Parshat Vayetze (Genesis 28:10-32:3) Men equate the inability to solve a problem with weakness, so when men are in the same situation they feel that they must solve the problem.
It's a fact of life: Israel's blue and white is a red flag for the fanatics. Wave it, and they are likely to charge.
Our boys have surprised us by some of the choices they have made, and while we might not have made the same choices for them, we are proud of their growing commitment to living wholly, and holy, Jewish lives.
Growing up an observant Jew in the small city of Palm Springs with a Jewish minority was sometimes difficult, but I have always been proud of my Jewish heritage, of who I was and of what I believe.
On her big day, Yael spoke with maturity and depth about the concepts of oz and hadar, strength and splendor, for which the Jewish woman is praised in Eishet Chayil. She explained that this is the kind of strength that springs from faith in God and from the courage of one's convictions.
I hate to admit it, but after decades of writing about Jewish-themed movies, I had only the vaguest notion of the National Center for Jewish Film (NCJF), but executive director Rivo filled me in.
My daughter Rachel is a Jewish American girl from China. She is not the only Asian girl in her school -- there are three, all adopted (two from China, one from Vietnam) -- and she says she feels no different from anyone else. But among the mix of mostly Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews that make up our community, she adds a special spice. And in her own discreet style, I believe she has helped teach her friends to be colorblind in ways that could last a lifetime.
Saul Kroll is a firm believer in yetzer hatov, and the 87-year-old Westside resident translates it into practice six days a week as an emergency room volunteer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Jack Stein taught me about being Jewish.
The hope of the organizers is that the games foster a sense of Jewish unity, awareness and pride among the athletes from around the world. In that spirit, this year's games were the first to feature delegations from China, Macedonia and Grenada.
You cannot spend time and energy wondering where the years went. They are finished.
Seniors must concentrate on now. Enjoy life now. Do what you can within your abilities. Life is precious and good. Tomorrow will come at its own speed.
Day schools are fine for school days. Synagogue is great for Shabbat and High Holidays. But for those weeks when children are in cabins, singing and laughing with friends, Jewish camp is a singular experience of 24/7, full-tilt boogie Judaism.
"Although I attended religious school, summer camp is where I first became connected with being Jewish," said Fred Reisz, a Brentwood attorney and father of two toddlers who was a Camp Hess Kramer camper from 1975 to 1979, then a camp staffer from 1980 to 1985. "I think it's important to realize that these summer camps are 'Jewish summer camps' as opposed to summer camps for Jews; you get a sense of your heritage and it instills a pride and joy in being Jewish."
I asked a young woman in a T-shirt that read, "Psycho Bitch" why she'd want to wear that.
"It's empowering!" she replied, in a tone that left the "I mean, like, duh" hanging in the air.
There's a Hawaiian legend about a pregnant woman who developed a craving for the eyeballs of royalty. Advisers to the king took this to mean that the woman's child would one day grow up to defeat the king and rule all the islands. The king decreed that the baby be killed as soon as it was born. So the woman had her newborn boy spirited away and hidden from the king.
The boy became King Kamehameha, who indeed conquered the islands of Hawaii.
I read this Moses-like story one night, sitting on the balcony of our room at the Maui Prince Hotel.
What a difference two and a half years make. When Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore selected Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman as his running mate in 2000, there was a surge of Jewish pride and support. Now that Lieberman has announced his own candidacy in the 2004 presidential race, there's a surge of Jewish doubt and ambivalence. Why?
The objections to the Lieberman candidacy reveal a nice mix of Jewish fears and neuroses. However, they don't withstand serious scrutiny.
A Jewish president would provoke anti-Semitism. Actually, one of the most heartening aspects of the 2000 election was precisely that having a Jew on a major party ticket for the first time was a big yawn among non-Jews. We braced ourselves for the backlash -- andÂ nothing.
Jewish pride across the baseball world swelled back in 1965, when the legendary Sandy Koufax decided to observe Yom Kippur rather than pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series against the Minnesota Twins.
But the Hall of Fame pitcher proved unforgiving recently, when a gossip item in the New York Post intimated that he was gay. The Post is owned by the News Corp., controlled by multimedia magnate Rupert Murdoch, who also happens to own the Dodgers.
Through a friend, the always very private Koufax, now 67, declared that he would no longer assist any Murdoch-owned enterprise and was therefore severing his 48-year-long relationship with the Dodgers.
I suppose there has always been a division between Jews who are affiliated and those who are not. Two separate worlds. The first wears the definition with pride: The Jewish Community. The second by default or distrust or indifference, or maybe choice, seems to be cast adrift, at least from fellow Jews who make up the "community." Now, with the crisis in the Middle East heating up, with American foreign policy suddenly thrust into the very center of the action, with Europe turning against Israel and European crowds singling out Jews, the question arises: Will the two groups come together, accept a common Jewish identity? On the basis of partial evidence, I would say, not in Los Angeles. Or, at least, not yet.
We are rapidly approaching a momentous occasion -- the 50th anniversary of Israel. It should be a time for unquestioned Jewish pride and Jewish unity. Yet this may not be the case.