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Jewish Journal

Tag: Religion

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  • The Knesset dissolves, but the battle for religious reform continues

    6 days ago

    When the 19th Knesset was sworn in on March 18, 2013, it marked only the second time in 29 years that a new coalition was formed without any of the Haredi parties. A record 48 new members of the Knesset were sworn in that day, vowing to revolutionize the system including the...

  • Franklin Graham: America’s failure to understand religion foils cogent Mideast policy

    2 weeks ago

    This story originally appeared on themedialine.org.

    Franklin Graham, the son of legendary evangelical preacher Billy Graham and heir to the religious empire his father built has worked extensively in the Middle East and has watched America’s Mideast policies evolve over the years...

  • Love, Awe and Fairy Tales.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    2 weeks ago

    I am constantly shocked by the self imposed noose of reality worn by adults, turning them into the walking dead.

    C. S. Lewis wrote “someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”  Children live in joy, encouraged by those who nurture them to see beauty and...

  • Grateful for an Imperfect World.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    November 26, 2014 | 9:33 am

    “Did you know teenage smoking is at all time low?”  My ten-year-old daughter announced unexpectedly.

    Imagine a tiny tear in a magnificent painting.  Most eyes naturally shift to the defect, bypassing the masterpiece.  We seek perfection.  We wish to mend.

    The news, from riots...

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  • Healing: Where religion and science meet

    November 3, 2014 | 12:17 pm

    What does Judaism have to do with healing?  This was the topic of the lively conference, "Healing: The Interplay of Religion and Science," October 26 and 27, 2014 at Arizona State University.  Three local attendees were Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Rector and Distinguished Professor of...

  • Why Jews Should Celebrate Halloween!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    October 30, 2014 | 5:44 pm

    Growing up in Iran, I did not have any of the electronic gadgets my children enjoy today.  Instead, what I loved was my neighborhood.

    On weekends, and during long summer days after school, we would run in the streets, unsupervised.  We would randomly join a local soccer match...

  • Keeping the Faith with God

    By Ilana Angel

    October 5, 2014 | 4:48 pm

    I am a woman of faith and depending on different things going on in my life, I decide what the faith refers to. There have been times where I've been so connected to God I trust he is my faith. Yet other times I have been in such doubt about God that I place the strength of my...

  • 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...

  • The High Holy Days: Something meaningful, or just going through the motions?

    By Rob Eshman

    September 23, 2014 | 3:12 pm

    Most of us who go to synagogue for the High Holy Days have no clue what’s going on.

    We don’t speak or read Hebrew well enough to understand the prayers or the Torah portion. We don’t know why we say the prayers in the order we say them. We don’t like the stilted English...

  • Our battle against Hamas is far from being over

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    September 10, 2014 | 9:24 am

    “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” (Golda Meir. Statement to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., 1957)


    In the 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense, the Israeli Defense Forces successfully scared Hamas back to the dark caves...

  • Eyes open and eyes shut: A pre-High Holy Days meditation

    By Jeffrey Hensiek

    September 4, 2014 | 10:35 am

    Paul Gaugin, the famous 19th-century French artist, commented: “When I want to see clearly, I shut my eyes.”

    He was referring to two different ways of perceiving reality. With our eyes open, we see surface reality — size, shape, color, etc. But with our eyes shut, we contemplate...

  • The Pilgrim exchange, part 1: On God as a conversation stopper

    By Shmuel Rosner

    August 13, 2014 | 4:01 am

    Lee Kravitz is the author of the memoir Unfinished Business and the former editor in chief of Parade magazine. Previously, he was founding editor of React magazine and an editorial director of Scholastic Inc. Kravitz is president of Youth Communication, a publisher of writing by...

  • Why Jews unite more than Christians

    By David Suissa

    August 11, 2014 | 9:37 am

    Imagine that you are a Jew, and that you are president of the United States. Your security adviser has just whispered in your ear that 200 Jewish girls in Africa have been kidnapped and are being threatened with rape.

    Or imagine that you are the most prominent rabbi in the world...

  • A short guidebook to all celebrities posting about the Israel-Gaza situation

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    July 28, 2014 | 8:20 am

    Dear celebrities,

    You are people of high power. Having millions of fans and followers grants you the power to change the world with just 140 typed notes. You have more power than any political leader, as people devour your status updates, ready to follow your lead without asking...

  • A split nation - united with hope for the boys to return home

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    June 20, 2014 | 8:33 am

    During the past week, a feeling of unity has spread amid our divided nation. The abduction of Naftali, Eyal and Gil-Ad last Thursday shared us all with a wish of heart for their return. In the past week, all splits in the Israeli society were sewn back together.


    During the past...

  • Asking the Qur’an

    By Mahim Maher

    June 6, 2014 | 7:53 am

    I was born in London and from 1976 to 1984 I thought I was a Christian. I know the Lord’s Prayer, which remains one of my favourites till today. Whenever I am sick or someone I love is sick, I get down on my knees with Head Nurse Maria at South City Hospital where my father works...

  • Time to rethink our “never again” promise…

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    June 4, 2014 | 8:33 am

    “Never again means NEVER AGAIN” – in the past couple of months, I encountered this sentence online more times than I can count. It is usually associated with Israel’s National Holocaust Remembrance Day. We were taught this sentence every year since first grade, when our teacher...

  • U.S. Jews vs. U.S. Christianity

    By Dennis Prager

    May 14, 2014 | 9:25 am

    It’s not something that Americans mention in public. And it may not even be something many note in private. But a Jew writing in a Jewish journal ought to point out a fact that, no matter how much ignored, is significant.

    On May 5, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in “Town of...

  • One Israeli creation for the weekend

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    April 11, 2014 | 12:49 pm

    This week, I would like to introduce you to a beautiful initiative called Budo for Peace (BFP.) It is a registered Israeli educational NPO which uses traditional martial arts to connect and bring together children and youth from diverse social, economic and cultural backgrounds.

    ...

  • The Coyne wars reach Einstein

    By Roger Price

    March 27, 2014 | 9:55 am

    Q: What do Jonathan Sacks, Ross Douthat and Albert Einstein have in common?

    A:  Let’s see. The first is the former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth, the second is a New York Times based columnist who writes frequently about religion, and...

  • Why evil committed in the name of God is worse

    By Dennis Prager

    March 19, 2014 | 2:06 pm

    If I could ask one question of a religious person — of any faith — it would be, “What is the worst sin in your religion?”

    The answer to this question can often tell you more than that of any other question about that person’s religion, or at least about that person’s own...

  • Matisyahu on music, religion and life in L.A.

    By Jared Sichel

    March 5, 2014 | 1:58 pm

    Less than 24 hours after performing with the Moshav Band at the Jewlicious Festival in Long Beach late on March 1, musical artist Matisyahu (aka Matthew Miller) was sitting in the bleachers of the frigid L.A. Kings Valley Ice Center in Panorama City, watching two of his sons, Laivy...

  • Q&A with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

    By Jared Sichel

    February 26, 2014 | 4:18 pm

    Jewish Journal: What are you able to do differently now that you are no longer Chief Rabbi?

    Rabbi Sacks: My first passion has always been teaching and rabbi means, “my teacher,” and although I did a fair amount of teaching as Chief Rabbi I didn’t have the chance to really focus...

  • Celebs, hotels, humanitarism, a billion dollar deal and more…This week from Israel!

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    February 24, 2014 | 12:03 pm

    Viber? Sold!

    Japanese Internet services company, Rakuten, has acquired the Israeli app Viber for $900 million. The Israeli-founded video and voice communications app allows users to make free phone and video calls within its network, and has over 200 million users all over the...

  • Praying with presidents

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    February 13, 2014 | 10:52 am

    U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have had rough public relationships with religious leaders. 

    Even before his inauguration, pro-life Christian leaders decried Clinton’s alleged “anti-Christian agenda”; during Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign, televangelist the...

  • A Coming Out Tale: Getting Over My Embarrassment and Calling Myself Religious

    By Tamara Shayne Kagel

    February 12, 2014 | 12:30 pm

    I have always been cagey when detailing information about myself that might classify me as religious.  Not that I was ever embarrassed or cryptic about telling people I was Jewish.  Telling people I was Jewish when people asked what my Christmas plans were, or just offering up the...

  • Vegan lifestyle, Superhero in Hollywood, Ultra- Orthodox Capoeira and more…This week from Israel!

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    February 4, 2014 | 12:08 pm

    A bite of the Big Apple

    The flight is long and tiring, the jet-lag is sometimes unbearable, but if you ask Israelis, no place beats the Big Apple! According to a new survey, New York is Israelis' favorite travel destination.  The second place went to Thailand. Despite requiring a...

  • 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...

  • Conference explores potential for day schools

    By Ryan Torok

    January 23, 2014 | 3:49 pm

    Last weekend’s Ravsak/Pardes Jewish Day School Leadership Conference, “Moving the Needle: Galvanizing Change in Our Day Schools,” focused on ways to transform day schools at a time when external factors such as the economy and demography have negatively affected enrollment. 

    ...
  • Best of 2013, BDS fail, reform rabbinate, good news for dog owners and more…This week from Israel!

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    January 6, 2014 | 12:33 pm

    The new discovery that will help detect Breast Cancer “gene”

    Another breakthrough in the fight against cancer: Researchers at Hadassah Medical Center in Israel have developed a blood test that reveals it is possible to predict the presence of harmful BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in...

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