When my mother, Shulamit E. Kustanowitz, died in May 2011, the in-person Jewish community provided all the basics — post-shivah meals, abundant hugs and three places to say Kaddish: Temple Beth Am for daily minyan, Friday nights at IKAR and Shabbat mornings at B’nai David-Judea....
Judaism is the particular language through which Jews address humanity
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September 10, 2013 | 4:47 pm
September 15, 2010 | 6:49 am
Forgiveness is something we need to be practicing all year round. Without it, how could our relationships possibly survive? Truth is they don’t. So many of our relationships are barely alive, the light in them snuffed out by the toxic baggage of suppressed resentment, anger, or...
September 4, 2010 | 6:14 pm
This is the time for repentance, return, transformation – and the key to it all is forgiveness: Asking for forgiveness, and forgiving.
We ask forgiveness of G-d and of others, and we can forgive others.
To engage in any degree of forgiveness takes real work, digging deep, being...
October 13, 2008 | 2:13 am
What a great way to start the Jewish New Year!
Britney’s new video has premiered and as one of her longtime fans, I definitely believe that Britney is beginning to do teshuva (repentance). Actually, her teshuva has already been reported by the press, who quote an interview to be...
October 9, 2008 | 11:15 pmThere are many unique quirks in the Orthodox tradition, but few that I love more than the late-afternoon sermon on Shabbat Shuva, the Shabbat that falls between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Here in Pico-Robertson, it's the sermon many people wait for all year— the one that rabbis...
October 1, 2008 | 11:15 pmIs it just me, or does Yom Kippur seem to arrive earlier and more frequently these days?
I feel like I've barely had time to recover from one when the next one's announced, and then I have to toughen up and refrain from saying things like "oh no, not again," in front of my kids,...
September 25, 2008 | 3:50 am
September 25, 2008 | 3:07 amSept. 11, 2001, occurred just six days before Rosh Hashanah. It was the tail end of what had been a difficult 12 months on the Jewish calendar: violence in Israel, a presidential election arbitrated by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Enron scandal.
Then, on a particularly gorgeous...
September 7, 2006 | 8:00 pm
I spent the first three days of Elul polishing a lamp that has hung in the upstairs stairwell of my home for 80 years. I thought that the lamp was made out of cast iron, but discovered after applying a mixture of abrasive compounds and elbow grease, that it was crafted of shiny...
October 6, 2005 | 8:01 pm
The concept of repentance is hard enough for grown-ups to get, so how do educators make the central themes of the High Holidays real for children?
While projects like tempera-painted honey dishes and party-whistle shofars are de rigueur, preschool and elementary school teachers take...
October 6, 2005 | 8:00 pm
"Who shall live and who shall die ... who shall perish by fire and who by water?" -- Unetaneh Tokef prayer
The threat of being handed a harsh decree at the close of Yom Kippur -- and the difficulty of actually doing the introspective and conciliatory work necessary to avert it --...
October 6, 2005 | 8:00 pm
When I was a small boy -- 6 or 7 -- I became acutely aware that being a Jew made me a member of a tiny minority. I asked my mother why there were so few of us, and her answer was quick: "Judaism's a hard religion, with lots of rules. When you're Jewish, it's not enough to believe,...
October 2, 2003 | 8:00 pm
September 25, 2003 | 8:00 pm
September 5, 2002 | 8:00 pm
October 5, 2000 | 8:00 pm
September 14, 2000 | 8:00 pm
Each night before retiring, the great Chassidic master Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav would make a list. At the end of a long day, he would write down all the wrongs he had committed - against other people, against God, against himself. Nachman would read the list over and over again,...
September 23, 1999 | 8:00 pmIn a High Holiday letter to Jewish friends, New York's Roman Catholic cardinal has expressed "abject sorrow" for centuries of anti-Semitism, and called for a new era of respect and love between Christians and Jews.
The powerfully worded letter from Cardinal John O'Connor echoed...
September 9, 1999 | 8:00 pmAnother year come and gone. Another one beginning. For me, an occasion more for recollection than repentance.
So much seems connected to the past. My oldest son, Alexander, calls from Florida. There is talk about the summer gone by, plans for the future, a wish for the new year. I...
September 10, 1998 | 8:00 pm
I begin by expressing my admiration and respect for Monsignor Vadakin whom I have known for close to three decades. I have reason to know of his integrity and moral courage, his deep respect for Judaism and his love for the Jewish people.
It is not with anyone that I would broach...