom, reflection and gratitude!

    As I think about the Torah Portion, I laugh at God’s sense of...

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  • Finding meaning in the ram

    September 24, 2014 | 11:28 am

    No story in our culture is more enigmatic and iconic than the Binding of Isaac, which we read on Rosh Hashanah. The akedah, or “binding,” is found in the 22nd chapter of Genesis and is only 19 verses long, containing just over 300 words. Yet this very short story has compelled...

  • Biblical numbers, mathematics and attributed patriarchal ages

    By Roger Price

    November 13, 2013 | 12:49 pm

         The Hebrew Bible is filled with numbers. There are different kinds of numbers -- cardinals and ordinals, integers and fractions, even primes. And they are everywhere in the Torah text.

         There are numbers for days and numbers for life spans.

         There are numbers for...

  • Arguing Like Abraham

    November 5, 2013 | 9:22 am

    I facilitated a parenting discussion this past weekend, which is one of my favorite things to do (besides hanging out with my family and - shamefully - watching Vampire Diaries after the kids have gone to bed). We talked about why our children should be helping around the house,...

  • The wells of peace: Parashat Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9)

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    October 30, 2013 | 12:59 pm

    Wells, water, history and peace. Seems like as much as the world changes, advances and develops, some things remain intact, remain essential to our future. In the midst of this week’s parasha, Toldot, within the stories of familial strife among Isaac, Rebecca and their twin sons,...

  • In the face of strangers: Parashat Vayera (Genesis 18:1-22:24)

    By Rabbi Laura Geller

    October 16, 2013 | 12:18 pm

    This week’s Torah portion begins: “YHVH appeared to Abraham as he was sitting at the entrance of the tent … looking up, he saw: behold, three men standing opposite him. As soon as he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them, and bowing down to the ground he said:...

  • Marriage is a Jewish issue

    November 20, 2008 | 2:55 am

    This week's Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, is the biblical equivalent of JDate. After Sarah's death, Abraham gets busy trying to find the right wife for his son, Isaac. He sends his servant, Eliezer, to Abraham's hometown to make the match. Eliezer prays that the right girl will show...
  • Look up to see angels

    November 12, 2008 | 11:39 pm

    Vayera is a rich portion throughout, but I linger on the iconic images in the first lines: Abraham sits at the opening of his tent in the heat of the desert day, recovering from his circumcision. He looks up and sees God, in the form of three men, often described as angels, standing...
  • To let go and to pray

    By Rabbi Daniel Greyber

    November 6, 2008 | 11:35 pm

    Lech Lecha begins with God telling Abraham, "Go forth from your land, from your birthplace, from the house of your father to the land that I will show you."

    But why does God say it in this particular order?

    If you've left your country of origin, haven't you already left your...

  • Israeli film ‘My Father My Lord’—Abraham’s binding of Isaac redux

    By Tom Tugend

    July 9, 2008 | 7:30 pm

    In the Israeli film “My Father My Lord,” the secular or casually religious Jew encounters a world whose mindset and lifestyle might as well be thousands of miles and centuries away.

    It is the world of the charedi, or ultra-Orthodox, community, in which every action, every thought,...

  • Moses: I Googled myself and all I got was 31,700,00 results

    By JewishJournal.com

    December 16, 2007 | 9:27 pm


    Four-seven percent Internet users Googled themselves last year, not counting those who Google themselves secretly under a sheet or something.

    That’s the report from the Pew Internet Life Peeps:

    NEW YORK - More Americans are Googling themselves — and many are checking out...

  • Stuck in the middle

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    My name is Isaac. You think you know me, but you really don't. I am stuck in between two generations, constantly overshadowed by my father, Abraham, and my son, Jacob. If you ask anyone to name the nation that eventually came from my family, they either refer to them as "the...
  • Setting out to look within

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    October 18, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    A 40-year-old British man named Jason Lewis recently completed a circumnavigation of the globe using only human power. He journeyed more than 46,000 miles around the world using a bicycle, pedal boat, kayak, rollerblades and his own two feet. He kayaked or pedaled across oceans and...
  • In Quest for Meaning

    By Judea Pearl

    September 20, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Man is a meaning-seeking animal. Hardly a second goes by in which our mind does not stop its routine activities to ponder the meaning of the input it receives from our senses or from its own activities.

    When faced with meaningless observations, the mind invents its own fantasies to...

  • There is God in this place

    By Rabbi Judith HaLevy

    November 30, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Jacob departed. Unlike his grandfather Abraham, who went forth, lech lecha, in response to God's command, Jacob departs, vayetze, from everything he knows to escape his angry brother and find a wife in Haran. He leaves a comfortable, established life to find himself in the chaos and...
  • Witness to Redemption

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    November 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The episode of the Akedah, or the binding of Isaac, presents so many difficult questions. One of the most basic is: For whom is this human and Divine drama staged?

    Who comes out ahead as a result of the Akedah playing out? Is it for Abraham's benefit? Abraham receives no new...

  • You Rule

    By Rabbi Haim Ovadia

    November 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    "While all other sciences have advanced, government is at a standstill -- little better practiced now than three or four thousand years ago." -- John Adams

    If the art of government had improved, then war, disease and poverty inflicted by the tyranny and selfishness of man, as well...

  • Goggles of Faith

    By Rabbi Dov Fischer

    June 23, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    I first saw night-vision goggles when I watched Harrison Ford in Tom Clancy's "Patriot Games."

    The bad guys were prowling in a dark bedroom. Suddenly, a good guy switched on the room lights, practically blinding them.

    The technology was featured again in "The Silence of the Lambs,"...

  • Our Two Worlds

    By Rabbi Cheryl Peretz

    November 4, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    In today's world, it is so easy to get caught up in the development and achievement of the many goals we set for ourselves.

    From the time we are very young, we are trained to begin thinking about what we want to be when we grow up and how we will get there.

    And as we grow up, those...

  • Different Yet Identical

    By Rabbi Moshe D. Bryski

    November 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    In introducing us to the patriarchal family of Isaac, son of Abraham, this week's Torah portion of Toldot begins: "And these are the offspring of Isaac son of Abraham -- Abraham begot Isaac." Since Torah is not given to redundancy, this opening passage raises the question: Once we're...

  • Permission to Grieve

    By Rabbi Lisa Edwards

    November 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Years ago, one of my colleagues had the awesome task of officiating at the funeral of a 9-year-old girl killed by a car while riding her bicycle. My friend gathered the children from that small Jewish community and gently invited them to speak their true feelings.

    "I'm mad at my mom...

  • Finding a Kindred Spirit in a Patriarch

    By Rochelle Furstenberg

    September 25, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    "The Discovery of God: Abraham and The Birth of Monotheism" by David Klinghoffer (Doubleday, $26).

    David Klinghoffer's biography of the patriarch Abraham rides on a new wave of interest in the Bible, and a growing sense of the Abrahamic heritage that Christians, Jews and Muslims...

  • Abraham Not Guilty

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    December 12, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    And the verdict is: not guilty, by a razor-thin margin. An audience of more than 400 people had a chance to flex their "Law & Order" muscles while serving as the jury in the mock trial of Abraham -- that's right, our founding forefather -- held at the University of Judaism (UJ) Nov....

  • What are you? An Innovator, A Developer Or An Adventurer

    By Abby Gilad

    November 7, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    There are three patriarchs in the Bible: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Which of the above were they? Well, Abraham created a new religion. He was an innovator. Jacob spent his life traveling and encountering adventure after adventure. He brought the God of Israel's religion to all the...

  • Walking the Land

    By Rabbi Mimi Weisel

    October 17, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Every week I go on two walks that I absolutely treasure. Each Sunday, my husband and I walk through a different section of Los Angeles. We have no destination, but our purpose is to exercise. We could choose other forms of exercise. We could be on a treadmill, moving in place without...

  • Men in Black

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    March 28, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    The 74th Annual Academy Awards program will be remembered, at least by me, for women's gowns with faux see-through gauze fronts and men's suit jackets down to the knees.

    Sunday night. For my town, Malibu, Oscar night is a kind of Yom Kippur. Roads are deserted; the local restaurants...

  • Kids Page

    By Abby Gilad

    November 1, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Here is another action-packed parsha: First, Abraham takes in three angels, who tell him he will have a son. Then, God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah because its people were very wicked. Then, Sarah throws Hagar and Hagar's son Ishmael out of her house, but God saves them from thirst by...

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