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Jewish Journal

Tag: Judaism

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  • Why Vaccinations are Kosher and Required

    By Roger Price

    July 23, 2014 | 10:45 am

    Let’s face it. Sometimes you can deny certain established scientific truths and it does not make much difference. You can, for instance, believe that the Earth was created about 6,000 years ago and life as we know it will still go on. OK, maybe Jon Stewart and certain professors...

  • Talking ‘True Blood’ deeper meanings, sexual healings

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 2, 2014 | 3:39 pm

    Gregg Fienberg, the executive producer of HBO’s hit vampire saga “True Blood,” is nicknamed “Captain Chaos” by his cast and crew. It’s a nod to his knack for juggling myriad obstacles to bring the campy-sexy (and very expensive) supernatural thriller to the screen. 

    Based on the...

  • Torah too R-rated for some Chasidim, so they edited it

    July 2, 2014 | 10:53 am

    For some Chasidim, the Torah is too hot to handle.

    A recently published Bible study guide in use in a Chasidic village in suburban New York omits certain risque passages and entire passages of the Book of Genesis, according to Israeli scholar and blogger David Assaf of Tel Aviv...

  • The Intriguing, Seductive and Ultimately Unsatisfying Anthropic Principle

    By Roger Price

    June 26, 2014 | 10:26 am

    Some believers in a traditional deity deny, or at least are skeptical about, certain claims of science. The issue may be the origin of the universe in a Big Bang, the age of the universe, the nature of the evolution of life on Earth or some other proposition.  In these instances,...

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  • Discussing death: Advanced directives, living wills and more

    June 25, 2014 | 3:48 pm

    Nobody likes to contemplate — let alone talk about — one’s own death or that of a loved one. However, now that medicine has advanced to the point that it can keep people alive, with or without consciousness, long past the stage that they themselves would have wanted to live in that...

  • Arianna Huffington’s ‘Thrive’: Tips, tricks and the Torah

    By Rabbi David Wolpe

    June 25, 2014 | 10:48 am

    Is there a Torah of self-actualization? 

    American tradition, following Ralph Waldo Emerson, puts the individual at the pivot of the world: “When I look at the rainbow I find myself the center of its arch. But so are you; and so is the man that sees it a mile from both of us. So...

  • The Question of My Life

    By Beit T'shuvah

    June 20, 2014 | 1:55 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    Approximately 25 years ago I was learning with Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man and he taught my class that Judaism is about questions. In fact, he asked us all one particular question: “What is the question that this experience is the answer for?” I was dumb-struck...

  • Counting Our Blessings

    By Beit T'shuvah

    June 13, 2014 | 10:41 am

    By Janice Kaminer Reznik

    It seems to me that the greatest opportunity for personal redemption is by playing a role in the redemption of others.  Never do I feel this more strongly than when I am on a Jewish World Watch mission to Darfur or Congo.  This past week we completed our...

  • A Sense of Obligation

    By Beit T'shuvah

    June 6, 2014 | 2:01 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    I have been on a mission these past few weeks to regain my addiction to Redemption. I believe that there is no better way to be redeemed than to remember our obligations. We OWE! How do I know this? I know this because I was taught this by my father, Jerry...

  • Judaism in the time of climate change

    By Rav Yosef Kanefsky

    June 4, 2014 | 11:11 am

    When human life is in danger, Jews stop and pay attention. In fact, we set aside Shabbat and virtually every other law not only when human life is clearly and certainly in danger, but also whenever there is a reasonable possibility that life is threatened. According to Mishnah...

  • Brussels attack arrest underscores threat of returning jihadists

    June 3, 2014 | 2:10 pm

    It was the threat that European authorities dreaded — and Europe’s Jews suffered the first blow.

    The suspect arrested in the attack last month at the Jewish museum in Brussels that left four dead was a French-born jihadist who had returned home from fighting in Syria.

    Now...

  • Terrifying Reality. Spiritual Solution.

    By Beit T'shuvah

    May 30, 2014 | 1:21 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    "I will do everything in my power to destroy everything I cannot have." These are the words of Elliott Rodger, the young man who destroyed the lives, sanctity, and safety of people in Isla Vista, California. What a sentence of terror. What a sentence of...

  • The Romantic Hart

    By Milad Doroudian

    May 13, 2014 | 2:27 pm

     

    It is rather unusual to think of Jewish artists as anything but extravagant or puzzling, yet there are always the rare exceptions, which mind you are a welcomed break from the extraordinary pieces we are usually accustomed to. The romantic Solomon Alexander Hart, whose work is...

  • French Jewish leader: ‘It’s not so pleasant living there as Jews’

    May 12, 2014 | 2:51 pm

    France’s flag has three stripes, and its motto promotes three values: liberty, equality and fraternity.

    Now, its Jewish community — Europe’s largest — faces three threats, according to Roger Cukierman, president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish organizations and a vice...

  • Odessa’s Jews lay low as violence engulfs their oasis of calm

    May 12, 2014 | 12:57 pm

    Although Ukraine has been charting a bloody course toward civil war for months, Irina Zborovskaya had always felt safe in Odessa.

    Living in a cosmopolitan city where hate crimes are rare and a tradition of tolerance for minorities and dissidents prevails, many Odessites were...

  • The language of pleading eyes

    By Rabbi David Wolpe

    May 7, 2014 | 2:38 pm

    “The music of his life suddenly stopped.” So reads a line in Chaim Nachman Bialik’s powerful poem, “After My Death.” 

    My mother’s music suddenly stopped 30 years ago, but she is still alive.

    At the age of 53, Elaine Wolpe, a university administrator, fundraiser and — most...

  • Happy 66th birthday, Israel! Forever yours, Noga.

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    May 6, 2014 | 8:36 am

    After spending Friday nights in Tel-Aviv and calling each other “brother” or “sister,” comes the most recent Israeli trend: leaving Israel.

    It is now THE Israeli thing to do: pack, fly, start anew abroad. This phenomenon is not new, but it has recently become impossible to...

  • When Will Morality Win?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    May 2, 2014 | 3:24 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    What a week! There is the Ukraine, the Donald Sterling Fiasco, etc. We are living in a time that is rife with Moral Issues and we seem to be making Free-Will IMMORAL choices rather than Free-Will MORAL choices. What is happening? I don’t claim to have THE...

  • Israel’s dependence on Daddy Warbucks

    By Danielle Berrin

    May 1, 2014 | 10:30 am

    In human years, 66-year-old Israel should be deep in middle age — accomplished, semi-retiring, with a beach house and ample stock options. 

    But in nation-building years, 60-plus is still young, and modern Israel seems more like a talented 20-something, handy with a tank and...

  • A Decisive Tension

    By Beit T'shuvah

    April 25, 2014 | 2:41 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    I have been thinking about how we live in the tension of the both/and rather than the either/or. Both/And is the state of recognizing the total reality, a way to see the whole picture of living. Either/or is the state of right/wrong, and, in my opinion, a...

  • Living in the shadows – the story of the Holocaust’s “Hidden Children”

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    April 25, 2014 | 8:23 am

    When remembering the horrors of the Holocaust, one can’t avoid thinking about the kids. Jewish children who lived in Europe during the Third Reich were forced into a grown-up perspective on life and skipped the innocence of the childhood. They did not laugh, they did not play, they...

  • My 50 best friends are Holocaust survivors

    April 24, 2014 | 6:31 pm

    “How did you learn to make brushes? Who taught you?” I’m talking to Boris Abel on the phone, trying to fill in some small details requested by my editor of his Holocaust experiences. Boris tells me once again that when the Russians occupied Lithuania in 1940, they nationalized his...

  • DNC chair: Perception of division on Israel within Democratic Party is totally untrue

    By Jared Sichel

    April 18, 2014 | 1:24 pm

    Jewish values and Democratic Party values are in sync; there is no split among elected Democratic officials when it comes to Israel; the rise in anti-Israel movements on American campuses must be fought; and the Republicans are going to give Democrats a run for their money in...

  • Community of Healing

    By Beit T'shuvah

    April 18, 2014 | 9:25 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    Each month we receive the Catholic Agitator, the newspaper from The Catholic Worker, an organization started by Dorothy Day. The main articles always deal with some principle of being loyal to God or, in my words, Being on God's Side. This month was about...

  • Selfie Spirituality

    By Danielle Berrin

    April 17, 2014 | 5:23 pm

    Alan Morinis was an accomplished film producer running a large, publicly traded communications company in Canada, when, one day, his house of cards crumbled.

    “I was selling too many stories,” Morinis told me when we met in a cozy corner of a Hollywood Starbucks not long ago. 

    ...
  • Let My People Know, Let My People Think

    April 17, 2014 | 3:44 pm

    In recent years, in certain circles, it has become fashionable to assert that the Bible is fiction, or that at least key segments of it are fictional. The assertion emanates from two camps. In one of these camps are those who have been described as new or militant atheists. Looking...

  • Thank you.

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    April 16, 2014 | 12:34 pm

    I’m back.


    Last time I was here was the summer of 2011, when I worked as an Israeli delegate at Camp Coleman in Cleveland, Georgia. That summer, I felt proud of the possibility granted me by the Jewish Agency to represent my country abroad, and educate young children and fellow...

  • One Israeli creation for the weekend

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    April 11, 2014 | 12:49 pm

    This week, I would like to introduce you to a beautiful initiative called Budo for Peace (BFP.) It is a registered Israeli educational NPO which uses traditional martial arts to connect and bring together children and youth from diverse social, economic and cultural backgrounds.

    ...

  • Acharei Mot: Cleansing Past Misdeeds

    By Beit T'shuvah

    April 11, 2014 | 11:39 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    My brother Neal called me this morning and suggested I write about a character from this week's Torah Portion. It is the "Ish Ati," the man who takes the goat for Azazel out to the wilderness. Since I didn't write about it in my weekly Torah Drash, I...

  • Ensuring the spirit of halachic marriage

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    April 9, 2014 | 2:26 pm

    Each time we hear of yet another heart-wrenching and infuriating agunah story, we tend to point an accusing finger at the Jewish legal system that has created these circumstances, in which spiteful, angry husbands can cynically abuse the divorce laws to extort and torment their...

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