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  • The five stones of truth

    2 weeks ago

    "Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine."   1 Samuel 17:40.

    Two armies faced each other more than two millennium ago. The Israelites were...

  • Escorting a Soul

    By Diana Emuna

    3 weeks ago

    My friend’s mother died this week.  The world is a little less friendly, less warm and less kind without her.   She was a lady who had a warm smile and was lovely to talk to.

    When a parent of a friend dies, I think of my own experience.  My dad died when I was a teenager.  He...

  • The Jew, the Copt and the Yazidi

    By Gina Nahai

    March 4, 2015 | 11:30 am

    I’ll get to those three in a minute but first, let me tell you what a Muslim friend said to me a couple of months ago. He’s an Iranian-born reporter who lives and works in the United Kingdom — one of the many used-to-be-Muslims who gave up religion once the mullahs took over in...

  • The Jewish Response to a Cheap Dress

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    February 28, 2015 | 3:57 pm

    Did you see blue-and-black, or were you in the white-and-gold camp?  Was your family as polarized as mine?

    I can't help it.  I am a Jewish doctor.  What seems to be a trivial, yet highly popular discussion on social media about the true colors of this $70 dress, keeps me up at...

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  • Yizkor for Khojaly: Sharing Sorrow and Hope

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    February 24, 2015 | 3:21 pm

    On February 21-22, Pico Shul, our newly established spiritual community in Los Angeles, organized a “Solidarity and Commemoration Weekend” with local Azerbaijanis and the Consulate of the Republic of Azerbaijan. These are some of my reflections.

    On the world stage, Jews and...

  • How Jewish Students Abroad Can Face Rising Anti-Semitism: Coming Together

    By Alex Jakubowski

    February 20, 2015 | 10:44 am

    Despite rising anti-Semitism across the European continent, over the past few weeks nearly 10,000 American-Jewish students arrived in London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and other cities across the European Union to begin their study-abroad experience. For many students, their time abroad...

  • Denmark revisited: Hatred and violence in the ‘Righteous among the Nations’

    February 17, 2015 | 11:10 am

    “One of the world’s most attractive nations for immigrants and tourists alike has become a very dangerous place for the Jews.” Giulio Meotti, “Expose: Denmark Unsafe for Jews.” Arutz Sheva, Israeli National News, May 2013

    Did Shakespeare get it all wrong?

    “Something is rotten...

  • Why They Hate the Jews

    February 9, 2015 | 12:35 pm

    Just a day after twelve people were gunned down in a Paris newspaper office, an additional gunman walked into a kosher supermarket and slaughtered four Jewish men. All of this in the name of Islam. I was saddened to the core, but this was still no surprise to me. That after the...

  • Israel’s Loyal Druze Minority-and the Racist Beating of Tommy Hassoun

    By LiAmi Lawrence

    February 2, 2015 | 4:48 am

    The savage beating of 21-year-old Israeli Druze, Tommy Hassoun, two weeks ago by a group of eight young religious Jews brings a shameful issue to the forefront of public discussion: Israel's treatment of its loyal Druze minority. Adherents of a secret religion that is an offshoot...

  • ‘Selma’ forgot the Jews

    January 30, 2015 | 1:27 pm

    Don’t get me wrong: Selma is an important movie. It’s worth seeing. It shines much-need light on the Civil Rights Movement, focusing on the pivotal 54-mile march from the city of Selma to Montgomery, the capital of Alabama.

    But it forgets the Jews.

    Just look at the photos from...

  • Inernational Holocaust Remembrance Day 2015 - WATCH some of the most outrageous Holocaust deniers

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    January 30, 2015 | 12:09 pm

    Typing the word "Holohoax" on YouTube reveals a world of hundreds of Holocaust denial videos. Hateful people spend hours, days and even years to develop conspiracy theories that supposedly prove the Holocaust never existed, or that it did occur, but it was nothing like history...

  • European Jews, Iranian Jews and Exodus.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    January 28, 2015 | 11:26 am

    In the darkness of escalating anti-Semitism, so much has been written on why European Jews should leave.

    There is comfort in the familiar, even when abusive, even when painful.  It’s nearly impossible to understand the lure of wishing to stay oppressed.

    Yet, Exodus is the story...

  • My Father’s Story and Martin Luther King Jr.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    January 19, 2015 | 7:46 am

    My father was a mining engineer.  He lost his father at an early age and assumed the role of a father to his younger siblings and the bread winner to his family.  He climbed his way up to the highest level a Jew had ever achieved as an engineer in Iran.  He was trusted by the...

  • Echoes of Selma: Angeleno recalls Alabama summer of ‘65

    January 13, 2015 | 3:36 pm

    How big of a “We” were the Jews in “We shall overcome”?

    Since the nationwide release of “Selma” a week before the national holiday commemorating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., I have wondered about the extent of Jewish participation in the civil rights movement. Was it just the...

  • What “Charlie” knows

    By Diana Emuna

    January 11, 2015 | 6:43 am

    Stephane Charbonnier of Charlie Hebdot was unafraid. Charlie Hebdot published cartoons that made fun of Christians, Jews and Muslims.  Charbonnier said  he would rather “die on his feet than live on his knees.”  He and his colleagues knew the risks.  They were threatened and their...

  • Do you miss Christmas?

    By Diana Emuna

    December 24, 2014 | 10:32 am

    “Do you miss Christmas?”  There is a widely held belief among born Jews that converts mourn over the loss of Christmas.  We miss the love; the Hallmark finery and the family get togethers. 

    I will be honest.  I don’t miss it.  I like the glitter and lights, but I don’t dwell on...

  • Merry Christmas!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    December 24, 2014 | 7:45 am

    Not “happy holidays.”  It’s Christmas!  I don't like tofu wishes; I wish for flavor and truth.

    This is the holiest day of the Christian calendar.  I would not want someone wishing me “happy holidays” for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

    As a child in Iran, I attended the French...

  • ‘What have blacks ever done for Jews?’:  Answering the question

    December 18, 2014 | 12:20 pm

    Except for the absence of Ramadan which is half a year away, this season’s  convergence of Christmas and Hanukkah with Kwanzaa (meaning “first fruits of the harvest” in Swahili) makes it such a great time to invoke the ecumenical spirit—especially among African Americans and Jews....

  • Snow is for everyone

    December 16, 2014 | 9:16 am

    When my son, Moses, was 4 years old, he said to me one December day, “Papa, can be pretend that we are Christians?” 

    “Hmmm, Moses,” I replied, with exaggerated casualness, “why do you want that?” 

    Moses: “because I want to make a snowman and play in the snow.” 

    Oh my poor,...

  • Why would a nice girl like you want to become a Jew?*

    By Diana Emuna

    December 13, 2014 | 11:46 pm

    From the time I was little, I wanted to be a part of the Jewish people.  I have no deep reasoning for that.  I found out about the Jews at Sunday school, and knew that is where I belonged.  The stork dropped me off at the wrong house. 

    In our home, there was no mention of Jews...

  • Jews devoted to hurting Jews

    By Dennis Prager

    December 10, 2014 | 2:43 pm

    We Jews produce many wonderful people. We also produce a uniquely large number of people who devote their lives to hurting their own people. 

    The Jewish communists in the Soviet Union who helped the state oppress Jews and suppress Judaism are a well-known example. But in our...

  • Israeli president criticizes divisive Jewish nation-state bill

    November 26, 2014 | 3:36 pm

    Israel's president has said a bill promoted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that would anchor in law the status of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people runs counter to its founding fathers' vision of equality for Arab citizens.

    The bill comes at a time of high...

  • Welcoming the stranger

    November 25, 2014 | 1:34 pm

    On almost every emerging issue of public policy, our community asks the same question, either in audible or hushed voices: “Is it good for the Jews?” In the matter of President Barack Obama’s recent decision to defer and sideline prosecutions that might have resulted in the...

  • Analysis: Why the Temple Mount is at the heart of Jerusalem strife

    November 19, 2014 | 2:21 pm

    The murders of four rabbis on Nov. 18 during morning prayers at a Jerusalem synagogue — a police officer also died of his injuries — could throw a wrench into the results of the Nov.13 summit in Amman that brought together Secretary of State John Kerry, Prime Minister Benjamin...

  • L.A.’s Jews and Muslims partner in ‘twinning’ events

    By Ryan Torok

    November 19, 2014 | 1:17 pm

    When Jews and Muslims came together for a “twinning” event on Nov. 16, the Pico Union Project was filled with jamming, rapping, rhetoric, dancing and more.

    “It’s the only way we will ever find peace — through the arts and dialogue. So this is a really good start,” Genie Benson,...

  • Ten Lessons Learned from a Rabbi’s Murder.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    November 19, 2014 | 9:00 am

    1- The world is random.  No amount of holiness or payer can save a pious man from random evil.  Rabbi Moshe Twersky was a teacher of American students in Israel. His grandfather, had ordained 2,000 rabbis. His father, Rabbi Isadore Twersky, was a prominent American-Jewish leader,...

  • The Case for Judaism for Jews Who Don’t Care About Being Jewish

    By Tamara Shayne Kagel

    November 12, 2014 | 2:20 pm

    I was in high holiday services this year next to the same friend I always go to high holiday services with. We were with our families back at the temple we had both gone to elementary school at, repeating the yearly tradition.  When we go back every year and see our old principal...

  • Idan Raichel: Music with meaning

    By Ryan Torok

    November 5, 2014 | 1:22 pm

    For Israeli superstar Idan Raichel, sometimes it’s not the musical notes that matter most; it’s what happens in between.

    Such is the case when a Jewish singer-songwriter teams up with a Muslim guitarist — in this case, Vieux Farka Touré, from the West African country of Mali.

    ...
  • The Khazars and the Mountain Jews: Tales from Jewish Azerbaijan

    November 4, 2014 | 2:56 pm

    Buried deep beneath Azerbaijan’s bucolic landscape lie secrets behind the ancient Muslim-Jewish friendship that prevails in this South Caucasus largely Shiite country. The 8th-century leaders of the Khazar Empire, famously, converted from their shamanistic religion and worship of a...

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