In the late ’70s, I carried a beeper when it was my turn to be on call for a rape-victim helpline. One evening I had it clipped to my jacket during a faculty meeting at the community college where I taught.
This week’s double Torah portion, Behar-Bechukotai, begins: “And the Lord spoke to Moshe at Mount Sinai” (Leviticus 25:1). At the end of our reading, we conclude the Torah’s third book with: “These are the mitzvot that the Lord commanded Moshe for the children of Israel at Mount Sinai” (Leviticus 27:34).
Life is not easy. In fact, at times it’s downright infuriating. Our natural tendency is to want to blame someone, and the easiest target is God. We may carry anger at HaShem for our entire lives. As a result, we miss out on decades of spiritual connectedness and comfort.
Criticism is the oxygen of journalism. Here at the Jewish Journal, we will criticize anything that we believe deserves criticism, including religion.
Black Hawk helicopters and heavily armed police descended on a Boston suburb Friday in a massive search for an ethnic Chechen suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings, hours after his brother was killed by police in a late-night shootout.
Nathan was a young man in his 20s, living in Gulfport, Miss. He lived with his mother and grandmother in a small three-bedroom home a little over a mile from the Gulf Coast.
For interfaith couples who choose a Jewish identity for their families — even ones who have shared holidays with their extended families and answered questions for years — a bar or bat mitzvah raises new questions.
Natan Sharansky's plan to expand the non-Orthodox prayer site at the Western Wall could be set in motion in as little as one month, the Jewish Agency for Israel chairman said in an interview Thursday in his Jerusalem office.
The strong social fabric that historically bound Egypt's Muslim and Christian communities is being tested by economic, political and religious tensions. Conflict between the two groups has been escalating since the New Year 2011 bombing of Alexandria's Coptic Church.
Everyone has their moments of failure, when they transgress. Not necessarily out of malice, but in response to temptation or opportunity or out of fear.
When Hazem Farraj was 15, he became a Christian. But as a Palestinian Muslim living in East Jerusalem, he couldn’t tell anyone, especially his father.
For Passover this year, Rizzoli has just released “The Bronfman Haggadah,” written by the businessman, philanthropist and Jewish community leader Edgar Bronfman Sr., illustrated by artist Jan Aronson, who is also Bronfman’s wife.
Bruce Feiler mentions Passover only in passing in his new book, “The Secrets of Happy Families,” but in some ways, the book is all about Passover.
Most non-Orthodox Jews venerate secularism. Virtually every movement and organization advancing secularism in the United States has been founded or led by Jews, and Jews are disproportionately active in these movements.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Argentinian cardinal who was elected pope late Wednesday and will take the name Francis I, is said to have a good relationship with Argentinian Jews.
Cigarette in one hand and cup of tea in the other, Matisyahu sat down with JTA in his closet-sized dressing room during his European tour to talk about his life, his music, how he's raising his kids, and the recent changes in his religious outlook and physical appearance.
When I was growing up in Toledo in the late fifties and early sixties, every year at Passover we would go to my cousin’s house for the seder. Besides the food, I was thrilled because it meant I was never the youngest and never had to do the four questions.
For the last couple of years - and especially the last couple of days - my Jewish friends all over the world have expressed their concern over whether anti-Semitism is on the rise in Turkey. First of all Turkey has a population over 70 million.
Pesach - the Hebrew name for Passover-- comes from the Hebrew root PSH which means to skip over, to pass over. It appears first in the context of the ten plagues, in which God skipped over the homes of the Israelites while the rest of Egypt suffered.
On a freezing Friday night in Brooklyn, a group of 18 Crown Heights residents scurry through the crowds of Jews leaving synagogue and make their way to a second-story apartment on Rogers Avenue for Shabbat dinner.
With more than 250 students living, studying or partying on its campus, quiet moments are rare at the Lauder Business School. But when a lull does occur, it reminds managing director Alex Zirkler of this Jewish university’s opening 10 years ago, when it had only seven students, 15 lecturers and many silent hallways.
Purim events in Los Angeles for all ages and adults only.
Next to the Modern Orthodox Orot Banot girls school in Beit Shemesh, fresh mounds of dirt and a huge hole in the ground indicate the spot where a community center is being built.
Dr. David Hartman was one of the most respected Jewish theologians in the world. He was the founder and director of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, a frequent lecturer in the United States, and author of several widely acclaimed books, including two winners of the National Jewish Book Award.
Rabbi David Hartman has gone to his eternal rest, but not before he made a monumental contribution to Jewish life and a significant contribution to Jewish thought.
The revered Jewish teacher David Hartman, who died in Jerusalem at the age of 81 this week, is being celebrated for his success in bringing together diverse thinkers from among rarely-interacting Jewish denominations.
Pope Benedict XVI’s eight-year reign as head of the world’s 1 billion Catholics sometimes was a bumpy one for the Vatican’s relations with Israel and the wider Jewish community. But it was also a period in which relations where consolidated and fervent pledges made to continue interfaith dialogue and bilateral cooperation.
The Obama administration simplified its definition of religious groups that would be exempt from allowing staffers contraceptive coverage.
The National Council of Young Israel voted to eliminate a rule barring member synagogues from withdrawing from the franchise.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel used a meeting with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to criticize his past remarks on Jews.
Gerald Scarfe the British cartoonist who published the sketch of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall on the bodies of Palestinians and using their blood as cement, has denied that he is or ever was an anti-Semite. Scarfe said: "I am not, and never have been, anti-Semitic." Fair enough.
Not many people today can say that they found God or religion at college or graduate school. Most universities, after all, are thoroughly secular institutions that either ignore or disparage belief in God.
Drew Barrymore stopped by to discuss marriage and motherhood with the women of “The View” on Friday.
Fewer than three in 10 Americans believe that God plays a role in determining sports outcomes, according to a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute.
At the risk of engaging Dennis Prager’s considerable wrath, I find it necessary to defend Michael Tolkin’s comments regarding Prager’s arguments on God and murder (“Did the Nazis Like Life?” Jan. 18).