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  • Everything is easier than doing good

    By Dennis Prager

    September 5, 2012 | 12:05 pm

    Some thoughts for Rosh Hashanah:

    If we took a vote on what trait we human beings most value, goodness would undoubtedly win. Certainly goodness is the trait that we most want everyone else to possess.

    But if we say we value goodness above everything else — and surely Judaism...

  • Tasmanian state body recommends banning nonreligious circumcision

    August 24, 2012 | 11:18 am

    An advisory governmental institution in an Australian state is recommending that it ban non-medical circumcision on boys “except for religious reasons.”

    The Tasmania Law Reform Institute – whose task is to modernize state laws – recommended “the enactment of a new and...

  • Czech Senate to consider property restitution

    July 16, 2012 | 11:09 am

    Czech Jewish leaders said they hoped their Senate would approve restitution of confiscated religious property.

    The Czech Parliament on July 14 voted in favor of distributing $3.7 billion among 17 religious denominations, including the Jewish community. The money is compensation for...

  • Jury Duty!

    By Julia Bendis

    May 23, 2011 | 3:17 pm

    As much as I love to participate in any and all civic duties, being chosen for Jury Duty just wasn’t going to happen.  Believe it or not, this was the first time I had ever received a notification requiring me to fulfill my civil duty.  As I opened the letter, immediately I started...

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  • Parashat Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36

    By Rabbi Laura Geller

    March 15, 2011 | 5:18 pm

    In some prayer books, the opening verses of this week’s Torah portion serve as a preparation for prayer. The verses repeat over and over again that a perpetual fire shall continue to burn on the altar. Why the focus on the need to keep the fire burning? And what does it mean to us...

  • ‘The Adujustment Bureau’: Finally, an Action Thriller for Religious Thinkers

    March 8, 2011 | 5:00 pm

    Films that offer profound philosophical lessons are a rarity. I remember watching The Matrix several years ago, noting that the movie was really a sci-fi version of Plato’s “Metaphor of the Cave,” which posits that most people are living in a false reality of shadows. More...

  • Devoutly Jewish fighters hoping titles will silence critics

    September 10, 2009 | 3:39 pm

    Harking back to an era when Jews ruled the ring, two devoutly observant boxers are fighting to make this the best year for Jewish boxing in seven decades.

    Middleweight Yuri Foreman, 29, and welterweight Dmitriy Salita, 27—both undefeated—are poised to battle for world titles this...

  • Death in the Hood

    By David Suissa

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Laura Gitlin-Petlak was 48 when she died on Feb. 12 at her home in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood.

    The next day, a few blocks from her house, a couple hundred people jammed the premises of Aish L.A., an Orthodox synagogue and outreach center, for her memorial service.

    A neighbor...

  • Humbling Wisdom

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    December 21, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    A number of years ago I had to fly from Los Angeles to Cleveland, with a stop in St. Louis. The plane was supposed to leave at 8:45 a.m. and arrive in Cleveland in the late afternoon. But due to a mechanical problem our flight didn't leave LAX until 1:30 p.m., which put our Cleveland...
  • Second-class Conservative citizens

    By Jeff Bernhardt

    December 14, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    When I first read that there would be a vote by the Conservative movement's Committee on Law and Standards regarding homosexuality and Jewish law, I was of course interested.

    I'm a gay man, and I have had both personal and professional ties to the Conservative movement since I was...

  • The ‘Yearning’ for Torah learning goes to TV

    By Amy Klein

    December 7, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Do you want to be happier? Do you want to have greater love and intimacy in life? Do you want greater self-awareness? And did you know that you could find all these things in the wisdom of Judaism?

    That's the premise of "The Hidden Wisdom of Our Yearnings with Irwin Kula," a...

  • Two neighborhoods reveal Orthodox community’s fault lines

    By Amy Klein

    November 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    When Tali Rosenthal moved to Los Angeles eight years ago, she landed in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood on the Westside. It was near her office, and besides, it was where many of Los Angeles' Orthodox singles live.

    But after five years there, Rosenthal, decided to move to Hancock...

  • Iconic Italian journalist, Oriana Fallaci, 77

    September 21, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The crusading Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci spent the last years of her life issuing fiery warnings against a Muslim world that she saw poised to overrun the West.
     
    Critics accused Fallaci of sowing racial and religious hatred, but she became a heroine to many Jews and...
  • College Students Find High Holidays’ Place in Higher Learning

    By Lisa Hirschmann

    August 31, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The High Holidays are here. With them comes a new school year, whereupon many recent graduates of Jewish high schools will face the challenges for the first time that can accompany being an observant Jew in an academic environment that runs on the Christian calendar.

    Gone are the...

  • Thrown For A Loop

    By Avi Liberman

    July 19, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "Avi we're doing some looping for a movie called, 'The Mount of Olives.' It was filmed in Israel and we're looking for Hebrew and Arabic speakers." Being an actor and comic in Los Angeles, you run into some interesting gigs. When my friend, Joey, himself a Christian Arab from...

  • Power of Vows

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    July 19, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    I have twins who are almost 5 years old. One of the things that my wife and I are trying to teach them is the power of words, both for the positive and the negative.

    They are learning that words can inspire, motivate and excite a situation, as they discover new and innovative ways...

  • Tisha B’Av Dilemma: Day of Solemnity or Celebration?

    By Jane Ulman

    July 19, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Traditional Jews mark Tisha B'Av by fasting, reading from the Book of Lamentations and observing rituals of mourning.

    Not all congregations observe the solemn day, however. Tisha B'Av at The Valley Temple, a Reform synagogue in Cincinnati, took on a less somber demeanor last...

  • Psalm-Thing to Sing About in New Album

    By Karla S. Blume

    June 29, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Have you ever thought about what makes a good song? The Virginia-born Miri Hunter Haruach, who lives in Los Angeles, is a folk singer, playwright, student of Judaism and proud purveyor of a doctorate in women's studies, and she believes that to make a good song, you need a little...

  • Jesus’ Man Has a Plan

    By Rob Eshman

    June 22, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Are there any Jewish Rick Warrens?

    That's not a fair question.

    There are few people of any faith like Warren.

    As I sat listening to him speak at Sinai Temple's Friday Night Live Shabbat services last week, I thought of the only other person I'd met with Warren's eloquence, charisma,...

  • Fleeing Nazis Breaks His Father’s Spirit

    By Tom Tugend

    June 15, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    My father, rarely impetuous, married my much younger mother when he was 46, and he was 49 when I was born.

    When I was a toddler and we went occasionally together to the Berlin zoo, people came up and congratulated my father on his cute grandson. So there was this age gap, to begin...

  • Gay Marriage Ban Could Alienate Jews

    By Ron Kampeas

    June 8, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    It's a familiar calculus in the relationship between the Jewish community and the Bush administration: a social issue that divides the country 50-50 has the Jewish community split 75-25 against where President Bush stands.

    On Monday, Bush strongly endorsed the federal marriage...

  • Iranian Colored Band Report Discredited

    By Karmel Melamed

    May 25, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    When the renowned exiled Iranian journalist Amir Taheri reported in a Canadian newspaper last week that Iran had just passed a law requiring Jews to wear yellow bands on their clothing, the world reacted with shock. The story, which also outlined required colored bands for Christians...

  • We Must Treat Others With Kindness

    By Rabbi David Wolpe

    May 18, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    I often give young people advice on dating, occasionally without their asking. I tell young women not to judge a man by his car, since you will not end up living with the car but with the man who drives it. I advise men, when they take a woman to a restaurant, to sit facing the wall,...

  • A Life Interrupted, a Dream Fulfilled

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    May 11, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Joan "Pessie" Hammer recently bustled through the crowd of hipsters and Chasidim at the first gallery exhibition featuring art by her late son, Moshe.

    Clutching a siddur, the Lubavich mother animatedly chatted with patrons who admired his ethereal religious drawings: pages of a...

  • Dr. Freud at 150

    By Dr. Frank Heynick

    May 4, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "Why," Sigmund Freud once asked rhetorically, "did it [psychoanalysis] have to wait for an absolutely irreligious Jew?"

    Why indeed?

    Freud was born in Freiberg, in the Austrian empire, on May 6, 1856, 150 years ago this weekend. Three years after his birth, his family moved to Vienna....

  • ‘Steins’ Skewers Simcha Rivalry

    By Tom Tugend

    April 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "Keeping Up With the Steins" proves that you don't have to be Jewish to make a funny, insider Jewish film, or that if you grow up in the Bronx or went to school in North Hollywood, you become a Jew by osmosis.

    Case in point is the son-father team of Scott and Garry Marshall, with the...

  • Video Takes Bite Out of Kosher Slaughter

    By Gabriel Sanders

    April 20, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Jonathan Safran Foer, author of the best-selling novel, "Everything Is Illuminated" (Houghton Mifflin, 2002) and last year's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" (Houghton Mifflin) released a video earlier this month in which he argues that the slaughtering practices employed by...

  • Death by Fire

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    April 20, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The Torah sometimes gives us verses that shock us. You know, the kind that wake us up, make sure we are paying attention. This week, in Parshat Sh'mini, we find such a verse. The story of Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aaron who die a tragic death at the hand of God for supposedly...

  • Misguided Passion About Gibson’s Film

    By Rabbi Michael Gotlieb

    April 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The great 20th century philosopher, Martin Buber, had an uncanny ability to speak to ecumenical gatherings. He would often begin his lectures highlighting the many theological tenets shared by Jews and Christians.

    "Jews," he said, "believe the Messiah has yet to come." To which he...

  • Settlers See Grim Future

    By Dina Kraft

    March 30, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Devorah Meitlis walks up a wind-swept hill leading to the small clubhouse-turned-polling station in this West Bank settlement, hoping her home here will still exist by the time of Israel's next election.

    Tuesday's vote, seen as a referendum on Israel's future presence in the West...

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