Jewish organizations are hailing Pope Benedict XVI's unequivocal repudiation of the claim that the Jewish people can be held forever responsible for the death of Jesus. The Vatican already rejected the claim in general terms in 1965 with the landmark Nostra Aetate document issued by the Vatican II Conference, opening the door to formal Catholic-Jewish dialogue. But in a new volume of his book, "Jesus of Nazareth," Benedict employs a detailed scholarly analysis of Catholic teaching to make the point clear.
We have more synagogues and more freedom to use them here in Los Angeles than we did in Iran, but that doesn't mean we're any closer to fulfilling the true purpose of gathering in a house of worship.
So even if my rabbi's bar mitzvah talk engendered embarrassment and guilt in me, I now want to thank him for challenging me in the way he did that day.
When six German teenagers entered the beit midrash at YULA boys high school, there was an indescribable sense of tension in the air. The four girls and two boys seemed hesitant and slightly anxious as they faced 60 Jewish boys eager for discussion. As a natural skeptic, my personal attitude toward conversing with people of possible Nazi ancestry was not very optimistic.
Holidays bring up feelings and memories about people who have died. They also offer opportunities to address unresolved issues. The four Yizkor services and the themes of their days correspond to different tasks of mourning.
In Judaism, we sit shiva after a death. We grieve, confront and try to accept. It's an ancient process, and it helps.
My children were unexpectedly away for a week this summer, and I didn't miss them a bit.
100 or so young Jews gathered to celebrate the third issue of Guilt and Pleasure, a literary quarterly out of New York whose first issue featured a cover photograph of a border collie smoking a cigarette.
Offering a korban (from the word karov, to come close) is a hands-on project.
But this very human need is not given free rein; rather, the offering of sacrifices is governed by strict regulations, in order that we tangibly relate to God in a true, proper way.
After 25 years of dieting, this is what I know: There's more to me than the sum of my parts, no matter how much they weigh.
Guilt & Pleasure -- "A magazine for Jews and the people who love them" -- hit newsstands across North America last month, offering readers content ranging from long-form essays and memoirs to fiction, comics, photography and archival material.
Letters to the Editor
Franklin's prickliness could prove another setback for the U.S. government in a case that the presiding judge already has suggested could be dismissed because of questions about access to evidence.
A feeling of trepidation takes hold of my heart. The Jewish holidays are upon us again, and as a 30-something single in a family of all married siblings, I'm feeling anxiety and pain.
When I was a small boy -- 6 or 7 -- I became acutely aware that being a Jew made me a member of a tiny minority.
"The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt" edited by Ruth Andrew Ellenson (Dutton, $24.95).
When Ruth Andrew Ellenson achieved the writer's milestone of selling her first book, her father responded in classic Jewish parental fashion.
"He was thrilled and said, 'Honey, that's wonderful.' Then there was a long pause," Ellenson recalled. "And he said, 'I guess this means I have to wait longer for grandchildren.'"
As the editor of the newly released "The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt," Ellenson now has both the professional and personal credentials to speak on behalf of any Jewish woman who struggles with the notion of "letting my people down. I've always been interested in what's complicated about being Jewish and how you balance the different parts of life," said the 31-year-old freelance journalist. "Jewish women have been given opportunities they never had before. We live in a time of choice and so there are myriad new ways to feel guilty."
Moses begged God's forgiveness for 40 days and 40 nights, Kobe Bryant's going on at least that long plus a $4 million sorry ring. We all have our ways of expressing remorse, but what are we buying with our flowers, phone calls and fine jewelry? Maybe the more observant among us are trying to be "inscribed in the book of life," to obey strict talmudic laws, but people like me, we just want to feel okay about ourselves. We'd like our names erased from the Book of Guilt.
After years of mutual distrust and periodic acrimony, there are signs of a thaw in relations between Israel and Europe.
Since the barbarous July 30 bombings that claimed the lives of 13innocent Israelis, we have heard and read the following claim: Notonly was the atrocity predictable, but it was also a direct result ofIsrael's recent actions. I strongly take issue with this.