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Tag: Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

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  • Torah portion: Father and son

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    1 week ago

    Communication between Jacob and Joseph was sparse, and the dynamic between them was less than exemplary. The first time we hear Joseph speaking to his father, he is gossiping about his brothers. Jacob does not respond. Instead we are told, “He loved Joseph more than all his...

  • Torah portion: Challenging God

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    September 10, 2014 | 11:34 am

    Does the classic Jewish tradition allow room for challenging God? Our prayers constantly praise and bless God, but are there any sections of our liturgy that formally level an open challenge to God? 

    In one of Judaism’s earliest prayers — the “tithe declaration” — we find an...

  • Torah portion: Light at the end of the tunnel

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    July 16, 2014 | 9:19 am

    The Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde said, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” Many would argue that the Bible is the Jewish people’s ultimate artistic masterpiece. If that’s the case, then Jewish history has been one long journey of “life imitating art,” and both...

  • Strength in unity

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    May 14, 2014 | 10:09 am

    Toward the end of his life, Rabbi Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel, Israel’s first Sephardic chief rabbi, composed his last will and testament to the Jewish people. In what is now considered a classic spiritual document and taught in schools throughout Israel, the theme of Rabbi Uziel’s...

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  • An Old-New Way of Looking at Judaism

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    June 17, 2013 | 4:48 pm

    After many years as a contributor to the Jewish Journal, I am pleased to join the Journal’s family of bloggers.

    The Jewish world is multi-faceted, complex and diverse. Our tradition celebrates the inclusion of multiple voices. Some call us “The People of the Book.” I prefer to...

  • Power of ten

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    January 30, 2013 | 3:55 pm

    Sometime during the 13th century, in a private study in Barcelona, an anonymous author sat and composed “Sefer HaChinuch” (“The Book of Education”). This systematic study of the Torah’s 613 commandments was beautifully written as a gift from a father to his son. In his...

  • Call to war

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    June 6, 2012 | 2:11 pm

    There are powerful moments when life’s experiences bring deeper meaning to the Torah and her classic commentators.

    It was Shabbat, June 5, 1982.

    I was nearing the end of my first year abroad in Israel, and I spent that Shabbat in Haifa with my family. A few days earlier, on June...

  • Parashat Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43)

    December 7, 2011 | 12:11 pm

    Like a good movie, Israel evokes a variety of emotions within us. In fact, the poster for the 1994 Israel Film Festival (IFF) reads:

    “Passion, Triumph, Danger, Tragedy, Suspense, Miracles, Conflict, Ecstasy, Israel.”

    When I asked Meir Fenigstein, founder and director of the...

  • My personal Purim miracle

    March 17, 2011 | 4:13 pm

    It was Purim, 1985. The surroundings seemed so strange to me. From childhood, Purim always meant Megillah reading, noise from noisemakers, loud music, lively dancing, people dressed up in different costumes, lots of good food, exchange of Mishloach Manot gift baskets, and a little...

  • Webcasts: Nessim and Bouskila kick start S.E.C. seminar in Jerusalem

    By Karmel Melamed

    July 26, 2010 | 11:00 pm

    This week I have the unique opportunity of joining nearly two dozen of L.A.‘s Jewish residents who traveled to the Old City of Jerusalem at the Sephardic Educational Center (S.E.C.) and blogging about their 2010 summer seminar exploring the future of Sephardic Judaism in the 21st...

  • Sephardic film fest opens with gala at Paramount; Young Iranian Jews gather to watch election returns

    By Danielle Berrin

    November 13, 2008 | 5:34 pm

    Sephardic Jewish Film Festival Opens With Gala at Paramount Studios

    There's nothing like a red-carpet rollout at Paramount Studios to shift attention from an epic election season to more pressing matters, like Rabbi Daniel Bouskila's plea to fund and build the world's first Sephardic...

  • The Blessing of Bibhilu

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    April 21, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    A book's opening chapter is crucial to setting the mood and aura for the remainder of the book's journey. Likewise, the opening scene of a film usually helps set the tone for what will ensue.

    The Passover seder is both a reader's experience and a moviegoer's. We sit around the...

  • Learning Together

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    June 5, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    In the fall of 1989, I began the process of pursuing rabbinical ordination. Although I would eventually be ordained at Yeshiva University in New York, I did commence my studies as a Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) student, opting to do my first year at the University of Judaism...

  • Rabin’s Funeral

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    October 31, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Given the atmosphere in the Middle East today, it is hard to believe that just seven years ago, on Nov. 6, 1995, a Jewish funeral took place where the deceased was surrounded and eulogized by Jews and Arabs. Yes, this week marks the seventh anniversary of Israeli Prime Minister...

  • Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    January 17, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Although it might seem a little early for Passover discussions, Jewish law does mandate that one should begin studying the Passover laws and details at least 30 days before the actual holiday. This is probably because no holiday requires more detailed preparation than Passover. Most...

  • Who Wrote the Bible?

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    October 11, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    So many people seem to be concerned with the question, "Who wrote the Bible?"

    It reminds me of a story that a professor from the University of Judaism once told me. He was discussing a movie that he had recently seen, and he asked his students what they thought of this particular...

  • Deja vu

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    September 13, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    September 11, 2001.

    This morning, America woke up to the same nightmare that my parents did on February 6, 1985. On that morning, my parents in Los Angeles heard the news that a suicide bomber had attacked an Israel Defense Forces convoy in Southern Lebanon. Reports of casualties...

  • Exodus: A Sephardic Response

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    May 31, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    As a Sephardic Jew representing a heritage of tolerance, intellectual honesty and tradition, my perspective on the recent "Exodus controversy" -- which is not rooted in anger, name-calling or popular "marketplace theologies" which have characterized certain responses in this city --...

  • Fair Weight

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    May 3, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Honesty, morality and ethical behavior -- these are the calling cards of Leviticus, and they are the centerpieces of Jewish behavior and identity. Amongst the mitzvot enumerated in Leviticus 19 (known by some scholars as the "Holiness Code") are respect for parents, charity for the...

  • In The Beginning, There Was Zionism

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    October 26, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Zionism. Remember that term? We don't hear it too often anymore. Many Jews seem uncomfortable with the term Zionism, saying it's "too strong" or it "breeds nationalism." Some of Israel's leading historians have gone as far as declaring this current period in Israel's history as the...

  • Thank Goodness for the Basics

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    August 17, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Dr. Norman Lamm, the president of New York's Yeshiva University, once told me of a professor he knows in Israel who does not consider himself an observant Jew but who insists that his children maintain one halachic practice at home: "Birkat HaMazon" (the grace after meals). Lamm...

  • A Scholar Who Lacks Sense

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    August 10, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    In Hebrew, a "scholar who lacks sense" reads as talmid chacham b'li sechel. In any language, it sounds like an oxymoron. I first heard this in reference to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the former chief Sephardic rabbi of Israel, who this week called Holocaust victims "reincarnated sinners,"...

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