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  • Committed to Being Perfectly Imperfect

    By Beit T'shuvah

    5 hours 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...

  • A Soul under Construction.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    1 week ago

    We are not born perfect- into an imperfect world.

    At birth we start with a cry.  Our grand entrance is with closed fists and our exit with open hands.  We circumcise our newborn males. Life is an exercise in humility.  Our hearts are shattered again and again as God seeks our...

  • Our battle against Hamas is far from being over

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    1 week ago

    “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” (Golda Meir. Statement to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., 1957)


    In the 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense, the Israeli Defense Forces successfully scared Hamas back to the dark caves...

  • Asking For My Own Forgiveness

    By Beit T'shuvah

    2 weeks ago

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    It is another one of those nights! I woke up after 4 hours of sleep and could not go back to sleep. My mind started racing and I just now figured out why: I am in the middle of my Inventory for Yom Kippur. I have a form that looks at how I take actions that...

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  • For the Love of Israel -Q&A with the young people who made Aliyah during Operation Protective Edge

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    2 weeks ago

    This summer, in the midst of a military operation in Gaza, while rockets whistled over our heads, a group of 300 young North Americans landed in Israel, their eyes lit with excitement. Those young folks, ages 18 to 23, made Aliyah with the purpose of starting a new, independent...

  • Enslaving Expectations

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    2 weeks ago

    In 2012, the late Joan Rivers said that Johnny Carson had given her the biggest break of her career.  She became very close to him and even substitute hosted when he was on vacation.  When she accepted her own show, opposite his, Carson cut all tie with Rivers.

    I once acted as an...

  • This is What Fulfilling a Mitzvah Looks Like

    By Rabbi Robin Podolsky

    3 weeks ago

    EBook Review: Assisted Loving: How I Stopped My Homo-Centric Life to Take Care of My Elderly Father by Debra Elise Miller


    Assisted Living will stay with you for a much longer time than it will take to read.  The book is just what the title promises: a sharply observed,...

  • Summing up the past two months - between happiness and frustration.

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    3 weeks ago

    How can I sum up this crazy summer?


    In the past eight weeks I have been through an emotional roller coaster. I’ve been up and down, high and low, frustrated and hopeful, but most of all – surprised, because of so many things…


    What started as yet another July, where my...

  • A New Way of Seeing

    By Beit T'shuvah

    3 weeks ago

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    It is 3:12am on Friday, August 29, 2014. I have been awake for over an hour. I’m not sure if I can go back to sleep, so I am writing my Blog.

    It has been an interesting, exciting, terrifying, and introspective month. I have had Cataract Surgery in both...

  • A New Way of Seeing

    By Beit T'shuvah

    3 weeks ago

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    It is 3:12am on Friday, August 29, 2014. I have been awake for over an hour. I’m not sure if I can go back to sleep, so I am writing my Blog.

    It has been an interesting, exciting, terrifying, and introspective month. I have had Cataract Surgery in both...

  • My Return Home

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    3 weeks ago

    1978-2014.

    My younger self awaits me in that old home. He stares at the future that would be me; I ponder the past that was him. We connect on a bridge made of yearning and nostalgia. Hesitantly, we embrace.

    We fall to our knees and sob. I ask if he ever told dad about how he...

  • Rebuilding Begins - New Ideas are Needed

    By Salvador Litvak

    3 weeks ago

    Rava said: If the righteous wanted, they could create a new world. (Sanhedrin 65b, B. Talmud)

    An open-ended cease-fire has been declared in Gaza.

    We pray that it lasts.

    If it does, new ideas are needed for creating a status quo that won't backslide into more of the same...

  • Recovering Judaism And Living Kosher

    By Beit T'shuvah

    August 22, 2014 | 1:50 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    WHAT IS FITTING AND PROPER?

    This question haunts me each day, each week, each month and each year. It is especially present today as I reviewed the Weekly Torah Portion and read about Kashrut.

    Kashrut is usually associated with food and, in my search...

  • The masks are off: anti-Semitism across the world revealed its ugly self, and got out of hand

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    August 19, 2014 | 8:33 am

    Shouts of "Jews to the gas!"; An article claiming that "Israel’s military operation in Gaza showed why Jews "have been so frequently expelled."; A sign reading, "Well done Israel, Hitler would be proud,"; Use of the anti-Semitic blood libel...

    These are merely a few examples of...

  • Look Wendy, I can fly!

    By Marcus J Freed

    August 15, 2014 | 5:59 pm

    What happens when the funniest man on earth kills himself? We rush to make sense of out of the seemingly nonsensical. Humans like things to fit into a logical order. Tragedies confuse us. We ask ‘why?’, as if the entire universe should fit into our limited understanding.

    Can...

  • We Were Bold for Reproductive Justice: Rallying with the Be Bold Road Trip

    By Maya Paley

    August 15, 2014 | 12:46 pm

    This blog post was originally posted on the NCJW Insider Blog.

    I spent this past Saturday at the first stop of the All Above All Be Bold Road Trip, a national campaign to speak out for reproductive justice and bring attention to the need to guarantee abortion coverage for low...

  • The Journey Towards T’Shuvah

    By Beit T'shuvah

    August 15, 2014 | 11:33 am

    By Adam Siegel

    Well, we’ve reached the point of summer when we can’t believe that people are starting to talk about the High Holidays.  As the daylight begins to shorten, members of the Beit T’Shuvah community are beginning their own preparations.

    The High Holidays are a time...

  • While you were in Gaza - a sister of an IDF soldier writes about the past month

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    August 14, 2014 | 8:40 am

    Bareket-Paz Gozlan's brother, Snir, is a soldier at the IDF Combat Engineering Corps. During the past month, he was in Gaza, almost unreachable. Now, upon his return, Bareket decided to share with Israelife's readers her thoughts and feelings during the almost unbearable month.

     ...

  • Schmuck and the City

    By Nikki Tabibian

    August 13, 2014 | 11:57 am

         During my first months on the East Coast, snowfall, rain and hail hit The City, while a storm of vexing questions plagued my frozen suburban mind:

         How many layers are too many?
         Would it be appropriate to wear a hijab to fight off a 30-degree chill? 
         Where...

  • Medical Lessons From Robin Williams

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    August 11, 2014 | 5:23 pm

    Dear Robin,

    You were such an inspiration.  You showed us courage in the face of adversity, making us laugh while your own soul was broken.

    Even now, at the time of your death, we find ourselves in a recently forgotten place- where all people, regardless of faith, color, or...

  • Finding Our Comfort

    By Beit T'shuvah

    August 8, 2014 | 10:03 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    In the Jewish world we are entering the period of Nachama—comfort after commemorating the destruction of the temples on Tisha B'Av. We are also involved in preparation for the High Holidays. Our world, right now, is anything but comforting. As individuals,...

  • Religion:  It’s A Dog’s Life!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    August 6, 2014 | 5:26 pm

    "C’est une vie de chien!"

    “It's a dog's life!”  The French use this expression to shrug their frustration at the overwhelming struggles of life.  To me, it is a statement of how random our most important beliefs are.

    Growing up in Iran, many Muslims believed dogs to be ritually...

  • Why I Made Aliyah During the War!

    By LiAmi Lawrence

    August 5, 2014 | 11:43 am


    Last week in the middle of the war in Israel I made aliyah!  Why would I leave my easy life and  comfortable apartment exactly on the Beverly Hills border (the next house is Beverly Hills, if there is an earthquake I would land in Beverly Hills) to come to a small expensive one...

  • Israeli soldiers writing about the Gaza crisis - read their letters (Part 2)

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    August 4, 2014 | 8:33 am

    Roni, Dor, Yuval and Hofni are Israelis who were called for reserve duty when Operation Protective Edge launched. Here are open letters they wrote to Israelife's readers (translated from Hebrew by yours truly.)

    [For part 1, go here. For more about everything that's Israel, visit ...

  • What Would God Say?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    August 1, 2014 | 10:31 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    I am so conflicted! The situation in Israel conflicts me. The situation in America conflicts me. The situation in life conflicts me. I seem to be in the midst of conflict in most areas of my life. This week, someone who had sought recovery and then sought...

  • Hiatus Schmiatus

    By Nikki Tabibian

    July 29, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    A message from the author:

    My dearest readers and adoring fan (hey Grandma),

            When I began writing Le’chaim To Laughter, I was committed to documenting my memoires as a city gal with nothing but comic relief and hummus to help her get by. Yet, as I turned the page on...

  • When anti-Semitism Strikes Science and Medicine!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    July 27, 2014 | 9:08 pm

    On July 23rd, The Lancet published an Open Letter describing the situation in Gaza (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61044-8/fulltext).

    The Lancet, a top tier scientific journal by all accounts, did a great dis-service to the medical community....

  • This Week in Jewish Farming: The community thing

    July 25, 2014 | 1:17 pm

    Folks in the food scene love to talk about how farms build community. It’s a trope that always makes me roll my eyes a little, both because sardonicism is generally my default setting, but also because I’m skeptical that any kind of thick communal ties are likely to arise between...

  • Choosing Love Over Fear

    By Beit T'shuvah

    July 25, 2014 | 11:19 am

    By Cantor Rachel Goldman 

    I have spent an hour and a half flipping between a blank document in Word and seven tabs in my browser, all open to different articles on “What is going on in Israel right now.”  I feel like every time I see the latest headline, I get thrown or sad and...

  • The Truth About Celebrities and Eating Disorders

    By Rebecca Cooper

    July 25, 2014 | 9:02 am

    The shame, guilt and misunderstanding of eating disorders makes it hard for anyone to come forward to get help, but it is so much harder for a public figure to do so. Celebrities may put their fame, career and acting opportunities on the line and open themselves to, ridicule...

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