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Tag: Rabbi

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  • Community of Healing

    By Beit T'shuvah

    3 days ago

    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

    1 week ago

    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

    2 weeks ago

    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...

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  • 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....

  • Hospitals and community clergy: A match made in Heaven?

    July 2, 2013 | 2:15 pm

    I remember the life-and-death confrontation as if it happened yesterday.

    An oncologist was trying to deliver painful news to the son of a grievously ill cancer patient. 

    “Your mother is actively dying,” the physician said. “I’m not sure if there is a benefit to further...

  • A South African-born rabbi reflects on Nelson Mandela and the Jewish community

    June 28, 2013 | 4:11 pm

    Members of South Africa’s Jewish community have joined the rest of the country in praying for Nelson Mandela following his admission to hospital for the third time this year.

    As prayers were said for the anti-apartheid hero in churches across the country, South Africa’s Chief...

  • Los Angeles rabbis respond to Supreme Court rulings

    June 26, 2013 | 9:56 am

    The Jewish Journal invited rabbis from throughout Los Angeles to contribute their thoughts and reactions to the Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage. The following is a sampling of what we have received and we will be adding more as we receive more responses.


    Rabbi Ken...

  • Anti-Zionist rabbi blames Israel for his assault in Amsterdam

    June 25, 2013 | 10:47 am

    An anti-Zionist rabbi said he was attacked in Amsterdam because of Israel.

    Rabbi Josef Antebi, 50, an Orthodox Jew who lives in Amsterdam, told JTA he was assaulted on Sunday in the Dutch capital by a young man who “had relatively dark skin and didn’t look very Dutch, or at least...

  • It’s Happened!

    By Robin Podolsky

    June 14, 2013 | 2:58 pm

    Thanks to HaShem and to all my beloved teachers and friends, it's happened.  On 2 Tammuz, June 10, I received smichah and was ordained a rabbi and teacher for the people Israel.  (I guess I'm going to have to rename this blog pretty soon.  Any ideas?)

    Here is an edited version of...

  • David Stav: the Naftali Bennett of the chief rabbi race?

    June 11, 2013 | 12:35 pm

    David Stav, the chief rabbi candidate, had to walk a fine line when he addressed a crowd of Tel Aviv immigrants in English on Sunday.

    Stav sent his usual message: Israel is in danger because of a growing divide between Israelis who are halachically Jewish and those who aren’t....

  • Report: Security guards fail to pursue assailants of German rabbi

    June 6, 2013 | 2:25 pm

    Security guards at a shopping mall in Germany failed to pursue the youths who attacked a rabbi, a German news agency reported.

    Mark Dainow, vice chair of the Jewish community of Offenbach, told the epd news service that six to eight youths, who appeared to be of “Middle Eastern...

  • Helping grads on their Jewish journey

    June 6, 2013 | 11:01 am

    As a Hillel director for the last seven years, I have come to love this time of year. Graduation is the moment to celebrate not just academic learning, but the personal growth and discovery students experience during their university years. Sitting among the friends and family...

  • Rabbis to Boy Scouts: Lift ban on gay members

    May 22, 2013 | 10:39 am

    More than 500 rabbis and cantors urged the Boy Scouts of America to drop its ban on homosexual members when the youth group’s National Council convenes in Dallas this week.

    Representatives of the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements signed the letter, which was...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Bamidbar with Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie

    By Shmuel Rosner

    May 10, 2013 | 6:05 am

    Our special guest today is Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President Emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism. Rabbi Yoffie, who led the URJ (America's largest Jewish organization) for 16 years, is a respected religious leader, public lecturer, and writer. His writings appear regularly in...

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