The U'netaneh Tokef prayer says: On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed: Who shall live and who shall die, who shall perish by water and who by fire, who by famine and who by thirst . God's got it on His iPhone, of course.
Within the calendar that constitutes the Jewish cathedral in time, no days are more saturated with the experience of human nature, and with experiments in human change, than the Days of Awe. This is when we are asked, paradoxically, both to steep in our powerlessness to escape our species' fate, and yet also to try out behaviors that can rescue us from our destinies.
"Religion is not primarily about faith in God; it is about community, identity, heritage and being of service to others," he said. "We Humanists must also do more to meet these needs, rather than complain about what others believe.
However, I also live with the images of the many people I have met in Darfur and Chad who have seen their communities and lives torn apart. They are not anticipating medals; they simply want to know that the world cares and that we have the resolve to act.
Realizing tikkun olam as a central pillar of Jewish practice, synagogues throughout the country require children to perform service projects before becoming b'nai mitzvah, sensitizing them to their growing responsibilities toward others as they approach adulthood. In many cases, these projects have been the inspiration for ongoing philanthropic endeavors.
COEJL's Web site describes its three-pronged approach of "engaging the Jewish community in awareness, advocacy and concrete action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote energy conservation and sustainable legislation," in order to "change how American Jewry responds to ... daunting environmental problems."
Many rabbinic texts detail our long tradition of ecotheology, explicitly supporting the idea that caring for the Earth is a distinctly religious imperative.
The 20th century offered repeated incontrovertible proof that launching a campaign against genocide, getting it to permeate the collective consciousness and mobilizing the masses to take action is a difficult challenge.
That volunteer work is vast. She served as the sisterhood president of Temple Israel of Hollywood and currently co-chairs its AIDS lunch project, which distributes food once a month. Gilman is also social action chair for the Western Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, which presents the women's positions on legislative policy.
In the door pocket of my car I have one road atlas of Israel, one map of the streets of Tel Aviv, one map of the Galilee and, at last count, no fewer than five of Jerusalem. I am always apprehensive of taking the wrong road, and winding up where I might be perceived as an unwelcome intruder.
The leadership of the Eretz-SIAMAK Cultural Center hosted an interactive lecture event on Aug. 7 at its Tarzana location, focused on discussing drug and alcohol abuse, frequently a taboo topic among Iranian Jewish families.
The issue of religious coercion at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs is starting to reverberate on Capitol Hill -- with what one Jewish legislator said are ugly overtones.
In last week's Torah Portion, the Israelites sat back and watched as God brought seven plagues upon the Egyptians. This week, in Parshat Bo, we read of the last three plagues.
In another development in this complex and contentious legacy of the Hitler regime, California courts are also dealing with a demand that actress Elizabeth Taylor return a prized van Gogh painting.
In response to these unprecedented overtures, some in our community have called for ending all dialogue with Presbyterians. I believe that is exactly the wrong response. What we need is a renewed dialogue that would occur on two levels.
On-campus Jewish groups were upset that the administration did not get outside verification of the meaning and symbolic nature of the stole, said Jeffrey Rips, executive director of the Hillel Foundation of Orange County.
Conspiracy theories unite the political extremes, a fact that stands out starkly as the fruitcake left and loony right converge around theories blaming Jewish neoconservatives for an Iraq War they despise.
A lengthy battle over how the Reform movement should handle a charge of sexual misconduct against a California rabbi is coming to a head.
President Bush knew what he was doing when he took his case for staying the course in Iraq to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Stalemate has become standard operating procedure for Congress in recent years, but this year's legislative gridlock could be headed for the record books.
Back in 1981, when I was attending rabbinical college in Boston, there was a young rabbi -- fresh out of seminary -- who founded a small congregation in the Boston suburb South Brookline.
Joseph Kanfer deftly wrapped wires and affixed pieces of material to a truncated test tube. Then he glued the Hebrew letter "shin" to the creation, producing a mezuzah.
If you study the state budgets over the last few years as I have, you would see that we have had a deficit at the end of each year that keeps getting larger each and every year. Even when revenues were perceived to be at a peak, we were outspending those revenues. The state budget began each year in the hole that just got deeper as the months went by.
Killing Hamas leaders wounds the terrorist group, Israeli and Palestinian officials agree.
"I have developed a habit when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it," Richard Ingrams wrote in his July 13 column.
I want to respond to my observant friends who have asked me to answer this question: What can they take from a Jew who doesn't believe the Torah is the word of God and who feels no need or obligation to follow His commandments? What can they take from that "truth"?
Rather than speaking out against slavery, local students are rocking out to show their support.
"We have a continuing crisis in this country of millions of Americans without health insurance, and that's just plain wrong," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles), who will speak Friday, April 25 at Leo Baeck Temple as part of a series on health care.
The following piece was written after a recent trip to Haiti, during which a delegation from MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger was hosted by the Lambi Fund, one of MAZON'S longtime grantees.
Despite winning a $5,900 grant in December 2001 from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to present the program free to 2,000 students, Hadassah's Long Beach-Orange County chapter has, so far, found few takers.
A woman who had taken fertility treatments became pregnant only to learn that she was carrying four embryos.
The protracted court case, which is now awaiting an environmental impact report (EIR) from the school, shows how badly a school building project can go when met with fiery opposition by the surrounding community.
It's one of the oddities of world affairs that the worse things get in the Middle East, the more various countries, international bodies and individuals want a piece of the diplomatic action. The region could use some help, but sadly, recent offers by a number of hopeful mediators are likely only to confuse matters and make U.S. diplomacy more difficult.
The Europeans, the United Nations, even Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan all want to lend a hand.