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Tag: Halacha

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  • Esther Macner: Agunah advocate promotes post-nuptials

    By Ryan Torok

    2 weeks ago

    At 62, Esther Macner radiates feistiness and confidence. 

    During a recent interview at the Journal’s headquarters, she described herself as an “Orthodox Jewish feminist, which I’ve been all my life, before the word became a label.” 

    A former prosecutor and trial attorney in New...

  • A new era for Torah-based fertility treatment

    By Danielle Berrin

    June 11, 2014 | 1:04 pm

    As modern couples are marrying later and often postponing having children, the use of cutting-edge fertility treatments, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryonic genetic testing, is gaining widespread popularity and acceptance.

    But for Orthodox Jewish couples who wish...

  • Halachic hockey:  A league of their own

    By Jared Sichel

    April 2, 2014 | 1:24 pm

    As a buzzer sounded one recent Sunday at the Los Angeles Kings Valley Ice Center in Panorama City, nearly a dozen children glided — or attempted to — toward the bench as another dozen stumbled onto the rink. They lodged their blades into the frozen surface and assembled at center...

  • 405 construction downs eruv

    June 14, 2013 | 2:51 pm

    The Los Angeles Community Eruv will not be in operation during the Shabbat that begins at sundown tonight, June 14, due to construction on the 405 Freeway.

    An eruv makes carrying items within its boundaries on Shabbat permissible for Jews, according to halacha (Jewish law). This...

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  • What Does Conversion Really Mean?

    By Shmuel Rosner

    March 18, 2012 | 3:10 pm

    In a joint e-mail exchange, Daniel Gordis, president of the Shalem Foundation and senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, and Rabbi David Ellenson, president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, discuss Jewish conversion and their new book, “Pledges of...

  • The Challenge of Offering Moral Rebuke in the Workplace

    by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

    March 7, 2012 | 3:46 pm

    At work, we consistently offer positive reinforcement and constructive feedback to others to improve the quality of our collective efforts. From a Jewish perspective, we are not only concerned with the efficacy of our work but also the ethics of the workplace. In addition to personal...

  • Guest Post by Rabbi Seth Winberg Defending Rabbi Dov Linzer’s New York Times Op Ed

    by Rabbi Seth Winberg

    February 13, 2012 | 8:41 pm

    Note from Asher Lopatin: Some of the arguments in this article parallel my own arguments challenging Rabbi Shaul Magid’s ideas regarding specific laws in the Jewish tradition.

    Guest post from Seth Winberg who received rabbinic ordination at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, and an M.A. from...

  • Ethics Plan Would Raise Sanctity of Business

    By Rabbi N. Daniel Korobkin

    March 18, 2009 | 6:02 pm

    An observant Jew was once brought before the judge on counts of tax fraud. Seeing the kippah-wearing Jew before him, the judge innocently asked, “Mr. Schwartz, you are clearly a God-fearing man. How do you explain your immoral behavior?”

    Not missing a beat, Mr. Schwartz pointed...

  • Donation of Organs Has Support of Most Rabbis

    March 11, 2009 | 9:21 pm

    It was a decision based on a widespread misunderstanding in the Jewish community, locally and nationally. A young boy not yet 10 years old lay brain dead in a Los Angeles hospital after suffering a severe head injury in an accident. The attending physician explained to the parents...

  • Jewish Agency wants changes in Israel conversion policy

    November 20, 2008 | 3:19 am

    JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The Jewish Agency Assembly adopted resolutions calling on the Israeli government to establish an independent authority on Jewish conversions and special courts of Jewish law to "allow the conversion process to move forward."

    The twin resolutions were adopted by the...

  • Personalize your ketubah without breaking the law

    By Michele Alperin

    October 10, 2008 | 4:25 pm

    For many brides and grooms, the ketubah signing that precedes the veiled walk down the aisle has a bit of mystery about it. They may not be sure exactly what the ancient Aramaic text says, but the signing ceremony sets just the right air of solemnity as a prelude to the veiled walk...
  • Trendy, traditional and taboo:
    An incomplete guide to Jewish funerals and burial

    By Jane Ulman

    August 7, 2008 | 1:37 am

    When Eileen Isenberg thinks about her own funeral, she has a very clear picture in her mind.

    "First I want 20 minutes of sad," she said, to allow people to remember her, with the second movement of Mozart's 21st Piano Concerto playing in the background.

    "Then I want people to...

  • Meat packing raid stirs larger ethical and economic concerns

    By Amy Klein

    May 22, 2008 | 11:00 am

    While some Los Angeles kosher supervisors and suppliers see the crackdown on illegal immigrants at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa, as a temporary setback, others are concerned with larger economic and ethical implications that reach beyond this particular case.

    "They...

  • Halacha is just a click away at online yeshiva

    By Amy Klein

    May 4, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    You can buy tickets online, get a college degree online, so why not attend yeshiva online?

    Enter Web Yeshiva, the first real-time Torah center whose second semester begins May 6 with signups at www.webyeshiva.org. Sure, there are thousands of Web sites devoted to Jewish subjects,...
  • Appropriate response to killings rests in Torah

    By Rabbi Naftali Rothenberg

    March 27, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    The pain felt by the family and near environment of any murder victim is deep and traumatic. The murder of adolescents in an educational institution is horrifying. But a murder that takes place within the walls of the house of study, the yeshiva, amplifies and extends the grief and...
  • ‘Non-Jewish’ Jews endure challenges living in Israel

    By Dina Kraft

    January 3, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    In Israel, the "non-Jewish Jews," as some Israelis call them, are everywhere. They drive buses, teach university classes, patrol in army jeeps and follow the latest Israeli reality TV shows as avidly as their Jewish counterparts.

    For these people -- mostly immigrants from the former...

  • New Conservative seminary leader outlines goals

    By Ben Harris

    September 8, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Long before he emerged as a leading scholar of American Jewry, and decades before he would be looked to as the potential savior of the Conservative movement, Arnold Eisen was gunning for a journalism internship at the Washington Post.

    As an undergraduate at the University of...

  • Law Committee’s gay ruling stepped outside Halacha

    By Rabbi Joel Roth

    December 14, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The Conservative movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards last week validated three responsa, or teshuvot, on the general subject of homosexuality.

    In fact, the primary technical issue was the Jewish legal status of sex between members of the same gender. From the answers...

  • Battle of the sexes reaches Talmudic teachings—why can’t girls learn Gemara?

    By Amy Klein

    October 26, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    When Sharon Stein Merkin attended a Modern Orthodox religious day school in Los Angeles, she didn't learn Mishna or Gemara, the Oral law, because her school, like most in the 1980s and '90s, didn't teach women Talmud.

    But it was only when she attended seminary in Israel after...

  • View on Eisen From L.A.: Thumbs Up

    By Amy Klein

    April 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Local reaction was positive -- with an element of wait and see -- to the choice of Stanford professor Arnold Eisen as the new, de facto leader of the Conservative moment. Eisen, who isn't a rabbi, will take over this summer as chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New...

  • The Agunah: A Modern-Day Nightmare

    By Alexandra Leichter

    March 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    A couple of years ago I received two back-to-back phone calls in my office: The first, from a 21-year-old ultra-Orthodox woman who had escaped her physically abusive 6-month long marriage, only to find herself trapped two years later because her husband refuses to give her a Jewish...

  • How to Approach   a Grieving Jew

    By Michal Lemberger

    August 12, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    "Consolation: The Spiritual Journey Beyond Grief" by Rabbi Maurice Lamm (Jewish Publication Society, $30).

    Grief erases all regular rules. All the logic that has ever seemed to govern one's life suddenly seems useless. More than useless, it seems pointless. In death, we are all...

  • Jewish Law Favors Stem Cell Research

    By Nancy Sokoler Steiner

    July 29, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Even as Ron Reagan makes a case for stem cell research at the Democratic National Convention, Californians may take matters into their own hands. In November, the state ballot will include a 10-year bond issue, which would generate $3 billion for stem cell research. If it passes, the...

  • Religious Court Serves as First Resort

    By Gaby Wenig

    July 1, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    In downtown Los Angeles, three judges are deciding a case involving tens of millions of dollars and dozens of properties.

    The judges aren't dressed in robes or seated behind wooden podiums with a court reporter close at hand. Instead, the three bearded rabbis are sitting in a small...

  • Q & A With Robby Berman

    By Julie G Fax

    March 18, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Robby Berman was a journalist living in Israel writing about organ donation when he came across some alarming facts: Out of 200 people who were declared brain-stem dead in a given year, only 70 families agreed to organ donation -- giving Israel the lowest percentage of organ donors...

  • In Sickness and in Taffeta

    By Carin Davis

    November 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    As a woman prepares to say "I do," her friends prepare to stand by her side in purple puffy dresses and lavender dyed shoes. In sickness and in health, in velour and in taffeta, in chartreuse and in lemon. As her bridesmaids, they will participate in a tradition that may be as old as...

  • Your Letters

    January 23, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    A Conservative Challenge



    In our studies at Beth Chayim Chadashim's (BCC) Queer Jewish Think Tank, we are not throwing out the halacha, nor are we bending and twisting the texts to suit our own devices ("A Conservative Challenge," Jan. 17).

    BCC and Rabbi Lisa Edwards are at the...

  • Planning Ahead Can Save on Health Care

    By Gaby Wenig

    December 26, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Eva, 74 and a widow, was a healthy and independent woman until she went shopping one day last December and was mugged. She was attacked with a screwdriver and thrown to ground, breaking her shoulder in four places.

    "I ended up on the sidewalk, totally helpless," said Eva, who lives...

  • Cape Town Clash

    By Moira Schneider

    November 28, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    A controversial conversion has reignited a dispute over Orthodox Jewish standards between South Africa's Orthodox establishment and one of the largest Orthodox congregations in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Attempts to paper over the cracks between the beit din, or the Jewish law court,...

  • Ethics and Ironies

    By Rabbi Avi Shafran

    November 14, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    At least Ann Landers admitted when she was wrong.

    And while she may have used a pseudonym, Esther Pauline "Eppie" Lederer claimed only to offer one woman's point of view -- no more, no less.

    Times, alas, have changed, and along with them, The New York Times, whose Sunday Magazine's...

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