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Tag: Meaning

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  • Leaving a Career in Television for Israel

    Joseph Shamash, student at Masa Israel’s Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies

    May 7, 2012 | 3:29 pm

    Born to immigrant parents from Iran, I spent my early childhood in Dallas before my family decided to relocate to Los Angeles. As a student at Hillel Academy, an Orthodox day school, Judaism was a central part of my life, though meticulous religious observance was not. I did not like...

  • What is art good for?

    By Gina Nahai

    December 3, 2008 | 5:49 pm

    Still, the question remains: What, in this world filled with strife and need and uncertainty, is the use of art?

    The planet's on the verge of destruction, entire nations are starving to oblivion, man's cruelty to man has reached new heights, and yet we persist -- writers and...

  • A ‘Clue’ about creation

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    October 22, 2008 | 11:04 pm

    My kids got Clue for their birthday a few years ago.

    I loved this game as a kid. When we started to play, I realized Clue was a great metaphor for creation -- the story of how we came into being, the greatest mystery of life. And like Clue, the one thing that is not a part of the...

  • Defender of Faith:
    Rabbi David Wolpe explains why faith matters

    By Tom Teicholz

    September 18, 2008 | 1:21 am

    If the bestseller charts are any indication, it's become popular to condemn religion.

    Books such as Sam Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation" and "The End of Faith," Richard Dawson's "The God Delusion," Christopher Hitchens' "God Is Not Great" and Bill Maher's soon-to-be-released...

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  • ‘Prayer isn’t boring—you are’

    September 3, 2008 | 9:48 pm

    Jews often complain that prayer is boring. Young people resist going to synagogue -- and older people drift away from prayer altogether -- because they find it to be a chore.

    In response to these oft-repeated criticisms, Rabbi Harold Schulweis once offered from the pulpit an...

  • Shalom Auslander is my failure

    By Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    A review of Shalom Auslander's new memoir caught my eye -- was this author the curly-haired boy who had been my ninth-grade student at Yeshiva University High

    School?

    Reading the review confirmed, first, that it was the same person, though now the curls had given way to a...

  • In Quest for Meaning

    By Judea Pearl

    September 20, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Man is a meaning-seeking animal. Hardly a second goes by in which our mind does not stop its routine activities to ponder the meaning of the input it receives from our senses or from its own activities.

    When faced with meaningless observations, the mind invents its own fantasies to...

  • Can happiness be taught?

    By Amy Klein

    September 13, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Are you happy?

    No, seriously.

    Are. You. Happy?

    You can't answer that question, can you? You know what the first two words mean, but you're not exactly sure what that third word is, even though you use it all the time. "This makes me happy"; "She seems happy"; "Happy Birthday";...

  • Not By Bread Alone

    By Rabbi Karen Deitsch

    August 2, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    "Carb" is a four-letter curse word in the estimation of most L.A. residents. Its nasty connotation came by way of one Dr. Atkins, whose "Diet Revolution" became more widely read than the Bible among many a secular Jew. Seemingly overnight, Atkins' "prophecy" became an orthodoxy for...
  • Silencing Passover

    By David Suissa

    March 29, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    You'll have to forgive me this week if I get all wistful and spiritual on you, but there's something about Passover I need to get off my chest.

    I have a question for my readers. How many of you have been so moved by a Passover experience that something inside of you changed?

    I ask...

  • Unmasking Purim’s vital meaning

    By Rabbi Sharon Brous

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    It's a classic Jewish tale: Just when we feel comfortable and safe, nahafokh hu -- the whole world can turn upside down.

    Megillat Esther, read on Purim, reminds us that history is capricious and life is fragile; that willing or not, we must confront our powerlessness and...

  • Kabbalah boom prompts meeting of mystical minds

    By Brigid Brett

    December 28, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    In Maui, at a New Age gift shop, a woman in a sarong pays for a candle in the shape of the Buddha, a bundle of sage used in Native American ceremonies and a copy of "Becoming Like God: Kabbalah and Our Ultimate Destiny," by Michael Berg. At a Baltimore bookstore, a young man...
  • Swimming in the Holocaust

    By Tom Teicholz

    December 21, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Recently, I attended a screening of "Swimming in Auschwitz," a still unreleased documentary directed by Jon Kean about the experience in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp of six women -- Eva Beckmann, Rena Drexler, Renee Firestone, Erika Jacobi, Lili Majzner and Linda Sherman -- all of...
  • Amy Klein’s bibliographical guide for the perplexed

    September 21, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "To the best of our understanding, God created the universe as an act of love. It was an act of love so immense that the human mind cannot even begin to fathom it. God created the world basically as a vehicle upon which He could bestow His good. But God's love is so great that any...
  • Jews in the Military: High Holidays Under Fire

    By Jane Ulman

    September 7, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Who shall live and who shall die. Who shall reach the end of his days and who shall not.

    Ralph Goodman recited those words in a hillside tent in southeastern Belgium. Warren Zundell's "shul" was a patch of no-man's-land somewhere in North Korea. For Robert Cirkus, it was a jungle...

  • Small Things Add Up

    By Rabbi Toba August

    August 10, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    My friend announced that she was off to Hawaii, and I was surprised that she could afford to go when her job paid a minimal salary.

    "I saved my pennies," she said.

    I know that I often tell a cashier to "keep the pennies," as if the penny is so insignificant, as if it does not...

  • Are You Listening?

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    August 3, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "What's the most important word in the prayer book?" the rabbi asked the congregation.

    The congregants responded with a list of important words: "shalom -- peace," "bracha -- blessing," "Torah -- God's truth," "Hashem -- God's name."

    "All very important words," the rabbi replied....

  • Converts’ Hardships Expose Truth

    By Laura Birnbaum

    July 6, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "My father didn't survive the Holocaust to have his grandson marry a shiksa."

    Alison, my classmate from the University of Pennsylvania who is currently in the process of converting to Judaism, gasped at the harshness of the words delivered stoically by her boyfriend's mother.

    He...

  • God Is Gray

    By Rabbi Karen Deitsch

    June 15, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "This is heaven," I announced Sunday afternoon.

    Cruising the city (the absence of traffic in itself celestial), sunroof open, exposed shoulders browning. Wild poppies glistening, swaying in a soft breeze scented by orange blossoms; singing along to KOST 103.5 FM:

    I can see clearly...

  • Unraveling the Red String

    By Amy Klein

    June 8, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    It's just before midnight, and the Pico-Robertson neighborhood is bustling. Teenagers are hanging out on corners near the pharmacy and suited men and high-heeled women are walking from synagogue to synagogue to attend the lecture of their choice.

    It's the first night of Shavuot, the...

  • The Second American Jewish Revolution

    By Steven Windmueller

    April 20, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The past 20 years have been marked by the single largest growth of new Jewish organizations -- well, at least since 1880, when the first defining period of American Judaism began.

    You can rightly call it a major American Jewish revolution that is now under way.

    This modern...

  • Death by Fire

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    April 20, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The Torah sometimes gives us verses that shock us. You know, the kind that wake us up, make sure we are paying attention. This week, in Parshat Sh'mini, we find such a verse. The story of Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aaron who die a tragic death at the hand of God for supposedly...

  • ‘We Will Remember Your Story’

    By Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

    April 20, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Following is an excerpt from remarks Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered last year as part of a benefit dinner for March of the Living at the Beverly Hilton. Organizers at the event presented the governor with an award for his support.

    I am so honored to receive this award, an...

  • Food for Thought

    By Rabbi Daniel Greyber

    April 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Vica is tall, blonde and Jewish. She is my interpreter.

    It's February 2005 and I am in Vilna, Lithuania, at the Baltics Limmud Conference. I am here as part of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles' strategic partnership with the Baltics communities to teach subjects as...

  • Throw a Party With a Purpose

    By Sharon Duke Estroff

    April 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "I'll call your bet and raise you two," the sequin-clad woman said.

    "Go for it," I said, only to see my winnings swept up moments later by a poker-faced dealer.

    "You may have won this round," I told my chip-hauling opponent. "But just wait until after the Motzi!"

    Having one son...

  • PASSOVER: Modern Causes Add Meaning to Seder

    By Amy Klein

    April 6, 2006 | 8:00 pm

     

    What is your personal Egypt this year? What do you talk about at the Passover seder when you consider freedom? Passover is a time for remembrance, but it is also a time for making memories relevant, and at many seders in Los Angeles, there is a practice of incorporating...

  • PASSOVER: Try to Avoid Asking the Fifth Question

    By Rabbi Stewart L. Vogel

    April 6, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    While there are only four questions posed in the haggadah, most seders struggle with the unasked fifth question, "When are we going to eat?" It is asked, not only by hungry children, but also by adults who feel disconnected to the rituals of their ancestors. As if reenacting the...

  • A Tenuous Claim as a Jew for Jesus

    By David Klinghoffer

    March 30, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Here is an interesting tidbit: The world's top "Jew for Jesus" is, by ancestry, a non-Jew. Fancy that.

    You know Jews for Jesus, the lovable San Francisco-based organization that uses the appeal of Jewish kinship to introduce Jews to "Y'shua ha Mashiach" (Jesus Christ). Its executive...

  • Hineni

    By Rabbi Anne Brener

    March 23, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    I expected to be dealing with an empty nest when my daughter started college. I projected my availability to friends who had yielded my attention during my childrearing years. I dragged writing projects onto my computer's desktop to await the plane ride from NYU to the rest of my...

  • Parental Values Do Influence Children

    By Ian Russ

    February 23, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    It was 12:45 a.m. on a Sunday, and my 14-year-old son and I were returning from a rap concert. It wasn't my kind of music, but the entertainers were talented, and it had been fun dancing along with the concert crowd. The occasion also gave my son and me time for one of our many small...

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