Jewish Journal

Tag: Religion

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  • A new vision for the secular left: How do we need to change ourselves in order to change reality in Israel?

    September 12, 2016 | 2:29 pm

    I am a human rights professional, peace and anti-occupation activist and have been committed to these values for as long as I can remember. All these years, my colleagues and I have been working to change the reality in Israel by removing the blindfolds of Israeli society, exposing...

  • Fasting in the lands of the midnight sun

    August 12, 2016 | 2:50 pm

    Though the summer season in Northern Europe may be brief, summer days here can seem endless because of how late the sun sets.

    In the Norwegian capital of Oslo, for example — which has a latitude that’s just 4 degrees south of Anchorage, Alaska — the summer solstice in late...

  • Memphis Jewish congressman: DNC staffers behind Sanders emails should be fired

    July 26, 2016 | 2:32 pm

    A Jewish congressman from Tennessee said the Democratic National Committee staffers whose leaked emails questioned Bernie Sanders’ religiosity should be fired.

    “For a party to question his religion, or lack thereof, as a way to defeat that person, those people should resign and...

  • Ivanka: Israel’s Chief rabbinate is similar to Iranian Mullahs and does not represent us!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    July 13, 2016 | 6:24 pm

    I’m a proud Jew who loves to shine the Jewish light onto the nations.

    But today, the Israeli Chief rabbinate rejection of this remarkable woman, Ivanka Trump, makes me put my head down in shame.

    Rabbi Lookstein who performed the conversion is a former Rabbi of one of the...

  • The beautiful meaning behind my daughter’s nontraditional bat mitzvah

    July 13, 2016 | 3:57 pm

    At my daughter’s bat mitzvah in May, hundreds of people spread out to form a large circle and, together, carefully held a completely unrolled Torah scroll.

    With the scroll spread out so its entire contents were visible, my daughter found the spot on the parchment where the Torah...

  • Alternative rituals for girls’ naming ceremonies

    June 22, 2016 | 11:11 am

    It’s a girl!

    Now what?

    While Jewish tradition is clear about the ceremony for welcoming a baby boy, there is no set ritual for welcoming a baby girl. In more traditional communities, the father of the baby takes an aliyah to the Torah on the first Torah-reading day after...

  • Tattooed Jews

    By Ilana Angel

    June 15, 2016 | 7:18 am

    Someone commented on a tattoo of mine at Target. We got to talking about tats and I shared that I actually have seven. She told me she wished she could have one, but since she’s Jewish, she couldn’t. I told her I was Jewish and loved mine. Although she tried to cover her judgment,...

  • Obama slams Donald Trump for singling out Muslims

    June 14, 2016 | 2:53 pm

    President Barack Obama lacerated Donald Trump for his calls to single out Muslims and Islam for special scrutiny.

    Obama, speaking after a briefing with top administration officials on U.S. actions against the Islamic State terrorist group, scoffed at accusations this week from...

  • Two questions for Atheists

    By Dennis Prager

    June 8, 2016 | 10:36 am

    I have had the privilege of debating five of the top seven “25 Most Influential Living Atheists” as listed at SuperScholar.org:

    No. 2: Sam Harris (“The End of Faith”)

    No. 3: The late Christopher Hitchens (“God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”)

    No. 4: Daniel...

  • How Jewish are you?

    By Ilana Angel

    May 11, 2016 | 2:40 pm

    I have a clear view of who I am in terms of my faith, but on occasion I still question who I am. Religion is a tricky subject and even though I prefer to only date Jewish men, it has proven to be somewhat complicated.  I’ve dated men who thought I wasn’t Jewish enough, and others...

  • Haunted by History

    By Ilana Angel

    May 1, 2016 | 1:46 pm

    Yesterday I was with someone I care about very much and at a rather unfortunate moment, I had a bit of an emotional breakdown. It was horrible and I find myself rather shaken by it today. I look pretty when I cry, but this was not cute. I could feel the tears coming and before I...

  • The Pew Israel survey: A view from the margins

    By David N. Myers

    April 12, 2016 | 1:40 pm

    Just a month ago, two new reports cast light on the complex and contradictory nature of Israeli society.  The first was the Pew Research Center’s survey of Israel, which exposed “deep gulfs among Jews, as well as between Jews and Arabs, over political values and religion’s role in...

  • David Wolpe, author, senior rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles

    By Jared Sichel

    March 31, 2016 | 11:59 am

    David Wolpe, one of America's most well-known rabbis and Jewish thinkers, joins the show to talk the left/right split on Israel in the Jewish community, the Iran nuclear deal, and his unique (and controversial views) on God and Biblical literalism.

    Subscribe to the Tribal Podcast, here:

  • For God’s Sake…

    By Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin

    February 26, 2016 | 1:12 pm

    There is a bookshelf in my study that I have nicknamed “Amsterdam.”

    On that shelf, you can find the following books: God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, by the late Christopher Hitchens; The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins; Letter To a Christian Nation, by Sam...

  • Do all believers believe in the same God?

    By Dennis Prager

    February 17, 2016 | 8:54 am

    Most Americans, including most Jews — despite the fact that so many Jews are secular — say they believe in God. And around the world, religious Jews, Christians and Muslims all say they believe in God.

    But the truth is that this is largely meaningless. If all those who say they...

  • Branding Conservative Judaism

    By David Suissa

    January 20, 2016 | 11:01 am

    In the marketing world, being “in the middle” can be a curse, because it’s too easy for people to perceive that middle as wishy-washy. That’s why good advertising agencies are so valuable-- they know how to position brands for maximum appeal. Often, the difference between a curse...

  • The rabbinate strikes back: 2015 in Israeli religious pluralism

    December 31, 2015 | 8:51 am

    Two years ago, Israeli advocates for religious pluralism spoke of a “window of opportunity” to advance their cause. For the first time in a decade, the governing coalition included no haredi Orthodox parties. The Knesset’s second biggest party, Yesh Atid, advanced a raft of...

  • Religion and prayer after San Bernardino

    December 7, 2015 | 2:14 pm

    From almost the moment the news broke Wednesday about the shooting in San Bernardino, this tragedy became a debate about religion. As politicians took to Twitter to offer their “thoughts and prayers” for the victims, many responded that thoughts and prayers in the face of such a...

  • The Religious Brains exchange, part 2: ‘All God-talk is metaphorical, inexact and incomplete’

    By Shmuel Rosner

    November 25, 2015 | 4:05 am

    Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger is the leader of the Beth-El Congregation in Fort Worth, Texas, an adjunct faculty member at Brite Divinity School and has served as the Jewish co-chair of the Texas Conference of Churches' Jewish-Christian Forum. Rabbi Mecklenburger was ordained at the...

  • Your Reaction to Islam Will Define Who You Are.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    November 17, 2015 | 5:46 pm

    Your relationship with Islam will define you as a person.

    Once, as a child, I asked a poor gardener who lived in a neighbor’s garage with three sick children and an ailing wife, why he always smiled. I loved his wisdom. I saw him daily, and he never complained. “My son, Allah is...

  • My Grandpa Aghajan.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    October 21, 2015 | 4:58 pm

    Habibollah.  A beloved of God.  Beloved by Allah.  That was my grandfather’s name.  Each time I hear of trouble in Israel, I reach out for his memory as a sinking man to a buoy.

    Habib- the beloved, as his friends referred to him- and Aghajan to me- an endearing name given to...

  • Prominent Arab-Israeli news anchor slams Palestinian leaders

    October 15, 2015 | 3:46 pm

    Arab-Israeli news anchor Lucy Aharish isn’t afraid to take on both sides of her fraught identity. She has spoken out against the racism that Palestinians face in Israeli society as well as against Palestinian violence.

    Aharish, 34, was interviewed on Tuesday on...

  • In defense of Jewish circumcision

    By Dennis Prager

    October 8, 2015 | 11:11 am

    This past week, I was in Miami for the bris (or brit), the Jewish ritual circumcision, of my grandson. It’s a good time to offer a defense of the Jews’ most ancient ritual.

    According to various reports, there are Jews — and not only Jews who have forsaken their Jewish identity —...

  • Muslims, Christians Should Celebrate Genesis as do Jews.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    October 7, 2015 | 9:05 am

    In Eden, there was God, Adam and Eve and no religion!

    Genesis begins with a wide angled view of diversity:  God creates a vast range of living things—fish, birds, cattle, wild animals “of every kind” and repeats “of every kind” with each living thing.

    When it comes to the...

  • Forgiveness

    October 2, 2015 | 2:57 pm

    I was standing with my brother on the top floor of a hotel in Atlanta having checked in for a conference he had organized.  The elevators were jammed and they didn’t have enough to accommodate all the guests.  More, some of them went to the lower floors and others to the upper.  We...

  • Happy new year, Pope Francis

    September 24, 2015 | 5:15 pm

    Dear Pope Francis,

    I’m sure your much-anticipated visit to the United States was not timed to coincide with our season of holy days, a time of personal renewal and return to God, all in celebration of the world’s creation. But we are delighted to share this special season with...

  • ...For you were slaves in Egypt

    By Rabbi Robin Podolsky

    September 21, 2015 | 12:54 pm

    Good evening, L’ Shana Tova Tikateivu, Happy New Year to the people of Congregation Beth Ohr, to our teacher and communal founder, Rabbi Michael Roth and his extraordinary family, to my colleagues on the bima, Rabbi Haim Beliak and Chazanit Cheri Paul.

    Let’s consider the reasons...

  • Power plays

    September 18, 2015 | 2:23 pm

    I want to share a story about a couple who’ve been married for 19 years.

    Their relationship is a series of power plays in which they subtly and sometimes not so subtly try to control one another.

    They're’ from the Boston area. 
They have 2 kids
. Both have special needs – one...

  • Survey shows broad dissatisfaction with Israeli religious policy

    September 15, 2015 | 7:32 am

    Secular and haredi Orthodox Israelis differ on many things, but there’s one thing both sides agree on: When it comes to religious affairs, the government is failing.

    That’s one of the findings of an annual survey of Israeli religious identification and attitudes toward religious...

  • Religion rarely part of ICU conversation

    August 31, 2015 | 2:28 pm

    In less than 20 percent of family meetings in the intensive care unit do doctors and other health care providers discuss religion or spirituality a new study finds.

    For many patients and families, religion and spirituality are important near the end of life, and understanding...

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