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  • A Step Into Secular

    By Sue Fishkoff

    January 26, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Chaim breezes into a diner on the Upper West Side of Manhattan clutching two huge shopping bags.

    "I got some clothes, this plaid shirt, two for $5, this leather jacket just $20," says Chaim, 19, in the clipped, Yiddish-accented English of the Chasidic world he comes from. "I didn't...

  • Moses and King

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    January 19, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    This past week, we observed the birthday of a great leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was able to move his people from seeing and believing his great vision to acting, responding and persevering in the face of violent opposition. In this way, King was like Moses in this week's...

  • The Hebrascope: Signs of the Jewdiac

    By Jew Girl

    January 12, 2006 | 7:00 pm

     

    Aries (March 21-April 20)

    Notable Jewish Aries: 
    William Shatner

    You know...

  • Your Inner Joseph

    By Rabbi Mordecai Finley

    January 12, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Each of us lives a spiritual journey. One of greatest tasks in life is to know our journey, to understand its contours and what it demands of us. The Torah teaches us these journeys, these paths into our center.

    As Genesis ends this week with Vayechi, Jacob pronounces blessings for...

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  • Spectator - Musical Mystery of Letters

    By Robert David Jaffee

    January 5, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    While Madonna and other celebrities have made it fashionable in recent years to pursue Kabbalah, guitarist and composer Adam Del Monte has the musical sophistication and spiritual depth to explore Jewish mysticism beyond the trendy or superficial. In his new piece, "Kabbalistic...

  • Over a Cliff

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    December 22, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    I once heard a colleague recount how, after lecturing about God, a man came up and told him that he was impressed with his lecture. He explained that although he wasn't personally observant and didn't attend synagogue, he had a close relationship with the Almighty.

    This intrigued...

  • Ten Commandments for a Happy Marriage

    By Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwad

    November 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    For those preparing for marriage, as well as those already wed, Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald, director of the National Jewish Outreach Program, offers his Ten Commandments for a successful marriage. His advice is based on the 3,300-year-old Jewish tradition, is timeless and applicable to...

  • Go Forth, Find You

    By Rabbi Toba August

    November 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    "The longest journey is the journey inwards. Of him who has chosen his destiny...." -- Dag Hammarskjold, "Markings" (1964)

    I recently saw the film, "In Her Shoes," and was inspired by the personal transformation of the sister played by Cameron Diaz.

    This character had the courage to...

  • Burning Bush Meets Burning Man

    By Julie Woldow

    October 6, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    In a tent on an ashen desert plain, seven Jews take refuge against the beating sun. One, a middle-age man with a thick Israeli accent, chants Haftorah as the wind kicks up white dust devils around the group. Next to him, a sun-kissed, raven-haired miss in bikini bottoms and halter...

  • What to Ask a Jew

    By Rob Eshman

    October 6, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    If you're Jewish, this is not for you to read. Please clip this editorial and hand it off to a close non-Jewish friend. I'm certain some of your best friends aren't Jews. And thanks for sharing.

    Dear Non-Jewish Friend:

    Every year around this time your friend disappears from work or...

  • It’s Not Too Late to Seek Forgiveness

    By Jane Ulman

    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 --...

  • A Critical Question

    By Rabbi David Woznica

    October 6, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    One of the most important questions we need to ask ourselves, particularly as we approach Yom Kippur, is: How will we be remembered?

    An incident in the life of Alfred Nobel illustrates how he was unexpectedly forced to face that important question. It is reported that when Nobel's...

  • Kabbalah and the Modern Shrink

    By Gaby Friedman

    October 6, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "Connecting to God, Ancient Kabbalah and Modern Psychology" by Rabbi Abner Weiss (Bell Tower Books, $24).

    It was Rabbi Abner Weiss, in psychologist mode, who "Jerry" went to see after his wife, "Sandy," found him in bed with another woman. Although Jerry and Sandy seemed like the...

  • Life at a Standstill

    By Rabbi N. Daniel Korobkin

    September 29, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The recent tragic hurricanes in the South have been difficult to watch. One of the more difficult chapters of this saga was when the mayor of New Orleans, in his zeal to rebuild the city as quickly as possible, called upon the residents to return to certain sections of the city. But...

  • Go Ahead—Read That Book in Shul

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    September 22, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The sounds of the Days of Awe in synagogue: the cry of the shofar, the cantor chanting age-old melodies that go right to the heart and congregants alternatively whispering and shushing each other. Then there's the gentle click of pages turning to their own rhythm, not in unison with...

  • Sacred Sounds All Over Town

    By Ellen Jaffe-Gill

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    There's an inescapable irony in vocalist Vanessa Paloma performing Ladino songs at the San Gabriel Mission, which was founded by Spanish Catholics. It was, of course, Spanish Roman Catholics who expelled Ladino-speaking Jews from Spain in 1492. Paloma called the venue "emotionally...

  • The Downer in Me

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    August 25, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    People always tell me that I am a downer, constantly talking about the world's problems here, genocide there; conflict here, poverty there.

    Nobody ever wants to talk to me at a party!

    However, I also have a deep spiritual side, one that is open to the beauty and wonder of a...

  • Teaching in the Temple of Nature

    By Marc Ballon

    August 25, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Gabe Goldman wanted to believe in miracles, wanted to believe in the power of prayer, wanted to believe that God had spoken to prophets. But Goldman, an Orthodox Jew, felt burned out on Judaism. He would perform the rituals with perfect technique, but no heart. A change, he thought,...

  • Marking Tisha B’Av Takes Many Forms

    By Jane Ulman

    August 11, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    On Saturday night Marci Malat will sit in silence and darkness pierced only by candlelight, listening to the chanting of Eicha, or Lamentations, in her synagogue to commemorate Tisha B'Av. But more than reflecting upon the long-ago destruction of the temples in Jerusalem, she will be...

  • Tsfat Nourishes the Spiritually Hungry

    By  Orit Arfa

    August 4, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    As I climbed the green Galilean hills of Tsfat to reach the family hosting me for Shabbat, I wondered how it had changed since the last time I was in Israel's mystical city.

    I was here to visit with the Lipshutz family. They had moved here 12 years ago and are currently active in...

  • Analysis - Leftists Try to ‘Take Back God’ in 2008

    By Sue Fishkoff

    July 28, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The 2008 election may be more than three years away, but one group is hoping to press the Democratic Party to infuse spirituality into its platform for that campaign.

    "The right is correct; there is a huge spiritual crisis in America," said Rabbi Michael Lerner, the editor of Tikkun...

  • Hospice Option Gains Jewish Supporters

    By Charlotte Hildebrand

    June 16, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    When Barbara Sherman lay dying, she knew what she didn't want: She did not want to end up in a hospital; she did not want the neighbors calling 911; she did not want someone sticking a needle in her arm. She wanted no interventions, not even morphine to ease the pain.

    "Her greatest...

  • Through Her Lens

    By Marc Ballon

    June 16, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    A tradition holds that as Abraham walked the land of Israel, he called out the name of every Jew who would one day follow in his steps upon the earth. And so it goes that many Jews would feel the deepest spiritual connection to the place the great patriarch was walking when he...

  • Task at Hand

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    June 2, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    In the essay "The World as I See It," Albert Einstein wrote: "A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other people, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give the same measure as I have received and am...

  • Still’s ‘Waters’ Run Deep

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    May 26, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    In James Still's "A Long Bridge Over Deep Waters," a Catholic Cambodian asks an elderly Jew, "Why don't you believe in Jesus?"

    The senior citizen replies that she regards Jesus as "a revolutionary Jew," not the savior -- and that she would rather argue with God than feel awe for...

  • Letters to the Editor

    April 14, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    One Sided

    In your recent article, the Bush administration criticizes Israel's building of new homes in the Maale Adumim settlement as a violation of the "road map" [peace plan] ("Jews Try to Sell Withdrawal Plan to Jews," April 1).

    Firstly, these homes are being built in the...

  • Two Finish Lines

    By Ron Rubin

    March 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    What is the touchstone that unites a 26.2-mile marathon with a Siyum Hashas celebration of completing the 7.5-year page-a-day Talmud cycle?

    The concept shared by both events is human striving -- or in the language of the Lithuanian yeshiva, the commitment to shteig, to stretch...

  • I’m Not Religious

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    March 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    "Please understand, rabbi. I'm very spiritual. I'm just not religious."

    It is the anthem of a generation.

    I'm spiritual: I wrestle with the meaning of my existence. I cultivate my inner life. I feel God is very close. I sense my connectedness to others and to the earth and I try...

  • Hashem, Allah and Jesus in Jerusalem

    By Jessica Steinberg

    February 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    The group stood in silence, heads bowed. The triumvirate of Catholic, Episcopal and Presbyterian ministers waited for responses within the prayer circle at the Cenacle (the upper room), the traditional site of the Last Supper, on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem.

    "I wish for peace among...

  • My Evangelist

    By Rob Eshman

    February 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    A vocal and influential group is pushing for an evangelical Christian hegemony in American life, and I, for one, have absolutely no problem with that idea. That's right, bring on the evangelicals -- as long as they are all like Jim Wallis.

    If you don't know Jim Wallis, you'll have...

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