Jewish Journal

Tag: Spiritual

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  • Menopause Goes Mainstream

    By Nancy Sokoler Steiner

    January 29, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    After years of being talked about in hushed tones as "the change of life" -- or not being talked about at all -- menopause is now in the spotlight. Two recent plays, "Is it Hot in Here ... Or Is it Me?" and "Menopause the Musical" literally put menopause center stage. A support group...

  • Your Letters

    December 18, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Journal or Times?

    Having read your editorial commentary in this week's issue, I was tempted to turn back to the front page to reassure myself that I was not reading the editorial page of the Los Angeles Times ("Accord Allure," Dec. 5). Your alignment with the thinking of such...

  • Different Yet Identical

    By Rabbi Moshe D. Bryski

    November 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    In introducing us to the patriarchal family of Isaac, son of Abraham, this week's Torah portion of Toldot begins: "And these are the offspring of Isaac son of Abraham -- Abraham begot Isaac." Since Torah is not given to redundancy, this opening passage raises the question: Once we're...

  • The Power of Memory

    By Rabbi Asher Brander

    October 30, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Memory is a multibillion-dollar enterprise these days. I am personally on my fourth PDA and angling for a fifth even sleeker, more efficient model. Reminder cards and scheduler programs abound. Capitalizing on human frailty, the memory industry offers compensation.

    For in a world...

  • When Witches Blend Torah and Tarot

    By Keren Engelberg

    October 30, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The Thursday before Halloween, Melissa Oringer participates in the traditional rituals of her Wiccan coven. She carves pumpkins and she scrys, or peforms a sort of "magick" (a spelling that differentiates it from modern associations of magic) that uses something tangible, like tarot...

  • Lev Eisha Women Pray Their Own Way

    By Rachel Brand

    October 23, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    On the first Saturday of each month, while weekly, traditional Shabbat morning services are taking place at Adat Shalom synagogue, another service transpires behind the main sanctuary that is anything but traditional. Women of all ages dance between davening, beat tambourines and...

  • Go for a Holy Dip

    By Gaby Wenig

    October 23, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Picture a woman floating submersed in a warm bath, the water enveloping her like the womb and bringing her to a renewed state of spiritual purity. That is the experience of the mikvah, the ritual bath of natural water where for centuries Jewish women have immersed themselves after...

  • Star Struck

    By Jodi Werner

    October 16, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Lately, more people than ever have been staring at my chest. But it's not what you think. They are looking at a necklace hanging from my neck.

    When my boyfriend, Josh, handed me a red paper mâche-wrapped little box for my birthday this year, I never would have guessed it was a piece...

  • Actress Defends Gibson’s Jesus Film

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    October 2, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Romanian actress Maia Morgenstern is Jewish, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and a resident of Bucharest, where she fields the occasional anti-Semitic remark. Which is why European reporters raised eyebrows when they learned the imposing actress was playing the Virgin Mary in...

  • Building the Perfect Painting

    By Michael Aushenker

    September 25, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    For local artist Rebecca Levy, building a body of work literally begins with the building. "Each one is different and has a charm of its own," Levy said of her fascination with edifices from all over the world. "Rebecca Levy: A Visual Wanderer's Retrospective," a one-woman show...

  • The Synagogue Makes the Woman

    By Joyce Kidd

    September 11, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    When Muriel Zollman decided to study beginning Hebrew with Rabbi Sally Olins at Temple B'nai Hayim in Sherman Oaks a couple of years ago, it was only so she could follow the prayers during services like everyone else in her family.

    Similar considerations prompted mothers Debra...

  • 7 Days In Arts

    September 4, 2003 | 8:00 pm


    Betty Green's paintings work on so many levels -- seriously. Her latest collection of mixed-media works, titled "Worlds Within," refers to the layers of paint and found objects that cover her canvas, as well as to the infinite nature of the visual space they inhabit....

  • Dr. Laura Loses Her Religion

    By Lisa Keys

    August 21, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Controversial syndicated radio-show host and public advocate of Orthodox Judaism Laura Schlessinger -- "Dr. Laura," as she is known to her 12 million daily listeners -- confessed on air this month that she will no longer practice Judaism.

    Although Schlessinger -- who very publicly...

  • Sacred Spaces

    By Rabbi Mimi Weisel

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    The second part of this week's double portion, Chukat-Balak, is rather humorous, and even curious. In the second part of the portion, Balak, king of Moab, hires Balaam who is considered to be the world's greatest wizard, to curse the Israelites. Yet, when this great sorcerer attempts...

  • Spiritual Parenthood

    By Rabbi Gidon Shoshan

    May 29, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Sometimes we wonder how the translators arrived at the names they designated for the books of the Bible. But our parsha, the opening one of the book of Bamidbar, makes the translators' choice self-evident. After all, what is this parsha more than a collection of Numbers?

    Why did God...

  • Song and Study Bring Temple to Life

    By Julie G Fax

    May 29, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    To understand how Rabbi Morley Feinstein has re-energized University Synagogue, just peek in on his Friday night services, which have been attracting upwards of 125 people every week.

    Music fills the sanctuary as Feinstein, Cantor Jay Frailich and Assistant Rabbi Zachary Shapiro...

  • Straight From Heaven

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    April 30, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    During April 1996, I led what was going to be my first of numerous trips to Poland. On that trip I served as the rabbinic adviser for 40 high school students who were participating in the March of the Living program.

    On our trip we took the students to the city of Lublin, and we...

  • New Burbank RabbiBuilds on Legal Past

    By Gaby Wenig

    April 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Richard Alan Flom is a rabbi come lately. Now the rabbi at Burbank Temple Emanu El, a Conservative synagogue, Flom was 41 before he entered rabbinical school, after a successful career as a lawyer and a management consultant. And it was not like he had always had a spiritual bent...

  • Why Keep Kosher?

    By Rabbi Debra Orenstein

    March 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The end of this week's Torah portion supplies the major biblical reasons for kashrut: "For I am God....

    You shall sanctify yourselves and be holy, for I am holy.... For I am God who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God.... To distinguish between the ritually impure...

  • Tough Answers

    By Sharon Schatz Rosenthal

    March 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    A week before his bar mitzvah, Ed Feinstein recalls in his new book "Tough Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult's Guide to Building a Jewish Life" (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2003), he was in a panic. "I was scheduled to stand up in front of the rabbi, my family and the congregation and...

  • Jews on the Warship

    By Janine Zacharia

    March 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    When I first packed for my trip as "embedded press" aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt -- one of five navy aircraft carriers deployed for war in Iraq -- I decided to throw a Megillah in my backpack, realizing that I would be on board during Purim. I had considered the possibility of...

  • Rocky Mountain Chai

    By Lisa Keys

    March 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The year was 1996, and Rabbi Mike Comins, newly ordained at Jerusalem's Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, had reached a crossroads. He had just completed his rabbinic thesis, was preparing to start his doctorate and, even though he was writing about God, "I felt like...

  • An Unorthodox Artist

    By Rachel Brand

    February 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    When most people think of a spiritual awakening, they don't necessarily think of such a thing taking place at the GAP.  But then again, artist Orit Arfa isn't really into conventionality.

    While walking down the streets of Manhattan seven years ago, dressed in her ankle-length skirt...

  • Our Eternal Light

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    In every generation, there is one special individual whose life and deeds are a living, shining reflection of the Torah's commandment to "bring clear illuminating olive oil to keep the lamp constantly burning." This generation's ner tamid (eternal light) is Col. Ilan Ramon, z"l. My...

  • Spiritual Sounds

    By Gaby Wenig

    February 6, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    If -- by chance -- you start flipping through Christian radio stations and you come across some Hebrew songs, the person singing them is most likely Sam Glaser, a Los Angeles-based Orthodox musician whose spiritual music is traversing religious boundaries. "I have no idea how the...

  • Reform Shuls Object to Kol HaNeshamah

    By Andrea Adelson

    February 6, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Objections raised by two established Reform congregations to a start-up alternative shul in Irvine has forced the new group to temporarily

    postpone seeking admission to the Reform movement's national organization, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC). Nearby synagogues,...

  • C’mon Get Happy

    By Gaby Wenig

    February 6, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    On the left side of the mechitza at the Happy Minyan on Pico Boulevard, the men put their hands on each other's shoulders, Chasidic conga-line style, and start tramping around in a circle; on the other side, the women hold hands, but remain stationary, bobbing their knees to the tune...

  • ‘Girl Meets God’—Again and Again

    By Reeve Lindbergh

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "Girl Meets God: On the Path to Spiritual Life" by Lauren Winner (Algonquin Books, $23.95).

    Lauren Winner's spiritual memoir, "Girl Meets God," is a passionate and thoroughly engaging account of a continuing spiritual journey within two profoundly different faiths.

    Winner, the...

  • Hidden Sensuality

    By Tamar Miller

    January 2, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Earlier this month, visitors to the Grand Hyatt in New York City might have spotted an unusually stern warning sign on one wall: "The hair of a woman is considered ervah." Lewd, shameful, naked, unchaste. This inscription, from the Babylonian Talmud, was part of a photographic...

  • Dream a Little Dream

    By Rabbi Rami Shapiro

    December 5, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Joseph's life is linked to dreams from his youth, and the way in which he responds to dreams reflects the level of his maturity.

    As a boy, he delights in using his dreams to torture his brothers and triumph over them. While he never interprets these dreams, their meaning is so clear...

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