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  • Jewish Values Guide Marine’s Life in Iraq

    By Rabbi Mordecai Finley, Ph.D.

    August 7, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    We lost e-mail contact with our son, Kayitz, when he and his Marine unit disembarked from their ship on Feb. 24. From just about the beginning of the Iraq War, though, we knew what he was going through.

    Though incessant Internet searches, I found two reporters embedded in his unit,...

  • Jews on the Warship

    By Janine Zacharia

    March 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    When I first packed for my trip as "embedded press" aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt -- one of five navy aircraft carriers deployed for war in Iraq -- I decided to throw a Megillah in my backpack, realizing that I would be on board during Purim. I had considered the possibility of...

  • In Harm’s Way

    By Marc Ballon

    March 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    For Rabbi Alan Henkin, the next few weeks might be the most difficult of his life.

    His son, Michael Henkin, is one of the more than 200,000 American military personnel deployed in the Persian Gulf area. The 21-year-old Army specialist, now in Kuwait, could quickly find himself near...

  • Briefs

    By Community Briefs

    February 6, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    L.A. Police Chief Visits Israel

    Los Angeles Chief of Police William Bratton (pictured with Tsion Ben David of the Israel Ministry of Tourism) placed a prayer in the Western Wall of the Old City during a recent visit to Israel. It was his first visit since 1986.

    "It's so...

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  • Light From Sorrow

    By Irene Brown

    February 6, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    As an aerospace writer, I have watched 87 crews slip the bonds of Earth's gravity and rocket away into space.

    The tension is tangible each time the laws of physics are put to the test. On Saturday, out of the blue, we all learned a cruel lesson about the speed, heat and friction...

  • Moments of Silence

    By Rob Eshman

    February 6, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    There were a lot of moments of silence this week.

    There was the one early Saturday morning when you first heard the news of the space shuttle Columbia's disappearance. Whoever told you, whomever you told, there was that instant of disbelief, that moment when words failed you.

    As...

  • Sadness and Joy Mix on Mitzvah Day

    By Julie Brown

    February 6, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    It was supposed to have been a happy day. Strangely enough, it was. Last Sunday, more than 500 members of the South Bay Jewish community gathered to celebrate our fourth annual Mitzvah Day.

    In this far-flung community, home to about 40,000 Jews, the event has become a time when we...

  • Beth Sholom’s New Siddur

    By Journal Staff

    December 5, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    For some, synagogue choreography is as mystifying as opera. To enjoy an opera, though, aficionados know to review the scenes in a libretto before the curtain rises. Yet the typical siddur prayerbook provides no such guidance. "The prayerbook, rather than help them, becomes an...

  • The Lure of Extremism

    By David A. Lehrer

    November 14, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    As these words are written, Irv Rubin, the national chairman of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) lies in a coma, the apparent victim of self-inflicted wounds.

    Having known Irv and the activities of the local JDL for over a quarter-century, it is an appropriate time to reflect on what...

  • Show Me the Way

    By Rabbi Naomi Levy

    September 12, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Not long ago, a friend of mine called me and said, "Naomi, I need your help.

    I want you to teach me how to pray to God." She told me whenever she goes to shul, she tries to sing along, but she feels nothing. Just words. She said she's been trying to meditate in a quiet spot, hoping...

  • Blowing the Shofar Is a Blast

    By Jane Ulman

    September 5, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    "Go away!" Gabe, 15, yells at his two younger brothers, having been rudely awakened by a blast of the shofar.

    Jeremy, 13, the shofar-blower, dives under the adjoining bed.

    Danny, 11, the instigator, explains, "We need you to play Monopoly."

    Normally, the shofar is not blown until...

  • Something to Talk About

    By Andrea Adelson

    September 5, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Their subjects will range from anti-Semitism to baseball's Ted Williams, from the messianic era to Disney's "The Lion King." The High Holiday sermons of Orange County's rabbis will be both as topical as today's headlines and as traditional as 2,000-year-old tomes.

    Rabbis spend weeks...

  • Holy Day Matchmaking

    By Tom Tugend

    September 20, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    In the closely knit Iranian Jewish community of Los Angeles, just about everybody shows up on Yom Kippur for a day of devout prayer -- and for boy to meet girl.

    More accurately put, it's the day when the family with a young man of marriageable age looks over the families with...

  • Sing a New Song

    By Julie G Fax

    September 13, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Craig Taubman remembers a time not too long ago when he and other popular Jewish musicians were branded as destroyers of Jewish culture.

    "Years ago there was incredible tension. You can't ignore it," Taubman told The Journal from his Studio City home and office. "There were...

  • Counting Our Blessings

    By Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer

    September 6, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Jewish legal tradition teaches that we should recite 100 blessings every day. This presents an opportunity and a challenge. How might I fill up my quota today? The numbers start adding up if I pray in the morning, afternoon and evening. I can recite benedictions before eating...

  • Sbarro’s Aftermath

    By Rabbi Binny Friedman

    August 16, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Erev Shabbat.

    Her eyes, I think, will stay with me forever. Imploring, beseeching, full of so much sadness. I think the shock of where and how she was, was sinking in. I can't begin to describe all that was in those eyes.

    Thursday, Aug. 9, the 20th of Av. On my way to work, I found...

  • Community Briefs

    July 5, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Golden Rules

    Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg returned last week to the Westside Jewish Community Center (WJCC), where he trained as a teenager, to teach young competitive swimmers what it takes to make the gold.

    Krayzelburg, along with former coach Stuart Blumkin and senior...

  • Learning to Listen

    By Ed Feinstein

    March 29, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Abraham Joshua Heschel would begin his lectures with a startling announcement: "Ladies and Gentlemen, a great miracle has just happened." People would immediately sit forward, eager to know what happened. "The sun just went down," he'd say. They would stare at him, wondering if he'd...

  • Happy Campers

    By Steve Getzug

    November 23, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Norman and Lela Jacoby are talking about Camp Ramah again.

    They are playfully finishing each other's sentences, aiming for the right adjectives, the right phrasing to describe a place in Ojai that they say has meant so much to their family.

    Their words burst out like a riot of campers...

  • The Neurobiology of Teshuvah

    October 5, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    As a scientist and a believer in human progress, I have been concerned about how well the established process of teshuvah (repentance) has worked. Yom Kippur after Yom Kippur - in fact, since the 11th century - we have recited the same confessional prayer, "Al Chet." If we were any...

  • Restoring Hope

    By Ruth E. Gruber

    September 21, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    A prayer and study center honoring Jewish life has opened near the place that for more than half a century has been the paramount symbol of Jewish death.

    Jordan's Prince Hassan joined Roman Catholic clergy, Polish, U.S. and Israeli officials and Holocaust survivors in an emotional...

  • Power of Words

    By Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer

    September 14, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Each night before retiring, the great Chassidic master Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav would make a list. At the end of a long day, he would write down all the wrongs he had committed - against other people, against God, against himself. Nachman would read the list over and over again,...

  • Teen Founds Jump-n-Jive Minyan

    By Beverly Gray

    September 7, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Most Shabbat worshippers expect decorum. But Adat Ari El's new Jump-n-Jive minyan is different. Its founder, Aaron Kaychuck, describes the monthly Saturday morning service as "upbeat neo-Chassidic egalitarian." The service is unusual partly because it combines traditional...

  • Small-Town Surprise

    By Peter Ephross

    August 24, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    It's not easy working for a Jewish vice-presidential candidate.

    Early last week, Joseph Lieberman's campaign scheduler was already scratching his head: How could he find a synagogue in the rural Midwest where the vice-presidential candidate could pray on Shabbat and still make it to...

  • My Bat Mitzvah

    By Jennifer Moses

    August 10, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Recently, I've been competing with a bunch of 13-year-olds and coming up short. This is because, as of last month, I've been studying for my Bat Mitzvah, the same event that at one point was originally, if tentatively, scheduled for June 1972. But when I was 12 and my father, who in...

  • A Flame of Remembrance

    By Michael Aushenker

    April 27, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    This Sunday marks the eighth year that the Los Angeles Holocaust Monument in Pan Pacific Park will serve as the local centerpiece of the annual Worldwide Holocaust Memorial Day, in memory of the 6 million Jews who were murdered in Europe at the hands of the Nazi regime. Hosted this...

  • Washington Report

    By James D

    January 6, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Since childhood my father had always introduced me as his "Kaddish." It wasn't until my teens that I realized the implication of that honor. Upon his death 53 years ago, I went to a local synagogue morning and night for 11 months. It was a tiny shul near the intersection of La...
  • The Golan Debate Reaches New Heights

    By Avi Machlis

    September 16, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Rosh Hashanah may be a time of year when Jews around the world pray for peace, but for the 16,000 Jewish residents of the Golan Heights, those prayers were somewhat more difficult to recite this year.

    They know that the price for peace with Syria is likely to be the return of all or...

  • Let’s Celebrate! It’s Yom Kippur!

    By Julie G Fax

    September 16, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    In the waning hours of Yom Kippur, the last rays of sun cast long shadows through the stained-glass windows. It is time for "Ne'ila," the final prayer in a day filled with prayer, when the gates on high, opened especially wide for this day, begin their final closing.

    So still, so...

  • A Psalm for a Singer

    April 15, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    It's tenor time in the Borscht Belt next week. The cantors are coming to the Catskills, close to 400 of them, from Conservative synagogues across the country. With spouses and sundry fans in tow, they'll be descending on Kutsher's Country Club, one of the last of the region's great...
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