The biggest challenge in covering the congressional race between Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman lies in determining how to judge the two men and compare their performances in Congress.
This week’s portion bears one of the Torah’s great enigmas. What exactly did Moshe Rabbeinu do that prompted God to bar him from crossing the Jordan into Israel? What was the infraction?
There are powerful moments when life’s experiences bring deeper meaning to the Torah and her classic commentators. It was Shabbat, June 5, 1982. I was nearing the end of my first year abroad in Israel, and I spent that Shabbat in Haifa with my family. A few days earlier, on June 3, Israeli Ambassador to England Shlomo Argov was seriously wounded in an attack by three PLO terrorists. Reactions in Israel ranged from shock to outrage, and the winds of war were brewing.
God awarded the land of Israel to His chosen people, but He didn't just give it to us on a silver platter. He expected us to work for it by draining the swamps, working the soil, planting our crops and, yes, driving out the indigenous nations whose crimes against God and humanity no longer allowed them to remain in the Holy Land.
This is exactly the lesson the Torah wanted to teach us as well as the wandering Israelites. They had to realize that they stood to receive blessing or cursing, Divine abundance or wrath, not according to the prophetical prayers of Balaam but according to their conduct.
Moshe was one of a kind. "None ever rose again like Moshe." At the same time, in very powerful ways, Moshe and Miriam were two of a kind. Their personalities and passions overlapped generously. And despite being separated over decades during Moshe's extended sojourn in Midian, their destinies and their souls remained intertwined. When one of them left this world, the other descended into grief-stricken crisis.
So even if my rabbi's bar mitzvah talk engendered embarrassment and guilt in me, I now want to thank him for challenging me in the way he did that day.
In shuls across the world this Shabbat we will hear five short, simple Hebrew words: El na, refah na lah (Please God, heal her now).
For all those sacred moments, memories and hopes, may we continue to remember God's precious blessings, first conveyed by the priests, then by rabbis, loving parents and many others who all feel privileged to bestow these hopes and promises upon a world that needs them now more than ever.
Three thousand Jews from around the world will gather in Los Angeles this week for the 75th General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities.
According to the Pew study, illegal immigrants add 700,000 new consumers to the economy every year, while legal immigrants account for 600,000. As these illegal immigrants move up economically -- 84 percent of them are ages 18 to 44, as compared to 60 percent of legal residents -- their spending on credit cards, loans and mortgages will help boost the economy.
Passover eez my favorite time of zee year, because I get to start counting. Do you know vat it eez that I vant to count? Here is a teeny veeny hint: 5, 12, 30, 51 – These numbers correspond to letters in this paragraph. Start counting!
A few months ago, I scribbled out a Web site, bought a camera, hired a director, raised $42,000 and embarked on a journey across
the United States.
"I'm looking for true love," I told my father, "even if she's husking corn in Iowa."
It's spring in Sacramento, and that means the Capitol steps are jammed again with protesters against government cuts -- the first protesters to show up in mid-March were thousands of community college students demanding that California taxpayers continue paying the nation's steepest college subsidies per student.
The National Jewish Population Survey, funded for $6 million by the federation umbrella group United Jewish Communities, reported that the nation's population of 5.2 million Jews represented a decline of 2 percent from the 1990 survey, which reported 5.5 million Jews.
The United States Supreme Court has handed down its decisions on the issue of affirmative action. In the cases of Grutter vs. Bollinger and Gratz vs. Bollinger, the court has ruled on the constitutionality of race-conscious programs and their viability in educational institutions across the country.
My friend Lindsay's friend, Michelle, hosted a 30th birthday bash for her friend, Beth, last Saturday night. So of course I was there.
One afternoon, as I wheeled my shopping cart down an aisle of the local market, a 3-year-old riding in his mother's cart came up along the other side. He was one of the students in the nursery school, and when he recognized me, his mouth dropped open, he pointed, and he shouted, "Mom, look, it's God!" My young friend's comment is instructive. We imagine God in the image of those who teach us about God. And we perceive the world of religion in the image of those experiences that introduce us to spirituality, ritual and faith.
A yeshiva outgrew its downtown quarters and moved to the former site of an upstate boys' academy. Finding a boathouse on the property, the Rosh Yeshiva called in one of the rabbis and ordered him to organize a rowing team.