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Tag: God

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  • A better Orthodox reaction to the mikveh, East Ramapo scandals

    5 days ago

    Three groups of Orthodox Jews have made several prominent appearances in the media over the last few weeks: The East Ramapo Central School District was profiled on National Public Radio because Chasidic Jews living in the district have wrested control of a majority vote on the...

  • Here I Am. Where Are You?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    1 week ago

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    As my first blog of the new year, 5775, I want to talk about hiding. For me, this is the original sin in the Bible. Whenever we feel less than, whenever we feel wrong, we hide. God is calling out to us every hour of every day the same word God called out to...

  • Sharing the sukkah with God in a season of love

    By Danielle Berrin

    3 weeks ago

    Sukkot is my holiday.

    It’s been obvious since my girlhood, even before I saw “Titanic” a dozen times, that love stories ignite me and are my preferred mode of engagement with the world. I’m partial to eros, of course, but any love will do: filial, platonic, philosophical,...

  • Should I talk to my enemies?

    By David Suissa

    3 weeks ago

    As I went through the long, exhausting prayers of Yom Kippur this year, reading a litany of sins, both personal and communal, and asking God for forgiveness, I occasionally reflected on the emotional reaction to my column last week about my debate with Israel bashers at a church in...

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  • Keeping the Faith with God

    By Ilana Angel

    3 weeks ago

    I am a woman of faith and depending on different things going on in my life, I decide what the faith refers to. There have been times where I've been so connected to God I trust he is my faith. Yet other times I have been in such doubt about God that I place the strength of my...

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

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

    September 23, 2014 | 3:56 pm

    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...

  • Journey to Uganda: Hunger, thirst and happiness

    By David Suissa

    August 20, 2014 | 5:44 pm

    It was  a scene that repeated itself every time we arrived at a new village in rural Uganda. First, the villagers, who were expecting us, came running toward us as we unloaded our tired bodies from our large, rickety van after hours of slogging on dirt roads — roads that made you...

  • 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...

  • God weeps at what the world has become.

    By Ilana Angel

    July 6, 2014 | 10:20 am

    My mother was born in Cairo, Egypt to Jewish parents. In 1948, when she was 4, her family moved to the newly formed State of Israel. My father was born in Blackpool, England in 1938. He went to Israel in 1960 as a volunteer on a kibbutz. He learned Hebrew and joined the IDF. They...

  • Yom HaShoah: The value of memory

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    April 23, 2014 | 11:00 am

    In the Torah, God is constantly remembering, and that remembering is followed by action. God remembers Noah and then stops the flood. God remembers the Israelites and then frees them from bondage. When we speak about the Sabbath, we say “Shamor v’zachor b’dibur echad,” that the...

  • The Seder’s Innermost Secret—Charoset:  Earth & Eros in the Passover Celebration

    By Rabbi Arthur Waskow

    April 8, 2014 | 9:52 am

    There it sits on the Seder plate: charoset, a delicious paste of chopped nuts, chopped fruits, spices, and wine.

    So the question would seem obvious "Why is there charoset on the Seder plate?"

    That's the most secret Question at the Seder – so secret nobody even asks it. And it’s...

  • Why evil committed in the name of God is worse

    By Dennis Prager

    March 19, 2014 | 2:06 pm

    If I could ask one question of a religious person — of any faith — it would be, “What is the worst sin in your religion?”

    The answer to this question can often tell you more than that of any other question about that person’s religion, or at least about that person’s own...

  • Become the sanctuary: Parashat Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36)

    March 12, 2014 | 3:46 pm

    Where is God, and what does the Holy One want from us? These timeless questions animate so many of us spiritual seekers. 

    Of course, there are better places to look for an answer than in this week’s Torah portion, Tzav, unless you consider barbecuing as divine service. If you...

  • The covenant of the calf: Parashat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35)

    February 12, 2014 | 5:01 pm

    If the word of God, engraved in stone, can crumble as easily as bread; if God’s voice, chiseled in rock, can shatter like a pitched dinner plate; if the children of Israel can cast off their heavenly covenant with a casualness not unlike the unclasping of an earring or a necklace;...

  • A Coming Out Tale: Getting Over My Embarrassment and Calling Myself Religious

    By Tamara Shayne Kagel

    February 12, 2014 | 12:30 pm

    I have always been cagey when detailing information about myself that might classify me as religious.  Not that I was ever embarrassed or cryptic about telling people I was Jewish.  Telling people I was Jewish when people asked what my Christmas plans were, or just offering up the...

  • Modeh Ani, connecting thanksgiving and light

    November 25, 2013 | 4:59 pm

    When people ask me to describe the God I believe in, I often start by using the image of a flame. We are taught that each of us has a divine spark within us. That divine spark at times burns brightly, often in the moments of our lives when we find ourselves in balance and in tune...

  • No faith, no Jewish future

    By Dennis Prager

    November 6, 2013 | 1:27 pm

    In my last column, I suggested a number of reasons for the rise of Orthodox Judaism and the decline in membership among non-Orthodox denominations. 

    In this column, I would like to discuss one important reason that often goes unnoted.

    That reason is faith — not only faith in...

  • Jewish ignorance is a disease, you are the cure

    By Salvador Litvak

    October 30, 2013 | 12:12 pm

    “Whoever does not visit the sick is as if he spilled blood.” — Rabbi Akiva (Nedarim 40a, B. Talmud)

    Our fellow Jews are sick. They don’t admit it. They don’t even know it. Yet the malady is grave. “The most destructive, painful, most contagious disease of all,” Rabbi Noah...

  • Reboot unscrolls a modern take on Torah

    By Danielle Berrin

    October 23, 2013 | 11:36 am

    Reboot, the highly selective Jewish think-tank that invites “young, Jewishly unconnected cultural creatives” to imagine ways of modernizing and revitalizing Jewish tradition, has unfurled its latest effort with “Unscrolled,” a compendium of divrei Torah written by popular artists...

  • The Pew survey: What’s missing from the conversation

    October 11, 2013 | 10:48 am

    The ink is barely dry on the latest Pew report on declining Jewish affiliation and concerned community leaders are quickly weighing in on what to do to attract the unaffiliated back under the tent.  Notwithstanding all the good ideas, something, from my experience, is missing from...

  • The long and winding road: Parashat Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1–17:27)

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    October 9, 2013 | 3:24 pm

    The day God pronounced two simple words — lech lecha — Abraham and Sarah’s lives changed forever. God instructs Abraham to leave his homeland, his birthplace and his father’s home, “to the land that I will show you, and there I will make of you a great nation” (Genesis 12:1-2)....

  • Each day is a choice: Parashat Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

    September 24, 2013 | 3:14 pm

    Only a couple of weeks ago, we were all feeling the holiness of Yom Kippur. By the end of the day of fasting, beautiful music, insightful teachings and prayers that deepened our self-awareness, we were remembering the real priorities in life. We had committed — to ourselves and God...

  • What if Cyrus had not freed the Jews?

    By Roger Price

    September 24, 2013 | 9:01 am

      Over twenty-five centuries ago, Cyrus II, founder and ruler of the Persian Empire, freed the Jews who had been transported forcibly to Babylon and facilitated the reconstruction of their Temple in Jerusalem. Without the intervention of Cyrus, the Jewish People and Judaism as we...

  • Remember to forgive yourself

    September 11, 2013 | 3:33 pm

    Every year on Yom Kippur, Jews in synagogues all over the world engage in a communal chest-beating during the Vidui, to repent, symbolically, for our collective sins. But what about the sin of being too hard on ourselves? As the High Holy Days approach once again, it seems logical...

  • A difficult conversation

    By Rabbi Laura Geller

    September 3, 2013 | 11:52 am

    The conversation is supposed to begin like this: “Will you forgive me for anything I might have said or done this year that has hurt you?” 

    You are sitting with a friend over coffee, during the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and you ask this question. Not easy. What...

  • High Holy Days: Living with purpose

    September 3, 2013 | 11:28 am

    have a calling. I am living my best life. I am fulfilling my life’s mission. I am living with purpose. While these pronouncements are a mainstay of popular American and Christian spirituality, they do not sound very “Jewish.” Yet, as we approach Rosh Hashanah and the celebration...

  • The other annual migration of North American Jews: to shul

    By Roger Price

    August 29, 2013 | 12:42 pm

       The first of the two annual migrations of North American Jews began a couple of weeks ago, with thousands and thousands of young Jews heading to colleges across the continent. (See The annual migration of North American Jews to college.) The second seasonal migration of North...

  • What children can teach us at Rosh Hashanah

    August 27, 2013 | 9:50 am

    A deep spiritual life is hard to find. While opportunities abound for spiritual connections (yoga, meditation, retreats and the like), for most of us it doesn’t come easy. The noise, unfinished to-do lists and the distractions of everyday life interfere with quieting our minds,...

  • Love in the time of Elul

    By David Suissa

    August 21, 2013 | 12:37 pm

    I confess there’s something that’s always bothered me about this time of year, when we put such a big emphasis on reflecting on our mistakes. Why only now? Isn’t this something we should be doing all year? As a community, we certainly do plenty of it, through the very act of...

  • Rabbi Joachim Prinz: 'The most shameful problem is silence'

    August 20, 2013 | 5:03 pm

    I speak to you as an American Jew.

    As Americans we share the profound concern of millions of people about the shame and disgrace of inequality and injustice which make a mockery of the great American idea.

    As Jews we bring to this great demonstration, in which thousands of us...

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