Jewish Journal

Tag: God

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  • The Religious Brains exchange, part 2: ‘All God-talk is metaphorical, inexact and incomplete’

    By Shmuel Rosner

    8 hours ago

    Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger is the leader of the Beth-El Congregation in Fort Worth, Texas, an adjunct faculty member at Brite Divinity School and has served as the Jewish co-chair of the Texas Conference of Churches' Jewish-Christian Forum. Rabbi Mecklenburger was ordained at the...

  • Your Reaction to Islam Will Define Who You Are.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    1 week ago

    Your relationship with Islam will define you as a person.

    Once, as a child, I asked a poor gardener who lived in a neighbor’s garage with three sick children and an ailing wife, why he always smiled. I loved his wisdom. I saw him daily, and he never complained. “My son, Allah is...

  • Exploring prayer: A conversation with Alden Solovy

    By Roger Price

    October 28, 2015 | 9:18 am

    Alden Solovy is a poet and liturgist. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Alden made aliyah to Israel in 2012. His first book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing, was published in 2012 by Kavanot Press. He is currently working on a mythical journey, told with prayers and poetry, called...

  • My Grandpa Aghajan.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    October 21, 2015 | 4:58 pm

    Habibollah.  A beloved of God.  Beloved by Allah.  That was my grandfather’s name.  Each time I hear of trouble in Israel, I reach out for his memory as a sinking man to a buoy.

    Habib- the beloved, as his friends referred to him- and Aghajan to me- an endearing name given to...

  • The meaning of coincidences

    October 14, 2015 | 2:28 pm

    One of the most powerful ways we experience God’s closeness is through coincidences.

    I know this is certainly the case with me. Stuff happens to me all the time that I can’t explain.

    Here are two examples.

    One Friday night, I was in shul and my mind wandered a bit. I realized...

  • Muslims, Christians Should Celebrate Genesis as do Jews.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    October 7, 2015 | 9:05 am

    In Eden, there was God, Adam and Eve and no religion!

    Genesis begins with a wide angled view of diversity:  God creates a vast range of living things—fish, birds, cattle, wild animals “of every kind” and repeats “of every kind” with each living thing.

    When it comes to the...

  • How the Bible plays out in hospital intensive care units

    October 1, 2015 | 4:37 pm

    In this week's parsha, V'zot ha-Brakhah, we read about the farewell blessing of Moses to the Israelites.  At 120 years of age, Moses views the land that God promised to Abraham and his descendents.  The Israelites will proceed to inhabit this land of milk and honey, but Moses will...

  • Sukkot and Fifty Shades of Kosher.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    September 29, 2015 | 6:41 pm

    We love people who sin like us and judge harshly those who sin differently.  Jews quarrel so much over how to approach God that we end up pushing God out to win an argument.  There are so many shades of Kosher.  On Sukkot, we are told “come together.”

    A friend told me that he...

  • On faith, belief and God

    September 18, 2015 | 2:29 pm

    I love this quip from a favorite comedian of mine: “I have a lot of beliefs.  And I don’t live by any of them!” 

    It’s different to have beliefs than to live by them.  And that difference speaks to a little problem we have.  Here it is: I am not sure we all believe in the God we...

  • FACEBOOK:  Ten Questions for Self Reflection.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    September 16, 2015 | 1:46 pm

    When people tell me that Facebook is a waste, I tell them “it depends on the operator.” 

    In skilled hands a knife can save a life, but some use it to peel oranges. 

    When Otis Redding sang “sitting by the dock of the bay” was he really “wasting time”?

    In August, Mark...

  • Today a Child Washed up Ashore.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    September 2, 2015 | 3:11 pm

    Not a bird, nor fish, nor seaweed.

    Today a child washed up ashore.
    His sin?  Birth into a cruel world.
    Shunned by shameless shenanigans.
    Not even a basket to house this baby Moses.
    Landless- worse than homeless.

    I see him flying into the open arms of waves,
    Away from...

  • The Day Anger Broke Me.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    August 20, 2015 | 12:13 pm

    It’s been eight years.  I still have nightmares about what I had become. 

    My wife and kids are scared in a room.  Sitting on the floor, they are trembling.  She is hugging them protectively, crying.  They are rolled up in fetal position, sobbing.  All I hear is nothing.  I am...

  • How to Improve the Relationship With Your Parents Forever & Bring Generational Healing

    By Marcus J Freed

    August 5, 2015 | 7:56 am

    Last year I learned a secret that transformed the relationship with my parents. I would like to share it with you. But first, a 10 Commandments soundbite: “I.. am a zealous God, who - for the haters - remembers the sins of the fathers up to the third and fourth generations” (Deut...

  • God will be our visitor

    July 27, 2015 | 11:13 am

    The Jewish family is in a constant state of mourning. Most of the time, we push our mourning to the back of our collective consciousness and carry on our daily lives as if we’ve suffered no loss. Once a year, though, we allow the misery and pain of our tortuous 2,000-year Diaspora...

  • Liberals Need to Stop Feeling Shame When Supporting Israel

    By Tamara Shayne Kagel

    July 24, 2015 | 12:33 pm

    All my life, I have been liberal and I have been Jewish.  These identities are badges I have worn proudly and which have long bolstered one another.  Except on one subject: Israel.  So for a long time, I just stayed away from the landmine that discussing Israel can be.  I wore...

  • Temples in Time.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    July 24, 2015 | 8:43 am

    It's Shabbat, before fast of Av.

    Iran Deal sizzles inside all Jews.
    German ovens’ stench, we sing the blues.
    Our temple remains shattered- atone .
    All in post traumatic mode, none alone.

    They say we control the world, its wealth,
    in small numbers win large prizes, stealth....

  • The Torn Iranian American Jew

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    July 17, 2015 | 8:30 am

    My father served the ‪‎Iranian‬ government for over thirty years.

    With the majority of his friends and colleagues ‪Muslim‬, few ‪‎Persian‬ Jews know of him now.

    He pulled himself out of poverty, away from the misery of losing his own father at a young age. He reached one of the...

  • Shabbat, Brokenness and Light:  My Reflections at an Interfaith Event

    By Lia Mandelbaum

    July 8, 2015 | 2:19 pm

    In addition to how I've found that interfaith relations boldly and beautifully reveals the interconnectedness of all of humanity, I certainly agree that there is nothing like interfaith work to really inspire you to actively deepen your own understanding and connection to your...

  • Confessions of a Jewish Atheist

    By Mindy Leaf

    July 6, 2015 | 11:45 am

    We were seated at a round table at our local Jewish Community Center, awaiting our tax-dollar-funded senior meal, when the man at my left began a conversation (or, shall I say, confrontation). "You know, the first monotheist wasn't Jewish," he bellowed. "He was an Egyptian king who...

  • Not a Fan—a declaration of independence

    By Mindy Leaf

    July 2, 2015 | 10:57 am

    Superhero summer has blasted down among us once again. The past weekend saw some 43,000 Florida Supercon attendees at the Miami Beach Convention Center (established in 2006, it's the largest comic-con-like convention in South Florida). Next week's San Diego Comic-con (the original,...

  • Why does a Jew write for Atheists?

    June 8, 2015 | 11:11 am

    “Are you an atheist?”

    No, I explained. I’m a Jew.

    “Then why are you writing a book about atheists?”

    I’ve run into this line of questioning a lot.

    For the past several years, I’ve worked on What If I’m an Atheist?, a guidebook for teenagers who doubt or deny the existence of...

  • Hebrew word of the week: Kippah

    June 3, 2015 | 10:50 am

    Kippah is from the root  k-f-f, which means “to bend,” as in zoqef kfufim, “(God) raises those who are bent” (Psalms 145:14,  and prayer), closely related to k-f-y “to compel, force, invert, subdue.” So, kippah is “a bent shape, dome,” as in kippat shamayim “celestial sphere.”

  • Sagan, Stars and Grains of Sand

    By Roger Price

    May 12, 2015 | 1:57 pm

    Who could look at the stars and yawn? Certainly not astronomer Carl Sagan. Sagan, a serious scientist, popularized a journey though the universe just over a third of a century ago with his award winning TV series, Cosmos. To impress upon his viewers how many stars existed, Sagan...

  • My Passover lesson: Don’t wait for God

    By David Suissa

    April 8, 2015 | 1:57 pm

    The Jewish people didn’t bring down the Ten Plagues on Pharaoh, nor did they split the Red Sea, which enabled them to escape Pharaoh’s soldiers some 3,300 years ago. These were God’s miracles, which we all celebrate during Passover.

    This year, I found those miracles a little...

  • If God took the Jews out of Egypt…

    By Dennis Prager

    April 8, 2015 | 11:52 am

    If God took the Jews out of Egypt, why didn’t he take the Jews out of Europe during the Holocaust? Or out of Ukraine during the Khmelnitsky pogroms? Or out of Germany when Crusaders annihilated entire Jewish communities there?

    What Jew hasn’t asked such questions?

    There may be...

  • How do you talk to kids about God?

    April 6, 2015 | 1:17 pm

    Talking openly with children about sensitive subjects is hard. It always has been. In my parents’ generation, the three-letter taboo was S-E-X. My older sister was 13 when my dad gave a kid “The Talk” for the first time. It was the ’80s, and my dad dodged it like any educated man...

  • My Passover Prayer

    By Ilana Angel

    April 3, 2015 | 7:38 am

    I wish you all a very Happy Passover. May you have peace, health, and joy today and always. Passover is a time for family and since I am unable to be with my family in Canada this year, I have spent two days cooking all my mother’s holiday dishes and now my home smells as if she is...

  • On Pesach, to resort or not to resort?

    By Jared Sichel

    April 2, 2015 | 3:13 pm

    God miraculously rescued the Jews from Egypt — so the old joke goes — only to see Jewish mothers slave around the house cleaning and cooking in preparation for eight days of Passover.

    Or not. 

    At least not anymore, not for the many Jewish families who can afford to have someone...

  • Pharoah said ‘no.’ You won’t believe what God did next.

    By Marty Kaplan

    April 2, 2015 | 12:22 pm

    Once, at our seder, our friend Ira gave a running commentary on the haggadah, offering a scientific explanation for every miracle and wonder in the Exodus story.    

    The parting of the Reed Sea was a meteorological event. The burning bush was a glowing carbonized acacia bramble...

  • Dating 101: Faith, Religion & God

    By Ilana Angel

    March 27, 2015 | 9:51 am

    I went on 3 dates with the same man last week. We had 2 great dates with fantastic conversation, witty banter, intellectual and sexual chemistry. He is 55, handsome, tall, funny, and decent. At least he seemed decent until we got to our 3rd date and decided to discuss religion....

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