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  • A night of anger and reflection

    By David Suissa

    10 hours ago

    How do you explain Israel’s resounding success? How do you explain how a tiny country surrounded by medieval violence has managed to create an extraordinary society of more than 100 different nationalities that is on the cutting edge of culture and modernity?

    How do you explain...

  • Soul Play

    Rabbi Avivah W. Erlick, BCC

    19 hours ago

    --- Parashat Yom Kippur: Leviticus 16:1-34, Numbers 29:7-11

     For many of us, death is “the unthinkable.” Yom Kippur is supposed to help us with this problem. It asks us once a year to spend a day without food, water and other elements of life, and to dress in one of the garments...

  • 5775: Old conflicts, new hopes in the new year

    By Arthur Cohn

    22 hours ago

    Israel turned 66 years old in 5774, the year that just passed. Some 8.2 million people live in Israel, of which 24,000 immigrated in the past year. Some 178,000 babies were born, and 42,000 people died. Jews make up 75 percent of the population; Arabs make up 20.7 percent. When...

  • Fliers posted at UC Santa Barbara say Jews were behind 9/11 attacks

    By Jared Sichel

    1 day ago

    Raising the alarm amongst Jewish leaders in Southern California, some students arriving this past weekend at UC Santa Barbara for the beginning of a new school year were greeted with fliers claiming that Israel was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    “911 was an outside job,”...

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  • Netanyahu’s full speech at the United Nations General Assembly

    2 days ago

    [Transcription]

    Thank you, Mr. President, 
    Distinguished delegates, 

    I come here from Jerusalem to speak on behalf of my people, the people of Israel. I've come here to speak about the dangers we face and about the opportunities we see. I've come here to expose the brazen...

  • One Israeli creation for the weekend - Rosh Hashannah Edition

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    5 days ago

    This weekend is dedicated to the holiday that symbolizes the beggining of a brand new Jewish year. Here are some songs to get you in the Holiday spirit!

     

    B'Rosh Hashannah (In Rosh Hashannah)

     
    Ba'Shannah HaBa'a (Next Year)
     
     
     
    Matana L'Rosh Hashannah (A present for Rosh Hashannah)
     

     

    Ma Hadash? Tapuach B'Dvash (What's new? Apple in honey)

     

    Shannah Halcha, Shannah Ba'a (A year has gone by, a new year begins)

  • The Other Oppenheim

    By Milad Doroudian

    6 days ago

    Neo-Classicism or Romanticism? Although two movements whose conditions have been the subjects of rhetoric over the fact that they share many principles, and yet are so different, perhaps do not matter as much when one considers that aesthetics, which is the one thing which...

  • High Holy Days 5775: Jewish community shares life advice

    1 week ago

    As we look inward over the course of the High Holy Days, we also seek wisdom that might guide us forward in our lives. The Journal sought life advice from thoughtful people in our community and elsewhere, including a few no longer with us, all of whose words are worth remembering.

    ...
  • A Year of Gratitude: Shana Tova U’Metuka

    By Beit T'shuvah

    1 week ago

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    As we approach this new year of 5775, I am grateful to everyone who, over this past year and years, has helped me on my journey with words and acts of loving-kindness. These have taken the form of encouragement, kudos, criticisms, and rebukes. All have...

  • Plan Ahead

    Fred A. Helms

    1 week ago

    As we confront our mortality at this time of year (the High Holidays), I would like to suggest a service you can perform that can alleviate suffering, prevent or ameliorate remorse and help prevent financial ruin.  I am talking about end-of-life documents — Durable Power of...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Ha’azinu with Rabbi Sivan Malkin Maas

    By Shmuel Rosner

    1 week ago

    Our guest this week is Rabbi Sivan Malkin Maas, Dean of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism. Rabbi Maas is the first Israeli rabbi ordained by the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism in 2003. In addition to serving as Dean of Tmura-IISHJ in...

  • Should rabbis talk about Israel during the High Holy Days?

    By David Suissa

    1 week ago

    On the eve of the biggest sermon days of the year, a brouhaha has erupted in the Jewish world over whether rabbis should weigh in about Israel.

    “Don’t talk about Israel,” my friend Peter Beinart wrote this week in Haaretz, addressing rabbis across America. Why? Because American...

  • The shofar saves a rabbi’s life: a case study

    By Norman Lavin, M.D, PhD., UCLA Medical School

    1 week ago

    My patient, an esteemed rabbi, underwent major abdominal surgery lasting several hours. Within one day postoperatively, he was instructed to blow into a mechanical device to help prevent respiratory complications. 

    Pulmonary problems are not uncommon after surgery, and they...

  • How to Shmita in California

    1 week ago

    Shmita, the Torah-mandated break that refreshes every seven years, and which is observed in the coming new year, 5775, is being reinterpreted in Los Angeles.

    The key concepts of shmita, which means “release,” are found in the Torah portion Mishpatim in Exodus (“Six years you...

  • Now there’s an app for atonement – meet eScapegoat

    By tessc

    1 week ago

    The confessions come flooding in at this time of year to the Twitter feed of the atonement app eScapegoat:

    I told him the cupcake was gluten-free.

    I always use my roommate’s bathroom so I don’t have to clean my own.

    I’ve spent all my mother’s money since she died.

    Sarah...

  • Compassionate kapparot: use coins, not chickens

    1 week ago

    How does one remove sin and guarantee one’s name in the Book of Life during the Ten Days of Repentance? Here’s one way that does not work: Take a factory-farmed white hen out of a battery cage in the sweltering heat, wave it over your head, say “This is my exchange, this is my...

  • Poland is the safest place in Europe for Jews today

    1 week ago

    I survived the Holocaust in a sub-cellar in Tarnopol (Ternopil), a city now located in western Ukraine that once had a thriving Jewish as well as Polish population. Before coming to the U.S., I grew up after the war in France when philo-Semites like Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre...

  • Rosh Hashana: Embracing our elders

    By David Suissa

    1 week ago

    We are spiritually ambitious at this time of year. We reflect, we repent, we make resolutions. We study our faults and mistakes of the past year and commit to being better people in the coming year. We ask for forgiveness and forgive in return. We listen to brilliant sermons that...

  • The magic of the Jewish holiday season!

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    1 week ago

    Israel is a Jewish and Democratic state. Most of the year, this definition is complicated and disrupting, but during a few weeks every year – it is beautifully simple and unifying all religious streams on the Judaism scale. It happens during the Hebrew month of Tishrei, when we...

  • Climate change will be the number one issue in the 2034 midterm elections

    By Marty Kaplan

    1 week ago

    On the day after the Sept. 23 UN Climate Change Summit in New York, sunset will bring the High Holidays to Jews around the world.   

    On that night, I wonder whether the words of the Unetanneh Tokef, the troubling prayer at the heart of the Days of Awe, will resonate with news...

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

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    2 weeks ago

    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...

  • Sunday Reads: Leonard Cohen’s 80th, The settlements’ party, Iran still dangerous

    By Shmuel Rosner

    2 weeks ago

    US

    Eric Edelman, Ray Takeyh and Denis Ross remind us that Iran is still America’s biggest challenge in the Middle East –

    The United States and Iran stand at opposite ends of the spectrum of Middle East politics. The Islamic republic’s ideological compulsions and sheer...

  • Bennett and Weston: The politics of scapegoating

    2 weeks ago

    John Bennett, a Republican Representative in the Oklahoma State Legislature,  urged people recently on his Facebook page to “be wary of the individuals who claim to be Muslim-American” because, presumably, they pose a threat to us all. Leaders of several civil rights organizations...

  • Committed to Being Perfectly Imperfect

    By Beit T'shuvah

    2 weeks ago

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    As I sit here, in Bridgeport, Ct., getting ready for a weekend as a Scholar In Residence, I am in awe of where my life is today. I laugh at and pinch myself every day, realizing how awesome and crazy my life is. I get to hang out with smart, deep people; I...

  • Hipster guide to the High Holy Days

    2 weeks ago

    3 ways to find High Holy Day meals

     

    Ask your Jewish friends’ parents to adopt you for a couple of weeks.

    Call your local synagogue and have them match you with a family.

    Check out Sinai Temple’s “Break the Fast” on Yom Kippur, Oct. 4, 8-10:30 p.m. It’s $10 for guests, free...

  • Are Jews losing their story?

    By David Suissa

    2 weeks ago

    As we look back on the triumphs and failures of the past year, let’s reflect on one of the perennial shortfalls of the Jewish world — how we consistently overlook the importance of teaching the extraordinary story of the Jewish people. 

    When I say “the story of the Jewish...

  • Avigdor Lieberman: ‘About our PR, I completely agree, it is very, very bad’

    By Jared Sichel

    2 weeks ago

    The meteoric rise of Israel’s Russian-speaking, Moldova-born immigrant and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman may be proof, as he told an admiring Jewish National Fund (JNF) crowd in Los Angeles on Sept. 15, that Israel is more like America than even America.

    Not quite a pristine...

  • Group Jewish wedding held in eastern Ukraine

    By tessc

    2 weeks ago

    The Jewish community of Dnepropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine held a group wedding for 19 Jewish couples.

    Most of the couples that wed Sunday were already married under Ukrainian law but had not had a Jewish wedding ceremony, or huppah, the director of the Dnepropetrovsk Jewish...

  • The martyrdom of Steven Sotloff

    By Danielle Berrin

    2 weeks ago

    “It is OK to be angry,” a reader scolded in an email I received over the weekend. 

    “When I saw you waxing nostalgic for your friend who was murdered (not killed) by Islamic trash, I wish that you (and others) would show some anger and look into the camera, point a finger, and...

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