Jewish Journal

Tag: High Holy Days

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  • Honey isn’t vegan: Cruelty-free Rosh Hashanah

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    September 2, 2015 | 2:08 pm

    When Madeline Karpel was growing up in Westwood in the 1950s, her Russian immigrant grandmother spent days preparing the family’s erev Rosh Hashanah dinner: chopped liver, matzah ball soup, brisket and, of course, apples to be dipped in honey. 

    “It was always served in the dining...

  • High Holy Days: Dreams as sweet as honey

    September 2, 2015 | 10:50 am

    With nothing but shrubbery and fractures of light, the fierce Mojave Desert may seem to lack the abundance needed to sustain a hive of bees, yet it still manages to produce some of the best honey in California. 

    Like the insects themselves, this desert’s sunbeams are hard to...

  • Pomegranates: Deep-seeded connections

    September 2, 2015 | 10:40 am

    When we think about special foods to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, apples and honey always seem to top the menu. But where among the new year’s daily specials do we place that seedy, sweet red ball of antioxidants — the pomegranate?

    Although experience tells us that the fruit’s...

  • A New Tradition is Born

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    September 2, 2015 | 1:00 am

    The mikvah has a long history among the Jewish people. Along with a cemetery and a synagogue, it was one of the first things to be built in any new Jewish community. Examples of mikvaot are found in many ancient ruins of places where Jews used to live.

    However, the mikvah fell...

  • Israeli rabbinical group to host 55,000 secular Jews for holiday services

    August 31, 2015 | 9:55 am

    The Tzohar rabbinical organization will host more than 55,000 people at 295 locations throughout Israel for Yom Kippur services.

    In addition, the group for the first time will host the “Listening Together” shofar program for Rosh Hashanah in community centers and schools.

  • Why join a synagogue?

    August 27, 2015 | 12:23 pm

    Why join a temple? When a b’nai mitzvah or a funeral comes along, why not just “rent a rabbi”? After all, you save the dues and you “pay only for what you need.” The problem, of course, is that in this complex world, troubling news and a search to find meaning, “what we need” is a...

  • Sanctuary@Pico Union looks to engage and enlighten

    By Ryan Torok

    August 26, 2015 | 2:54 pm

    With the launch of the Sanctuary@Pico Union next month, Craig Taubman — the singer/songwriter who co-founded Sinai Temple’s influential “Friday Night Live” services — aims to bring Jewish congregational life to a venue that has not seen any in nearly a century. 

    The Pico Union...

  • My High Holy Days Dilemma

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    August 26, 2015 | 1:00 am

    As we walk further into the month of Elul and prepare for the High Holy Days, we look back over the past year. What did we do right that we want to continue through the coming year? What do we wish we had done differently, and how can we right our past wrongs?

    Our High Holy Day...

  • The Reform movement’s new holiday prayer book is radically inclusive

    August 21, 2015 | 9:28 am

    When some Reform synagogue-goers open up their prayer books this High Holiday season, they will be greeted with snippets of poems by the likes of Walt Whitman and Pablo Neruda. Feminist and LGBTQ-friendly terms and phrases will be subtly incorporated into the prayers, and scattered...

  • ADL preps community for High Holy Days security demands

    By Ryan Torok

    August 19, 2015 | 11:20 am

    The three silent surveillance videos showed an all-too-disturbing sequence of events: First, a shooter carries a rifle into a supermarket in broad daylight; people flee the store and run for their lives. The shooter begins firing at people inside the market before struggling with a...

  • Who Deserves High Holy Day Honors?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    August 12, 2015 | 1:00 am

    In a URJ chat group in which I’m a member, someone recently asked how other synagogues decide who will get honors such as aliyot, and holding or reading from the Torah during High Holy Day services. The answer to this can be a big deal, since these are the services which the most...

  • The few. The proud.
    The Jewish Marines.

    By Jared Sichel

    October 14, 2014 | 2:45 pm

    Sitting at the front of a small room inside a nondescript building at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Navy Lt. Aaron Kleinman was dressed in a uniform rarely seen on these grounds: On top of his gray suit, dress shirt and tie, Kleinman’s head was covered by a kippah and his...

  • Max Webb, one second at a time

    By David Suissa

    October 14, 2014 | 1:08 pm

    It’s hard to imagine how, or why, a wealthy 97-year-old man would make the effort to go through hundreds of invoices for his building company and sign all the checks himself. It’s even harder to imagine him catching mistakes and telling his bookkeeper things like, “I think this one...

  • Sukkot: The most romantic of Jewish holidays

    By Danielle Berrin

    October 7, 2014 | 12:58 pm

    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,...

  • Facing a culture of violence

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    October 3, 2014 | 12:31 pm

    If you know me, you know I love watching and playing sports. I played soccer and tennis in high school, and blew out both of my knees playing daily basketball in my 20s and 30s.  Last week, I brought my Derek Jeter shirt to the second day of Rosh Hashanah, and I have many times...

  • Ghosts in the classroom: A Yom Kippur message

    October 1, 2014 | 9:16 am

    There are ghosts in our classrooms.  Listen closely, and you can hear the generational echoes reverberating. 

    The grandfather of a second grader struggling with math was a renowned professor at MIT. The child who dances at the Kotel on his eighth grade class trip remembers his...

  • Study: Fasting on Yom Kippur doubles risk of premature birth

    September 29, 2014 | 3:44 pm

    Fasting on Yom Kippur in the later stages of pregnancy doubles a woman’s risk for premature delivery, according to a new Israeli study.

    Researchers at Soroka University Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba reached the conclusion after studying the...

  • Two Rosh Hashanah services by Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    September 24, 2014 | 8:59 pm

    Life Saving Judaism:

    A week ago, one of my dear friends from childhood, Camp Ramah and rabbinical school, lost his wife after a courageous three year battle with breast cancer. She was 42 years old, brilliant, successful, witty, cultured and a mother of two young sons. My wife...

  • A Rosh Hashanah rap

    September 24, 2014 | 2:27 pm

    Fifty Seven Seventy Five  / is not the combo of my locker

    It’s also not the age of my Mother to Father 

    Not the goals of Brazil vs. German World Cup soccer

    It is the year of Israel/ kiss the land upon

    when I El-Al’ed her

    Sweet new year / for my future Jewish lovely


  • High Holy Days 5775: Jewish community shares life advice

    September 24, 2014 | 1:19 pm

    As we look inward over the course of the High Holy Days, we also seek wisdom that might guide us forward in our lives. The Journal sought life advice from thoughtful people in our community and elsewhere, including a few no longer with us, all of whose words are worth remembering.

  • Where will you Tashlich?

    September 24, 2014 | 12:14 pm

    I love the annual ritual of tashlich, the symbolic casting away of the soul’s sins. As it involves a body of water — oceans, rivers, ponds — I like to think of it as an excuse for a hike … and a spiritual adventure.  

    The custom of self-reflection, traditionally performed on the...

  • Bargain-store table settings that look like a million bucks

    September 24, 2014 | 11:53 am

    The High Holy Days can be a very stressful, time-consuming and expensive season — especially if you are the host for Rosh Hashanah dinner or Yom Kippur break-the-fast.

    The idea of creating beautiful yet affordable table settings by using items from discount stores was born after...

  • Finding meaning in the ram

    September 24, 2014 | 11:28 am

    No story in our culture is more enigmatic and iconic than the Binding of Isaac, which we read on Rosh Hashanah. The akedah, or “binding,” is found in the 22nd chapter of Genesis and is only 19 verses long, containing just over 300 words. Yet this very short story has compelled...

  • A new look in Israel for Shmita, the year of rest

    By  Orit Arfa

    September 24, 2014 | 11:15 am

    More than 2,000 years ago, when ancient Israel was an agrarian society, the shmita year was a huge national happening. Commencing with Rosh Hashanah, the people of Israel would gather in the fields to partake of the produce left “ownerless” by farmers who, heeding the biblical...

  • Should rabbis talk about Israel during the High Holy Days?

    By David Suissa

    September 23, 2014 | 4:43 pm

    On the eve of the biggest sermon days of the year, a brouhaha has erupted in the Jewish world over whether rabbis should weigh in about Israel.

    “Don’t talk about Israel,” my friend Peter Beinart wrote this week in Haaretz, addressing rabbis across America. Why? Because American...

  • Will the summer of war affect High Holy Days sermons?

    By Ryan Torok

    September 23, 2014 | 4:02 pm

    Every year, synagogue rabbis face the often-daunting task of coming up with compelling High Holy Days sermons.

    This summer’s 50-day Israel-Gaza conflict, during which 66 Israeli soldiers and six Israeli civilians were killed, and more than 2,100 Palestinians died, could make this...

  • 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...

  • The High Holy Days: Something meaningful, or just going through the motions?

    By Rob Eshman

    September 23, 2014 | 3:12 pm

    Most of us who go to synagogue for the High Holy Days have no clue what’s going on.

    We don’t speak or read Hebrew well enough to understand the prayers or the Torah portion. We don’t know why we say the prayers in the order we say them. We don’t like the stilted English...

  • Rosh Hashana: Embracing our elders

    By David Suissa

    September 23, 2014 | 11:59 am

    We are spiritually ambitious at this time of year. We reflect, we repent, we make resolutions. We study our faults and mistakes of the past year and commit to being better people in the coming year. We ask for forgiveness and forgive in return. We listen to brilliant sermons that...

  • Climate change will be the number one issue in the 2034 midterm elections

    By Marty Kaplan

    September 22, 2014 | 4:51 pm

    On the day after the Sept. 23 UN Climate Change Summit in New York, sunset will bring the High Holidays to Jews around the world.   

    On that night, I wonder whether the words of the Unetanneh Tokef, the troubling prayer at the heart of the Days of Awe, will resonate with news...

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