Jewish Journal

Tag: Opinion

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  • The Pleasures of Staying Home

    By Mindy Leaf

    September 7, 2015 | 7:12 am

    I was never known to be a "homebody." Home was merely the place where I fell asleep, kept my clothes and took my daily shower. Work, focused activity, real conversations and daily living were reserved for "the outside."

    I was known to employ a fierce dedication at the office,...

  • Getting “The Finger” on Florida Highways

    By Mindy Leaf

    August 30, 2015 | 4:36 pm

    I've always been a safe driver. Perhaps overly cautious (according to my husband) at times, but it's kept me alive and intact ... thus far. A late learner of necessity (former subway-riding New Yorker moves to suburban South Florida), I was never one to glamorize vehicles or thrill...


    By Mindy Leaf

    August 13, 2015 | 12:27 pm

    Our lawn guy — who always shows up at his convenience and conveniently ignores any extra requests (except to say he'll return later, with special equipment, but never does) — has just completed a simple mow job. Upon receiving his payment, he feels compelled to give me a hug.

  • Stop! Don’t Shoot!

    By Mindy Leaf

    August 9, 2015 | 3:48 pm

    Another day, another senseless shooting.

    We bring you this summer's blockbuster season of random shootings in our nation's movie theaters! See guns discharged by madmen in quiet suburbs of Tennessee and Louisiana! (The message may be a rerun, but it's no less frightening.)...

  • It’s a Wonderful Wheelchair Life

    By Mindy Leaf

    July 30, 2015 | 11:58 am

    Americans are known for changing jobs, homes, even states of residence and careers with almost careless aplomb. As they get older, studies show they are more than likely to change their religion or political party affiliation. Still, only a major accident, illness or brush with...

  • Why bad things happen to good people

    By Mindy Leaf

    July 26, 2015 | 6:49 am

    "Why do bad things happen to good people?" is a question as old as mankind and human memory. Though widely addressed through the ages by religious and secular scholars alike, the cause of this obviously unfair situation has remained shrouded in mystery. That is, until now — I think...

  • This is Me (or is it?)—The Facebook Paradox

    By Mindy Leaf

    July 21, 2015 | 5:39 am

    My sole Facebook friend (acceptance required, as she is my stepdaughter) has lately been  "pinning" her life on Pinterest. It seems she's discovered yet another way to collect and display her "likes" and interests ... in place of actively engaging in her life. I could be sounding...

  • It’s All About Me (and Pluto)

    By Mindy Leaf

    July 17, 2015 | 11:50 am

    NASA scientists celebrated a new landmark in space exploration, and human achievement, early Tuesday morning. After traveling for nine-and-a-half years and a distance of three billion miles, New Horizons — the fastest spacecraft ever to leave earth's orbit — successfully flew past...

  • One question for rabbis who perform same-sex weddings

    By Dennis Prager

    July 15, 2015 | 11:10 am

    For most supporters of same-sex marriage, the most persuasive, and certainly the most frequently offered, argument on behalf of same-sex marriage has been that homosexuals have no choice, that they could no more choose to be heterosexual than a heterosexual can choose to be a...

  • A Short Guide to the Good Life

    By Mindy Leaf

    July 14, 2015 | 5:40 am

    This week, I've been dipping into a new/old book on how to live your life. It's called A Strategy for Daily Living by psychiatrist and author Ari Kiev, and was first published in 1973. (And because I live in a bibliophile's house, it was the original, slightly crumbling edition...

  • Only a Cockeyed Cynic

    By Mindy Leaf

    July 10, 2015 | 1:05 pm

    I can point to the moment it happened. The very moment this lifelong optimist became a cynic — albeit (one still hopes) only a "cockeyed" one.

    It happened while listening to BBC news on the radio a few minutes past 8:00 am on November 18. Their headline story focused on our...

  • Confessions of a Jewish Atheist

    By Mindy Leaf

    July 6, 2015 | 11:45 am

    We were seated at a round table at our local Jewish Community Center, awaiting our tax-dollar-funded senior meal, when the man at my left began a conversation (or, shall I say, confrontation). "You know, the first monotheist wasn't Jewish," he bellowed. "He was an Egyptian king who...

  • Not a Fan—a declaration of independence

    By Mindy Leaf

    July 2, 2015 | 10:57 am

    Superhero summer has blasted down among us once again. The past weekend saw some 43,000 Florida Supercon attendees at the Miami Beach Convention Center (established in 2006, it's the largest comic-con-like convention in South Florida). Next week's San Diego Comic-con (the original,...

  • American Football gets an F!

    By Mindy Leaf

    June 29, 2015 | 5:27 am

    Attention all parents! Before signing your kids up for the football team at camp — or during the school year — you must read this.

    And the results are in: Playing football is bad for your health. It's bad even if you haven't suffered multiple concussions — even if you haven't...

  • Starry Nights

    By Mindy Leaf

    June 26, 2015 | 1:24 pm

    It's not every night one has a transcendent experience while taking out the garbage. But that's exactly how I felt several nights running when I was struck by dazzling lights in the western sky. At first I thought this super bright "star" in front of me — more like three stars put...

  • The University of California should stand for free speech

    June 24, 2015 | 12:36 pm

    On the surface, the UC system adopting a definition of anti-Semitism seems like a no-brainer. After all, the University should oppose all forms of racism and discrimination, and have meaningful definitions to guide its policies of enforcement. However, the definition of...

  • I am NOT impressed!—a rant against ‘The Man’

    By Mindy Leaf

    June 24, 2015 | 11:04 am

    I'm generally thought of a "nice" person. At least I've been told so often enough. I'm naturally kind, sympathetic, conscientious about things I promise and like to make people laugh (or at least crack a smile). I treat most everyone I meet — be they the Queen of England (well I...

  • Travels with TOPS!—when every ride is a new spine-chilling adventure

    By Mindy Leaf

    June 21, 2015 | 7:56 am

    It was the thrill ride of a lifetime. With the bursts of speed and sharp, unexpected turns, it left me breathless and hanging on for dear life. The only problem was the sharp smell of alcohol that permeated the mini-bus. And the fact that it was late at night, and our driver kept...

  • Bad Cat!

    By Mindy Leaf

    June 19, 2015 | 5:10 am

    The cat pooped on the couch again, and my husband isn't talking to me. That is, he's only deigning to address me if absolutely necessary, ending each sentence with, "Get rid of the cat!" Does he really think endless repetition will change my mind?

    We've been over this subject ad...

  • What we are, and what we are not

    June 18, 2015 | 9:26 am

    I recently was delighted to meet a former Hebrew school student and his mother at the market.

    The woman proudly shared that her son was active in combating anti-Semitism in his school, reporting swastikas on lockers and publicly condemning the hostility some of them were...

  • Cartoon: ISIS Wants YOU

    By Steve Greenberg

    June 18, 2015 | 9:11 am

  • Reading Yesterday’s News

    By Mindy Leaf

    June 17, 2015 | 10:47 am

    My house has been hit by another avalanche — several actually — of piles of newspapers. We Leafs are members of the idiosyncratic minority who still harbor affection for printed matter of the tactile variety. In addition to our collections of books — shelved, stacked and otherwise...

  • Saving the World—one painting (or sculpture) at a time

    By Mindy Leaf

    June 14, 2015 | 5:43 am

    Once I would have been called an "art groupie." From creating art as a kid to following in the footsteps of my favorite masters--both in technique and training--I allowed art to rule my life. At least for a time, before the hard knocks of reality took hold.

    But I never totally...

  • Price-Less Art

    By Mindy Leaf

    June 11, 2015 | 10:54 am

    A new musician-friend of mine recently handed me his latest CD, which I happily accepted. It was "Volume 7" in a professionally produced series, all available free of charge. I knew I wasn't on his "preferred recipient" list, as his entire output was also laid out neatly in a box...

  • Why does a Jew write for Atheists?

    June 8, 2015 | 11:11 am

    “Are you an atheist?”

    No, I explained. I’m a Jew.

    “Then why are you writing a book about atheists?”

    I’ve run into this line of questioning a lot.

    For the past several years, I’ve worked on What If I’m an Atheist?, a guidebook for teenagers who doubt or deny the existence of...

  • Attacking the messenger and not the message

    May 28, 2015 | 10:52 am

    It is sad that Barbra Miner resorts to the old ploy of attacking the messenger and not the message.

    Yes, I was upset and passionate about the presence of Jews for Jesus, Messianic Jews—also known as Hebrew Christians— and other missionaries at the Celebrate Israel Festival.


  • President Obama vs. the LA Times on anti-Semitism

    May 27, 2015 | 12:08 pm

    The Obama White House and the opinion page of the Los Angeles Times are usually in sync—but not always.  Take for example the recent conflict between President Obama and Palestinocentric UCLA Professor Saree Makdisi on anti-Semitism and how to combat it.

    In a much-discussed...

  • Fifteen answers for Dennis Prager

    May 18, 2015 | 1:39 pm

    All right, I’ll admit it. I believe I’m a progressive, and I’m proud of it. I define “progressive” as “advocating inclusivity and being ready to adapt to changing world conditions.” If that is different from the idea Dennis Prager had in mind, stop reading right now. From my point...

  • Why give Muslims a Pass?

    By David Suissa

    May 5, 2015 | 3:19 pm

    If a Christian fundamentalist holds a provocative conference attacking abortion and two violent liberal protesters show up and start shooting, do we accuse the preacher of being too provocative and igniting the violence?

    If a Muslim preacher gives a nasty public sermon calling...

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