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Jewish Journal

Tag: Jewish Tradition

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  • When Saying Nothing is Worse Than Saying “No!”

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    April 11, 2013 | 7:24 am

    I try and return every phone call and email that comes to me within 24 hours. Sometimes it takes a bit longer if my schedule is tight or I have not checked messages. Sometimes, I confess, I deliberately do not return a call or email when I suspect that the incoming message is so...

  • G-d is pissed! A Shameful Way to Treat Our Dead!

    By LiAmi Lawrence

    April 10, 2013 | 6:25 pm

    Jewish tradition gives us specific instructions to have respect for the dead to watch over and clean their bodies, to sit shiva, say Kaddish and to remember the departed. In Los Angeles however, our rabbis and community leaders obviously missed that lesson in the Talmud because...

  • In Each Generation…

    By Nolan Lebovitz

    March 21, 2013 | 11:19 pm

    This past week, I witnessed an almost certain miracle.  My one and a half year old son has never been willing to wear a Kippah (yarmulke) during religious services or even for thirty seconds during the blessing over the wine.  Sometimes people at shul point it out to me, as if I...

  • What we need now: Jewish leadership driven by ethical imperatives

    March 18, 2013 | 3:57 am

    Jewish leadership has a distinct advantage over all other kinds of leadership. Our advantage is that we are inspired by and can be driven by the ethical force of Jewish tradition. Our other advantage is that we can learn from many models of leaders who transformed societies and...

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  • Steipler Rav & Kapishnitzer Rebbe - Loving Family through Acts of Kindness

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    February 28, 2013 | 5:39 pm

    In the Jewish tradition, love is considered to be more of an action than an emotion. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik wrote:


    The Bible spoke of the commandment to love one’s neighbor (Leviticus 19:18). However, in Talmudic literature, emphasis was placed not only upon...

  • A Blessing for Hitler? May His Memory Be Eradicated

    By Pini Herman

    January 25, 2012 | 10:47 am

    Demographers are always looking for classifications and categories.  I mistakenly assumed, as many sons do, that because of what I thought were some unique circumstances, my mom was in a class by herself. Pondering about it, I also wondered how, using Jewish standards, how at the...

  • Where’s the Passover story?

    By David Suissa

    April 17, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    It's one of the great mysteries of the Jewish tradition. Every year, Jews around the world gather around a seder table to retell the story of our people's liberation from slavery. You can read a thousand articles, talk to a thousand rabbis, and they'll all say the same thing: At the...
  • New haggadahs bring fresh approaches to celebration

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    April 10, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    On Passover, teachers become students and students take on the role of teachers; old and young teach each other.

    "The learning is thoroughly democratic, as befits the experience of freedom," Neil Gillman writes in "The Haggadah Is a Textbook," an essay in "My People's Passover...

  • David’s the singer, he’s the rapper

    By Matthue Roth

    April 3, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Oded Turgeman, director of the new short film "Song of David," doesn't do things the easy way.

    As a burgeoning film director, he applied to Jerusalem's most prestigious film school, with a commander in a combat unit as his only prior life experience. Then he moved to America to...

  • Cry of the Leper

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    April 3, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    What do we do with the things that frighten us most? Sometimes we have the will to overcome that which we wish we could run from, choosing not to hide away in the safety of our own bubble. We have the courage to face the demons, either personal or communal; we stare down the fear and...
  • The human touch of Harold Kushner

    By Ben Harris

    March 20, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    At 72, Rabbi Harold Kushner, the best-selling author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People," leads a life that most of his rabbinic colleagues can only dream of.

    Having left the full-time rabbinate more than two decades ago, his days are largely spent writing and lecturing -- or...

  • Yesterday’s Ashes

    By Rabbi Dan Shevitz

    March 20, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    What do you do with yesterday's holiness?

    Everything has a shelf life, even holiness. Only God is eternal. Ancient forms and rituals give way to new interpretations. The Tent of Meeting gave way to the Mishkan, which in turn gave way to the Temple and, later, the synagogue....

  • Advertise joys of Judaism to others during simcha

    By Ted Roberts

    March 13, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Bar mitzvah audiences are no longer what they used to be. No more the simple Saturday morning minyan -- a tight cluster of worshippers -- who halfway through the service are thinking of the pickled herring and egg salad to follow. Today in many synagogues, the ceremony has all the...
  • Identity and connection spur more adult b’nai mitzvah

    By Peter L. Rothholz

    March 13, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Norma Glickman wanted to make her own Jewish identity more meaningful. Her husband had studied to become an adult bar mitzvah, and after his death, she felt it would be a tribute to him to follow his example and become a bat mitzvah. When Glickman, 79, completed her study at Temple...
  • Finding the sacred in the mundane

    By Amy Klein

    February 14, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    My grandparents were not big readers. Their English was slightly accented but fluent -- they both left Poland in their early teens and came to America in the 1920s. But like many Orthodox Jews of their generation, when they had "leisure" time (although I'm not sure they knew the...
  • But Mom, I don’t want a bar mitzvah!

    By Amy Hirshberg Lederman

    January 10, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    I saw the blinking light on my answering machine and listened to the frantic voice of my girlfriend, Debbie, as I put the groceries away.

    "Heeeeeelp! Jason says he doesn't want to do his bar mitzvah anymore. We've got the date and the place, I've hired the DJ and he's already begun...

  • ‘Mixed’ marriages lose stigma among Iranians

    By Karmel Melamed

    December 13, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    If Arash Saghian's recent marriage had taken place in the late 1980s or early 1990s, he would likely have faced ostracism from Los Angeles' Iranian Jewish community. The family of the 25-year-old businessman might have also frowned upon the match, all because his spouse Maya was...
  • In search of . . . Chanukah gelt

    By Amy Klein

    November 29, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    My family didn't do Chanukah presents.

    Each year, as winter barraged us in Brooklyn -- mean, wet sleet, mounds of blackened snow -- Chanukah snuck in, to warm our homes. Twenty-five years ago, the American holiday marketing blitz had hardly begun: There were still quiet moments...

  • Eight ways to <font color = 'green'>help heal the Earth</font> on Chanukah

    By Rabbi Arthur Waskow

    November 29, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    There are three levels of wisdom through which Chanukah invites us to address the planetary dangers of the global climate crisis -- what some of us call "global scorching," because "warming" seems so pleasant, so comforting.

    We can encode these three teachings into actions we take...

  • Right or Righteous?

    By Rabbi Debra Orenstein

    November 29, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Have you ever dealt with someone who insisted s/he was right -- even smugly so -- while actually being objectively, measurably and completely wrong?

    Now, let me ask a tougher question: Have you ever been that person? If so, you are in good -- and plentiful -- company.

    In this...

  • Family’s tale recounts Libyan Jewish dispersion

    By Danielle Berrin

    November 29, 2007 | 7:00 pm


    The trailer
    "Any time you have a community that is erased, it's a tragedy not only for the community but for humanity."

    The opening line from the documentary "The Last Jews of Libya" begins a nostalgic visit to an ill-fated community of 25,000 people living between the...

  • Individual choice challenges communal commitments

    By Jacob Schacter

    November 15, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    In 1985, Robert Bellah co-authored a book titled "Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life," which highlighted the centrality

    of personal autonomy and individual choice in the United States. As an example of this widespread phenomenon, he described a nurse,...

  • Authors explain Jewish influences on their works

    By Anita K. Kantrowitz

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    The Jewish Journal invited writers who will be featured at Sunday's Festival of Books to answer the simple, essential question that every Jewish writer is often asked: "What Jewish sources -- ideas, writings, traditions -- inspire you, and how do they show up in your work?"

    The...

  • Tikkun for which olam?

    By David Suissa

    November 1, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    If you want to be popular in the Jewish world today, just say tikkun olam. Everywhere you go it seems that Jews of all stripes are jumping on this universal bandwagon.

    It's not just the Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, secular, progressive and humanistic groups. Many...

  • We have the right to an indivisible Jerusalem

    By Rabbi Dov Fischer

    November 1, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky invites a forthright open dialogue, a conversation about Jerusalem. Contemplating Israeli talks with those governing the autonomous Arab enclaves of Judea and Samaria -- Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestine Authority -- Rabbi Kanefsky writes that it is time for us to...
  • Crocs rule as Yom Kippur shoe

    October 4, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Like many High Holy Days worshipers, Andrew Steinerman had traditionally dealt with the Yom Kippur prohibition on wearing leather footwear by turning to Converse's classic Chuck Taylor high-top canvas basketball shoe.

    Not anymore. This year the prominent Wall Street analyst sported a...

  • Women’s commentary offers alternative take on Torah

    By Amy Klein

    October 4, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    In 1992, Cantor Sarah J. Sager was struggling with the biblical story of the binding of Issac when, suddenly, she had an idea.

    "As I thought about the horrifying image of Abraham with his arm uplifted against his son, I suddenly thought about Sarah. For the very first time, it...

  • Sukkot Man

    By Rob Eshman

    September 20, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    I have perfectly normal, respectable friends -- doctors, producers, financiers -- who every year slip into something more comfortable and head down to Burning Man.

    About 25,000 gather for one week each year in Nevada's Black Rock Desert to create "an experimental community"...

  • A Gift Ignored

    By William Goldstein

    September 20, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    The Master of the Universe has given us a gift that can connect us to the spiritual world, the one that exists beyond our physical reality. That gift is music, yet, sadly, most synagogues ignore the spiritual power of highly organized art music, the form many refer to as "classical...
  • Chart a new course with these spiritual guides for the New Year

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    September 13, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    As we think about rewriting our personal narratives in the New Year, adding new pages and chapters, several new books inspire new visions, renewed creativity and new relationships between the calendar and a sense of holiness.

    Beautifully rendered in a poetic and sensitive...

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