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Tag: Rabbi

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  • Rabbi Shulweis, Dear Friend and Advocate for the Soul

    By Beit T'shuvah

    2 days ago

    by Rabbi Mark Borovitz

     

    I am Addicted to Redemption in a large part because of Rabbi Harold Shulweis, z”l. Rabbi Shulweis welcomed me into his Shul knowing that I was just out of prison, an ex-con, and a recovering alcoholic. He embraced me and said that I had a place in his...

  • Truth, Transparency, and the Senate

    By Beit T'shuvah

    1 week ago

    by Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    As I am sitting in my office this morning, I am thinking about the Senate Report on CIA torture tactics in light of the principle of Truth and Transparency.

    Question: What is too much information when it can harm others?

    My Response: This is a difficult...

  • Ten Lessons Learned from a Rabbi’s Murder.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    November 19, 2014 | 9:00 am

    1- The world is random.  No amount of holiness or payer can save a pious man from random evil.  Rabbi Moshe Twersky was a teacher of American students in Israel. His grandfather, had ordained 2,000 rabbis. His father, Rabbi Isadore Twersky, was a prominent American-Jewish leader,...

  • Should rabbis talk about Israel during the High Holy Days?

    By David Suissa

    September 23, 2014 | 4:43 pm

    On the eve of the biggest sermon days of the year, a brouhaha has erupted in the Jewish world over whether rabbis should weigh in about Israel.

    “Don’t talk about Israel,” my friend Peter Beinart wrote this week in Haaretz, addressing rabbis across America. Why? Because American...

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  • The Other Why Me

    By Rabbi Robin Podolsky

    August 14, 2014 | 5:31 pm

    So my car was smashed, the other day, with me in it.  I walked away.  Why me?


    How did all of us get to be so lucky/blessed on that day?  An out-of-control van drove across lanes of freeway rush hour traffic, breaking cars, and (to my knowledge) no living being was harmed.

    ...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Devarim with Rabbi Rachel Isaacs

    By Shmuel Rosner

    August 1, 2014 | 3:56 am

    Our guest this week is Rabbi Rachel Isaacs of the Beth Israel congregation in Waterville, Maine. Rabbi Isaacs was the first openly gay Rabbi to be ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary. Prior to the JTS, Isaacs earned her B.A. from Wellesley College in 2005, where she was the...

  • Baruch Lebovits, Brooklyn rabbi charged with sex abuse, gets plea deal

    July 10, 2014 | 2:54 pm

    Baruch Lebovits, a Brooklyn rabbi convicted of sex abuse in 2010 only to have the conviction overturned on appeal, was sentenced to two years in prison as part of a plea deal.

    The deal was approved Wednesday. Lebovits is expected to serve less than a year of additional jail time...

  • The Question of My Life

    By Beit T'shuvah

    June 20, 2014 | 1:55 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    Approximately 25 years ago I was learning with Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man and he taught my class that Judaism is about questions. In fact, he asked us all one particular question: “What is the question that this experience is the answer for?” I was dumb-struck...

  • Obligation to Society

    By Beit T'shuvah

    May 23, 2014 | 11:13 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    I am a Dinosaur. I have been looking at myself for many years now and, as of late, I realize how much my upbringing affects me. I have been looking at the world through both new and old eyes. I use the latest technology and cherish old ways of living. I am...

  • Backstreet Boys and Jay Leno visiting, the IDF improving and more…This week from Israel

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    May 12, 2014 | 12:20 pm

    Celebrating 66 years of independence

    On Tuesday, Israel celebrated its 66th independence day with 24 hours of celebrations that started on Monday night. The streets of every city were colored in blue and white, fireworks lit the sky and famous artists performed on stages set in...

  • Community of Healing

    By Beit T'shuvah

    April 18, 2014 | 9:25 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    Each month we receive the Catholic Agitator, the newspaper from The Catholic Worker, an organization started by Dorothy Day. The main articles always deal with some principle of being loyal to God or, in my words, Being on God's Side. This month was about...

  • Acharei Mot: Cleansing Past Misdeeds

    By Beit T'shuvah

    April 11, 2014 | 11:39 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    My brother Neal called me this morning and suggested I write about a character from this week's Torah Portion. It is the "Ish Ati," the man who takes the goat for Azazel out to the wilderness. Since I didn't write about it in my weekly Torah Drash, I...

  • The Seder’s Innermost Secret—Charoset:  Earth & Eros in the Passover Celebration

    By Rabbi Arthur Waskow

    April 8, 2014 | 9:52 am

    There it sits on the Seder plate: charoset, a delicious paste of chopped nuts, chopped fruits, spices, and wine.

    So the question would seem obvious "Why is there charoset on the Seder plate?"

    That's the most secret Question at the Seder – so secret nobody even asks it. And it’s...

  • So you’ve decided to become a rabbi…

    March 14, 2014 | 2:17 pm

    Dear Friend,

    I understand you’re thinking of becoming a rabbi. Mazel tov!

    Getting into a seminary shouldn’t be too hard. During the decade between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s, four consequential new rabbinical schools opened in America: the liberal Orthodox Yeshivat Chovevei...

  • Seeing Yourself in Torah

    By Beit T'shuvah

    March 7, 2014 | 1:08 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    With the opening of our new space at 8847 Venice Blvd., I have been thinking about how I got to where I am in life from where I was some 26+ years ago. I was locked up for the 2nd time and all I had was a Prayer Book and a Chumash, a book with the entire...

  • Online kosher, extra rabbis for visiting Jews in Sochi

    February 18, 2014 | 11:31 am

    Sochi's lone rabbi has drawn on reinforcements from the United States and shipped in 7,000 kosher meals to help cater for Jewish visitors to the Winter Olympics in Russia, a country where Judaism is reviving after decades of repression.

    Speaking virtually no Russian at the time,...

  • Soul Cycle

    By Rabbi Lori Shapiro

    January 29, 2014 | 11:45 am

    White on White, the Soul Cycle storefront is the Apple Store of Fitness. It glows from within like the “Athletes” emerging from their classes. I call them “Athletes”, although I could have as easily called them “Rock Stars” or “Warriors” or “Leaders” because the walls as I enter...

  • Poem: Sound Advice

    December 4, 2013 | 4:10 pm

    You have to know
    who to talk to:
    choose a dry
    cistern
    so that what is said
    is kept there;
    like the rabbi’s
    knowledge
    never leaking out,
    it will remain sweet
    as water in a sealed pit.

    Bor sud, in Hebrew, is a water-proofed cistern, or sealed pit, which holds all the...

  • Mendel Tevel in Los Angeles jail awaiting extradition

    By Jared Sichel

    October 30, 2013 | 4:51 pm

    Menachem Mendel Tewel, who goes by the name Mendel Tevel, remains in a Los Angeles jail awaiting extradition to Brooklyn. The rabbi and youth worker arrested Tuesday afternoon at the JEM Center in Beverly Hills is expected to be charged in New York with three counts of sexual...

  • Walking on the wild side and returning to the sacred side: Or becoming a rabbi because of Lou Reed

    October 29, 2013 | 1:40 pm

    Word of Lou Reed walking beyond the wild side, never to return, reached me as I was leaving campus, having just finished teaching a class on Modern Jewish Philosophy. As I recovered my copy of Take No Prisoners on my i-Phone and flicking to his 1978 strung-out rendition of “Sweet...

  • Goy until proven Jewish

    October 23, 2013 | 1:10 pm

    “Who is a Jew?” is a uniquely Jewish question. It is a question that epitomizes the Jewish people and culture. It is a philosophical question that embodies the history of Jewish debate. It is a question of belonging that symbolizes Jews as a minority. It seems like a theoretical...

  • Outmoded divorce law a real shandah

    October 16, 2013 | 10:20 am

    The FBI arrested two prominent Orthodox Jewish rabbis and two of their associates overnight Oct. 9 in New York. Allegedly, these rabbis arranged back-alley beatings for men who refuse to divorce their wives. Understanding their alleged crimes requires a short background in Jewish...

  • Pew study prompts spirited synagogue leadership debate

    By Ryan Torok

    October 10, 2013 | 1:00 pm

    Five days after the release of the Pew Research Center’s “Portrait of Jewish Americans,” a report revealing that Jewish engagement is on the decline, speakers at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ Oct. 6 Synagogue Leadership Conference all appeared to be asking one...

  • This week in power: Ovadia Yosef’s legacy and where the Jewish people really originated

    By Danny Groner

    October 9, 2013 | 8:07 pm

    A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:

    Ovadia Yosef's death
    With news on Monday that prominent Sephardic Rabbi Ovadia Yosef had passed away in Israel, it didn't take too long before the debate over his legacy went full...

  • In the family way: Parashat Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32)

    By Rabbi Lisa Edwards

    October 3, 2013 | 4:59 pm

    Word went out from the congregation that a longtime member was nearing the end of her life. She has no partner and no children, but, on the day after Yom Kippur, 17 friends from the congregation came to visit her, including current and former clergy, and grown children she used to...

  • Rabbis urge Congress to back Obama on Syria

    September 6, 2013 | 12:34 pm

    Leading rabbis covering the religious and political spectrum urged lawmakers in Congress to support President Obama’s plans to strike Syria to stop its use of chemical weapons.

    “We write you as descendants of Holocaust survivors and refugees, whose ancestors were gassed to death...

  • A deaf rabbi who listens

    September 3, 2013 | 2:24 pm

    Imagine taking a graduate school class — a small one, with maybe a dozen students — and for the entire year, not being able to understand a single word the professor said. For your final examination, you have to rely on notes compiled from your classmates and pray they understood...

  • Rabbi Ron Li-Paz’s long and winding road

    August 22, 2013 | 10:06 am

    Ron Li-Paz certainly took the long way to the rabbinate.

    The experienced cantor and spiritual leader of Valley Outreach Synagogue (VOS) describes his recent ordination at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California (AJR-CA) as one of the most transformational experiences of his...

  • Not so fast: The difference between ‘doing life’ and living

    August 20, 2013 | 12:50 pm

    We live in a world that values achievement, excellence, hard work and success. There’s nothing wrong with any of these things. In fact, I wish them on us all — on our synagogues and our schools, on ourselves and our children as well.

    But the problem is, the message many of our...

  • Madrid’s chief rabbi: Gays are ‘deviants’ who need re-educating

    August 2, 2013 | 10:15 am

    Madrid’s chief rabbi, Moshe Bendahan, called gays “deviants” who should be re-educated and said same-sex marriages are “monstrous.”

    “Homosexuality is a deviation from nature,” Bendahan is quoted as telling the online news site Religion Digital in an interview published Wednesday....

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