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  • A Little Torah and Chill?

    By Rabbi Robin Podolsky

    2 days ago

    Had the Torah not been given, we would learn modesty from the cat, (to be against) theft from the flea, faithfulness from the dove, and derekh eretz (good behavior) from the rooster who obtains consent and only then has sex." (Eruvin 100b)

    Wait, how many human genders did the...

  • Israel without Hebrew

    6 days ago

    Israel, like the United States, was a nation founded by immigrants. To this day Jews from around the world (or certain parts of it, more precisely) continue to ‘make aliyah’ (immigrate) to begin a new life in the Holy Land.

    A number of challenges await the new immigrant. Brits...

  • Poor Orthodox Brides May Suffer from Losing Planned Parenthood Clinics

    By Pini Herman

    6 days ago

    The targeting of Planned Parenthood has quickly shown it's consequences on poor women in the rise of unplanned pregnancies.  

    While Haredi and other Jewish Orthodox groups often reject birth control, there is one area where Orthodox Jewish brides do engage in an  innovative use...

  • The Kotel compromise: Recognizing there is more than one way to be a Jew

    By Rabbi Laura Geller

    1 week ago

    Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” In the case of the recently announced historic victory regarding egalitarian prayer at the Kotel (the Western Wall), it was...

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  • Mixed emotions about the Kotel compromise

    1 week ago

    What’s the definition of mixed emotions, asks the old gag line: Finding out that your business competitor and rival has just driven off a cliff — in your new Lamborghini. 

    The Orthodox community has to greet news of the Kotel agreement similarly. We can hope that it will bring...

  • The Kotel decision: A Sephardic Jew responds

    1 week ago

    Once upon a time, not so long ago, the Kotel had no barrier separating the sexes. It was an open place of prayer, spirituality and meditation for all Jews. Those were the days when Jews were not branded by denominations. Somehow, this ancient, sacred space was transformed into a...

  • At the Kotel, at last

    1 week ago

    I’m one of those fortunate people who gets to be in Israel for 10 days each year. I meet with the Ziegler rabbinical students studying there during their third year of our program, teach at various yeshivot, interview prospective students and meet with Masorti (Conservative)...

  • Reconsidering Kaddish: Four new approaches to an old ritual

    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    1 week ago

    “Yitgadal v’yitkadash...” the words of the Kaddish have echoed through synagogues for centuries, traditionally intoned by a Jewish man in mourning during a prayer service, with nine other men — at various points — interjecting an “amen.” But in this century, in various communities,...

  • International Holocaust Remembrance Day

    By Ilana Angel

    2 weeks ago

    Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    January 27th marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. 

    Seventy one years later, we remember, and vow never to forget.

    I pray for everyone and everything lost, and for the world today.

    I pray for not only my people, but all people.

    I pray.

    I remember.

    I will never forget.

    I am keeping the faith.

  • Eugene Borowitz, teacher to generations of rabbis, defined dilemma of the modern Jew

    2 weeks ago

    In Ethics of the Fathers, the rabbis teach that we must grant respect and honor to an individual who teaches us even the smallest bit of knowledge.

    For those of us who were the students of Rabbi Eugene Borowitz, who died last week at the age of 91, the obligation is increased a...

  • A dialogue with Rabbi Wolpe

    3 weeks ago

    The first time I heard Rabbi David Wolpe teach was a few years ago in an international convention of Jews, both lay leaders and rabbis, from all over the world. I remember the topic. It was about Yetziat Mitzrayim, the exodus from Egypt. Rabbi Wolpe was dealing with the historical...

  • Spiritual farming with Steven Wynbrandt

    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    3 weeks ago

    In Los Angeles, Tu B’Shevat, the agrarian festival also known as the new year for trees, can easily pass unnoticed; after all, the time when the holiday falls — this year on Jan. 25 — is not one of seasonal change here. Some Jews will plant a tree or lift a ceremonial date or fig...

  • How studying Judaism fits into a Christian university

    January 13, 2016 | 11:16 am

    The first thing any visitor to Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus is likely to see is a prominent, thin, 125-foot stucco tower inlaid with a cross. Probably not surprising for a school founded in the tradition of the Church of Christ.

    Jews make up less than half a percent of...

  • From creation to the end of days

    By Roger Price

    January 12, 2016 | 10:08 am

    When the cosmos was about to be created -- the fundamental forces of nature being unified in an exceedingly hot, dense point and galaxies, stars, planets, even stable matter itself yet unformed -- there was no recognizable space, no measurable time. There was no darkness over the...

  • Jews in the West, Jews on the left

    January 7, 2016 | 10:46 am

    Regardless of the exact rationale, Jews of the West are politically and ideologically different from those in the rest of the United States.

    For more than a century, the American West has held a special place in the hearts and minds of Americans; its allure as a frontier played...

  • Our history of projection: Parashat Va’era (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

    January 6, 2016 | 3:55 pm

    Reading Torah at face value is fraught with danger and difficulty. Recently, readers of this publication have jumped into the fray around Torah and transgender. When columnist Dennis Prager cast his opinion on that most contemporary of social phenomena in the light of our most...

  • From public education to jewish life, the Gilbert Foundation encourages collaboration over competition

    By Aron Chilewich

    January 6, 2016 | 3:04 pm

    The seeds of the Southern California College Access Network (SoCal CAN), an alliance of more than 60 organizations working to support college access and completion among the region’s disadvantaged students, were planted more than a year prior to the organization’s founding in 2005,...

  • Raising kids with spirituality

    January 6, 2016 | 11:36 am

    Rabbi Paul Kipnes and his wife of 25 years, Michelle November, know a thing or two about kids. The couple has three children, ranging in age from 18 to 23, who are all off at college. And though their love and admiration for each of their children are clear, they are quick to point...

  • Jewish leaders endorse, critique Obama’s actions to curb gun violence

    By Ryan Torok

    January 5, 2016 | 4:42 pm

    President Barack Obama’s announcement Tuesday of a series of executive actions to curb gun violence, including expanding background checks for people purchasing firearms on the private market, prompted an array of responses from leaders in the Los Angeles Jewish community.

    Rabbi...

  • Israel reports record immigration of Jews from France in 2015

    December 24, 2015 | 1:19 am

    A record number of French Jews moved to Israel this year, an immigration official said on Thursday, citing anti-Semitic violence and economic insecurity in the European country as causes.

    France has the largest Jewish population in Europe, having grown by nearly half since World...

  • Israel reports record immigration of Jews from France in 2015

    December 24, 2015 | 1:19 am

    A record number of French Jews moved to Israel this year, an immigration official said on Thursday, citing anti-Semitic violence and economic insecurity in the European country as causes.

    France has the largest Jewish population in Europe, having grown by nearly half since World...

  • More men making monthly mikvah dunks

    December 14, 2015 | 1:15 pm

    Mikvah night has an unusual meaning in the Ozur Bass household.

    As for many observant Jewish women, it’s the night each month that Janet Ozur Bass immerses in the mikvah ritual bath following menstruation. Once she emerges from the water, husband and wife may resume the physical...

  • Why the Saudis are just like Trump

    December 14, 2015 | 11:08 am

    The online bickering between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his fellow billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal over Trump’s proposal to ban Muslim immigration is seeped with irony: For decades, Saudi Arabia has had a near-total ban on granting visas to...

  • A response to the Washington Post’s “five myths about Hanukkah”

    By Jared Sichel

    December 10, 2015 | 2:01 pm

    Below is a letter to the editor that I submitted to the Washington Post on Dec. 5 regarding its recent article, "Five myths about Hanukkah," written by Jennifer Bleyer, a senior editor at Psychology Today. I haven't heard back from them, so I'm assuming they don't plan to publish...

  • Torah and The LGBT Community: Why Prager is Wrong!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    December 10, 2015 | 10:33 am

    Dennis Prager’s column “The Torah and the transgendered” is flawed from the start.  Most Jews DO believe that the Torah is a Divine document- but not one written entirely by God.  Most Jews believe that the Torah is a holy guide, one that was written by some inspired interaction...

  • The Religious Brains exchange, part 3: ‘The shrinking of ‘the God of the gaps’ is not a problem’

    By Shmuel Rosner

    December 9, 2015 | 4:02 am

    Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger is the leader of the Beth-El Congregation in Fort Worth, Texas, an adjunct faculty member at Brite Divinity School and has served as the Jewish co-chair of the Texas Conference of Churches' Jewish-Christian Forum. Rabbi Mecklenburger was ordained at the...

  • Jews against Trump

    By Rob Eshman

    December 8, 2015 | 4:51 pm

    In ways direct and subtle, the Jews of America and the Jews of France, the Jews of the left and the Jews of the right, the Jews of the Reform movement and the Jews of the Orthodox movement, have sent Donald J. Trump a message: Feh.

    “Feh” is a Yiddish expression of disgust.  And...

  • Letters to the Editor: Responses to Dennis Prager’s column on ‘the Torah and the transgendered’

    December 8, 2015 | 2:23 pm

    The following letters are reponses to Dennis Prager's Dec. 4 column, "The Torah and the transgendered."

    Read Dennis Prager's Response

    We are 235 members of the synagogue that Dennis Prager referred to but did not identify: Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center (PJTC).

    When PJTC...

  • Why I hired a Belgian butcher to circumcise my son

    November 30, 2015 | 1:33 pm

    They warn you that parenting means doing a bunch of stuff you never imagined yourself doing.

    I had always assumed this applied to saying to children things like, “You watch your tone of voice, young lady” or, “Let’s not eat things we find in our underwear.”

    But in my case, the...

  • The Religious Brains exchange, part 2: ‘All God-talk is metaphorical, inexact and incomplete’

    By Shmuel Rosner

    November 25, 2015 | 4:05 am

    Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger is the leader of the Beth-El Congregation in Fort Worth, Texas, an adjunct faculty member at Brite Divinity School and has served as the Jewish co-chair of the Texas Conference of Churches' Jewish-Christian Forum. Rabbi Mecklenburger was ordained at the...

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