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...
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December 5, 2002 | 7:00 pm
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...
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...
September 5, 2002 | 8:00 pm
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...
September 20, 2001 | 8:00 pm
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...
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...
August 16, 2001 | 8:00 pm
July 5, 2001 | 8:00 pm
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...
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...
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...
October 5, 2000 | 8:00 pm
September 21, 2000 | 8:00 pm
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,...
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...
August 24, 2000 | 8:00 pm
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...
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...
January 6, 2000 | 7:00 pmSince 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...
September 16, 1999 | 8:00 pmRosh 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...
September 16, 1999 | 8:00 pmIn 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...
April 15, 1999 | 8:00 pmIt'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...
April 8, 1999 | 8:00 pm
This past summer, while leading a Jewish Heritage tour through Central and Eastern Europe, we spent Shabbat in the beautiful city of Prague. On Shabbat morning, we prayed at the famous 13th-century Altenu Shul. The Altenu Shul is the oldest existing synagogue still functioning in...
March 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm
They sat like any other family in the noisy restaurant, trading conversation, stories, tales of the day past. But when the waiter brought their meal, something remarkable happened: The conversation stopped, hands were extended and grasped to form a circle around the table, eyes...
August 13, 1998 | 8:00 pm
City of Angels
This invocation was delivered by Rabbi Bradley S. Artson, the new executive vice president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, at the Los Angeles City Council on August 4.
"Jacob's Vision,"18th century Italian engraving....
November 20, 1997 | 7:00 pm
Who was the first Jew? All of us learned in Sunday School that thefirst Jew was Abraham. It was our father, Abraham, who detected thepresence of the one true God and championed monotheism in a paganworld. It was with Abraham that God established the Covenant,defining our identity,...
May 29, 1997 | 8:00 pm
Because of our sins were we exiled from our land, and displaced far from our soil." Thus the festival Musaf prayer expresses the theology of this week's Torah portion: Obedience and loyalty to God brings rewards of prosperity and security. Sin brings exile and its terrors.
For a very...