"The Sabbath Day: One should not forget it;The dove...
Its memory is like a savory fragrance.
The dove found respite on it [the Sabbath],
And on it the weary of spirit shall rest."
-- Translated from "Yom Shabbaton," Shabbat Zemirot liturgy, composed by R' Judah HaLevi (d. 1140)
Why does a shul need a Maharat?
Let’s be thankful for our imperfect legal system
IAEA says needs more money to monitor extended Iran nuclear deal
Israeli president criticizes divisive Jewish nation-state bill
More than 400 arrested as Ferguson protests spread to other U.S. cities
Synagogue Slaughter Aforethought
Moving and shaking: Zimmer Children’s Museum, NJWLA thrift shops and more
Zev Yaroslavsky: Rebel politician and distracted golfer
October 11, 2007 | 8:00 pm
October 4, 2007 | 8:00 pm"Because, I said so!" Four simple words effectively restore order when alternative tactics for ending the cacophony of whys or pleases have not. This declaration can render the most persistent young kvetchers powerless against their authority's final say on the matter.
January 4, 2007 | 7:00 pmOne can learn a great deal about how not to parent by reading the stories of the dysfunctional matriarchal/patriarchal families that comprise a substantial proportion of the narrative in Genesis. One pattern that generates much pain for the dramatis personae of the first book of...
November 16, 2006 | 7:00 pmOf all the regular columns in The Jewish Journal, I enjoy the Singles column the most. You know, the one typically written by a 30-something still out there, searching for Mr. or Ms. Right.
I married young and don't really know too much about the singles scene. But invariably this...
November 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm
November 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm
Here we are again on the plains of Bethel. We're in the 10th month of our 10th year in Canaan. Sorry I haven't written. There were so many things happening, but none of them so important to justify my negligence. The famine, Pharaoh, Avimelech, the war -- they all...
November 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm
October 26, 2006 | 8:00 pmInner child therapy is a psychological method aimed at giving voice to part of the adult psyche that remains eternally childlike. It purports that a vulnerable innocence exists within our subconscious; when acknowledged, a more complete and mature life experience is attained.
For example, were my inner child invited to describe Parshat Noach, she might say:
February 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm
The Torah has no title page. It has neither an author's introduction nor a preface -- nothing to tell us why the book was written or how it is to be read. The very first line begins with a complete lack of self-consciousness: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth"...
January 26, 2006 | 7:00 pm
Ten years ago, when my parents, z"l, were 82 and 89, they traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles to be with my partner Tracy and me as we stood together under the chuppah. At the celebration of her daughter's lesbian wedding, my mother was heard to say quite matter-of-factly: "I guess...
January 5, 2006 | 7:00 pm
"Biblical stories are in our present -- in the cheder we cried when we learned of the sale of Joseph -- and we rejoiced in his ascendancy to power. There was a freshness, a vigor, a nearness, which we felt in that drama." -- Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik
Oh to be a fly on the wall of...
December 29, 2005 | 7:00 pm
Even in the best of families, relationships are enormously complicated. Some of the stories rabbis hear, all too frequently, of families in crisis are excruciatingly painful: parents who disown their children because of radical disappointment with the life choices their children have...
December 15, 2005 | 7:00 pm
It is the middle of the night. I hear a strange sound in the living room.
Heart pounding, I get out of bed, grope awkwardly through darkness for the light switch ... push up ... nothing happens. I try another switch. No light. I feel desperately alone. My surroundings remain one...
December 1, 2005 | 7:00 pm
"This is the story of Isaac, son of Abraham. Abraham begot Isaac. Isaac was 40 years old when he took to wife Rebecca, daughter of
Bethuel of Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Aramean. Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord responded to...
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...
November 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm
"The longest journey is the journey inwards. Of him who has chosen his destiny...." -- Dag Hammarskjold, "Markings" (1964)
I recently saw the film, "In Her Shoes," and was inspired by the personal transformation of the sister played by Cameron Diaz.
This character had the courage to...
August 25, 2005 | 8:00 pm
A group of 25 campers from Ramah of California's pilot summer in 1955 returned to camp this summer to kick off a yearlong celebration of Ramah's 50 years on the West Coast. The camp officially opened in 1956.
Back then, there were 62 campers and 24 staff members. Tuition for the 10...
July 14, 2005 | 8:00 pm
While on a summer vacation on the East Coast, my family and I visited some spectacular sights in northwestern North Carolina, especially near Ashville, N.C. On our way to Ashville, we stopped and asked directions from a fine gentleman who turned out to be a Methodist minister....
March 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm
Every good Hebrew school and day school principal is always seeking to improve and update the curriculum in their school, especially when it comes to the instruction of Bible. The questions that usually come up in Bible curriculum meetings are: where do we begin, what teaching...
December 19, 2002 | 7:00 pm
If you were told that you had only a matter of days to live what would you do?
Write out a will? Eat your favorite meal? Try to repair troubled relationships? In our Torah portion this Shabbat, Jacob knows he is dying. Faced with this knowledge, there is only one thing he wants to...
January 25, 2001 | 7:00 pm
God created the animals and brought them, one by one, before man to see what he would name them. Man examined the essence of each creature and assigned its name. So teaches Genesis.
The midrash goes farther: When all the animals had been named, God asked man, "What is your name?"...
December 7, 2000 | 7:00 pm
Every marriage has painful moments. Even the most loving marriages do. This fact of life is confirmed by the opening of chapter 30.
There is only one marriage in the entirety of the Bible that is explicitly described as being based on romantic love. This is the marriage of Jacob...
October 26, 2000 | 8:00 pm
Zionism. Remember that term? We don't hear it too often anymore. Many Jews seem uncomfortable with the term Zionism, saying it's "too strong" or it "breeds nationalism." Some of Israel's leading historians have gone as far as declaring this current period in Israel's history as the...
November 11, 1999 | 7:00 pmThese are the weeks that we read of our heroes. The book of Genesis tells the stories of the faith and tenacity of the fathers and mothers of our nation for whom every day was another stride in the uncharted waters of living in covenant with God. It was their passionate determination...
October 21, 1999 | 8:00 pm"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."-- Mark Twain
We laugh at this quote because we can sense its truth. Each of us passes...
October 14, 1999 | 8:00 pmWhat kind of Jew are you? Reform? Conservative? Orthodox? Secular? Cultural? Reconstructionist? With whom do you identify? With whom do you disagree? What kind of Jew is so different that you would have nothing to share?
Somehow, we can't resist the urge to put labels on ourselves, to...
October 8, 1998 | 8:00 pmOn the eve of Simchat Torah, many synagogues auction the three major honors of the day, with proceeds benefiting the synagogue or other Jewish institutions. Two honors, Hatan Torah (for the one called to the final reading in Deuteronomy) and Hatan Bereshit (for the one called to the...
March 26, 1998 | 7:00 pmNot long ago, Burt Visotzky and Bill Moyerspresented a television series on the Book of Genesis. A colleaguejoked about their remarkable success. "Sure, the series inspiredinterest, debate and, for many, a
January 15, 1998 | 7:00 pm
Seeing Beyond Our Culture
By Rabbi Ed Feinstein
My son was 7 the first time he saw a beggarstanding beside the freeway offramp: a large man, disheveled andfilthy, with a hand-lettered cardboard sign that read, "WILL WORK FORFOOD." "Abba, who is that man?"...
December 11, 1997 | 7:00 pm
Pity Esau. One moment of weakness, one moment ofimpulse, and his birthright is gone. He goes out to fulfill hisfather's dying wish for a savory meal of game, and while he's outhunting, his mother and brother conspire and rob him of his blessing.Returning to his father with the feast,...