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Jewish Journal

Tag: Religion

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  • Branding Conservative Judaism

    By David Suissa

    3 weeks ago

    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...

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  • 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...

  • Why join a synagogue?

    August 27, 2015 | 12:23 pm

    Why join a temple? When a b’nai mitzvah or a funeral comes along, why not just “rent a rabbi”? After all, you save the dues and you “pay only for what you need.” The problem, of course, is that in this complex world, troubling news and a search to find meaning, “what we need” is a...

  • The Day Anger Broke Me.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    August 20, 2015 | 12:13 pm

    It’s been eight years.  I still have nightmares about what I had become. 

    My wife and kids are scared in a room.  Sitting on the floor, they are trembling.  She is hugging them protectively, crying.  They are rolled up in fetal position, sobbing.  All I hear is nothing.  I am...

  • God will be our visitor

    July 27, 2015 | 11:13 am

    The Jewish family is in a constant state of mourning. Most of the time, we push our mourning to the back of our collective consciousness and carry on our daily lives as if we’ve suffered no loss. Once a year, though, we allow the misery and pain of our tortuous 2,000-year Diaspora...

  • Shabbat, Brokenness and Light:  My Reflections at an Interfaith Event

    By Lia Mandelbaum

    July 8, 2015 | 2:19 pm

    Over this past 4th of July weekend, I shared some Shabbat reflections at the Walking Meditation on Interdependence, which was held at the beautiful Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles.  The Interfaith Commons of Southern California, an emerging alliance
 of interreligious organizations...

  • Confessions of a Jewish Atheist

    By Mindy Leaf

    July 6, 2015 | 11:45 am

    We were seated at a round table at our local Jewish Community Center, awaiting our tax-dollar-funded senior meal, when the man at my left began a conversation (or, shall I say, confrontation). "You know, the first monotheist wasn't Jewish," he bellowed. "He was an Egyptian king who...

  • Orthodox groups brace for consequences of same-sex marriage ruling

    July 2, 2015 | 10:37 am

    The name that keeps coming up when Orthodox Jewish groups consider the consequences of the U.S. Supreme Court decision extending same-sex marriage rights to all states has little to do with Jews or gays.

    Bob Jones University, the private Protestant college in South Carolina, lost...

  • Male-female marriage remains the ideal

    By Dennis Prager

    July 1, 2015 | 2:08 pm

    Shortly before she was elected attorney general of California, Kamala Harris and I debated same-sex marriage on CNN. At one point, she asked me if I would prefer a child be raised by same-sex parents who have their act together (a paraphrase, but that was the gist) to being raised...

  • A night at First AME Church

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    June 22, 2015 | 2:22 pm

    The first surprise came when I typed 2270 S. Harvard Blvd into my phone, and discovered that it's only 4.8 miles from my synagogue, Congregation B’nai David Judea, in the Pico Robertson neighborhood. I had always assumed that it was much farther away than that. Actually, that it...

  • TedX Women comes to Jerusalem

    June 1, 2015 | 9:48 am

    This article first appeared on The Media Line.

    “Hello, women of Jerusalem!” TedX organizer Fleur Hassan Nachoum shouted out like a game show host.

    The audience at the Zappa nightclub in Jerusalem clapped and cheered.

    “How many of you are here because these issues are...

  • I’m grateful for life’s little bumps

    By Mindy Leaf

    May 26, 2015 | 2:49 pm

    We all know it's bound to happen, sooner or later. Spend any time on the road in South Florida and no matter how “safe” and “defensive” a driver you are, you’re bound to get into an accident.

    My turn came while turning from one three-lane highway into another in North Miami Beach...

  • A walk to remember

    May 14, 2015 | 4:33 pm

    Most mornings, I can be found walking the streets of my neighborhood, shoes laced up, with a baseball cap firmly in place. Especially in winter, I see this as one of the great gifts of living in Southern California, where weather so often permits such a routine. 

    I love to...

  • Conversion Complications - why is it so hard to convert to Judaism?

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    May 13, 2015 | 8:31 am

    When Jenny Magril’s family made Aliyah from Belarus, she did not feel any different from the rest of the kids in her class. She celebrated the same holidays, spoke the same language and felt just as Jewish as the rest of them. Only according to the Jewish Law she was considered a...

  • How do you talk to kids about God?

    April 6, 2015 | 1:17 pm

    Talking openly with children about sensitive subjects is hard. It always has been. In my parents’ generation, the three-letter taboo was S-E-X. My older sister was 13 when my dad gave a kid “The Talk” for the first time. It was the ’80s, and my dad dodged it like any educated man...

  • Islamophobia:  Discovering the Impact on More Than Just Muslims

    By Lia Mandelbaum

    April 1, 2015 | 4:01 pm

    “Before you dump your issues onto me, I am not a Muslim or Arabian.  I am a Sikh from India.”  This was the sign that greeted me when I recently popped into a convenient store on Sunset Boulevard. The man behind the counter, who displayed the sign, was wearing an orange turban, a...

  • Dating 101: Faith, Religion & God

    By Ilana Angel

    March 27, 2015 | 9:51 am

    I went on 3 dates with the same man last week. We had 2 great dates with fantastic conversation, witty banter, intellectual and sexual chemistry. He is 55, handsome, tall, funny, and decent. At least he seemed decent until we got to our 3rd date and decided to discuss religion....

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