Jewish Journal

Tag: Spirituality

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  • Ten Steps For Spiritual Growth

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    March 9, 2016 | 8:21 am

    The aim of life should be to grow, to be better than we were yesterday, to find what makes us special and to use that gift to give back in order to help others grow.  Part of the definition of love is helping another grow.  To grow- we need to move away from negativity and hatred,...

  • US Jews Lack in Spirituality

    By Pini Herman

    February 1, 2016 | 1:35 pm

    Only about a third of Jews (39 percent)  report to "feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being at least once a week" in 2014 while generally Americans report at something approaching two-thirds (59 percent) to "feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being at least...

  • Heal Pain Now: Yoga & the Torah

    By Marcus J Freed

    January 18, 2016 | 7:05 pm

    Heal Pain Now: Yoga of Parsha Bo


    Marcus is an actor & writer, living in LA. He is author of “The Kabbalah Sutras: 49 Steps to Enlightenment” - www.amazon.com/The-Kabbalah-Sutras-Enlightenment-Meditation/dp/0996350608.  More at www.marcusjfreed.com.

  • Who Are YOU?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    December 3, 2014 | 2:33 pm

    By Rabbi Paul Steinberg

    “‘Who are YOU?’ said the Caterpillar...
    ‘I – I hardly know, Sir, just at present – at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.’
    ‘What do you mean by that?’ said the Caterpillar...


    By Marcus J Freed

    November 12, 2014 | 1:48 pm

    “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when he grows up” – Pablo Picasso.

    Magicians and dramatists include a ‘reveal’ as part of their stock-in-trade. This might be the culmination of a great illusion, or the sudden plot twist, like the end of The...

  • Terrifying Reality. Spiritual Solution.

    By Beit T'shuvah

    May 30, 2014 | 1:21 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    "I will do everything in my power to destroy everything I cannot have." These are the words of Elliott Rodger, the young man who destroyed the lives, sanctity, and safety of people in Isla Vista, California. What a sentence of terror. What a sentence of...

  • Love’s Incomplete Promise

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    February 6, 2014 | 11:29 pm

    And such is love:

    We are born inside of love, delivered into a harsh world, which sends us a welcoming embrace, a soothing voice and breasts to nourish.  Our cord severed, we grow up among friends only to leave them and learn of loss as soon as our grip tightens.  We fall deep...

  • Sports and Spirituality

    By Beit T'shuvah

    May 6, 2013 | 3:05 pm

    By Matt Shapiro


    Despite living in Southern California for the better part of a decade, I still consider myself to be a Chicagoan. This is most clearly reflected in the sports teams I root for: Bears, White Sox and Bulls. I was thrilled that over the weekend, the Bulls...

  • Addiction, Prevention, and Spirituality

    By Beit T'shuvah

    April 23, 2013 | 1:03 pm

    By M. Alexander

    Beit T’Shuvah has proven something to the world—that the integration of spirituality into the psyche can prove to be an effective intervention against a range of addictions and the malaise of the human spirit.  

    The next logical step is: if spirituality can be...

  • How to Define Spirituality Part 2

    By Beit T'shuvah

    April 15, 2013 | 2:08 pm

    By Adam Siegel

    Last week, my colleague and friend Yeshaia Blakeney wrote about the challenge he frequently faces in trying to explain the nature of the spiritual counseling at Beit T’Shuvah (see How to Define Spirituality).  In fact, it’s apparently so challenging, that he...

  • How to Define Spirituality

    By Beit T'shuvah

    April 8, 2013 | 1:49 pm

    By Yeshaia Blakeney

    In conversation, people casually ask me what I do for a living.  Usually they’re just curious to see if it’s something they’re interested in, or trying to gain insight into me as a person.  I usually respond with my title, and say, “I am a Spiritual...

  • Involuntary Participant Observation in the ultra-Orthodox World

    By Pini Herman

    February 25, 2013 | 10:05 am

    The recently published The Rebel and the Rabbi’s Son is a fascinating read, even for someone such as this reader who grew up among the ultra-Orthodox without the heavy burdens of a dynastic lineage on his shoulders as did the author, Izzy Eichenstein. The situation is rare and the...

  • The Hollywood treatment

    By Danielle Berrin

    September 12, 2012 | 3:15 pm

    “Fundamentally, your job is not that different from my job,” screenwriter Alex Litvak told a room full of rabbis assembled at American Jewish University for the annual High Holy Days conference sponsored by the Board of Rabbis of Southern California.

    While most of the 165...

  • Resilience: We can learn from our trials

    September 12, 2012 | 2:55 pm

    How life teaches us! We read the wisdom of books and study the lectures of professors and we think we are ready for what life brings us. Armed with our learning, we venture into the world and discover that the formulas of the brain don’t help bind the wounds of the heart.


  • 5 theories you meet in heaven

    By Rabbi Mordecai Finley

    September 12, 2012 | 2:42 pm

    What is the singular essence of Rosh Hashanah?

    The core meaning of Rosh Hashanah is the sovereignty of the divine. By sovereignty of the divine, I don’t mean any particular level of Jewish practice. Jewish pietistic literature is well aware that anyone can go through the motions...

  • Confessing our sins

    September 12, 2012 | 2:32 pm

    Few prayers are as well known to Jews as Ashamnu (“We have sinned ...”) and Al Chet (“For the sin ...”), the twin confessions of Yom Kippur. Belief in human sinfulness is more central to Judaism than we think. Sin may not be “original,” as it is in Christianity — inherited from...

  • The value of voice

    September 12, 2012 | 1:40 pm

    As we prepare for the High Holy Days, we often do not consider one aspect  of ourselves, our voice. I’m taking about our actual vocal cords; our means of producing sound. 

    We use our voice to chant along with or respond to the cantor, but many of us will also use our voice...

  • The stones of our faith

    By Lauren Bottner

    October 27, 2011 | 5:20 pm

    I’m the dry-eyed one in the family.  I’m the one who gives the eulogies at funerals because I can get through them without breaking down, the one who doesn’t need tissues to watch “Beaches” or “Terms of Endearment”.  I come from a family who buys stock in Kleenex, going...

  • The business of spirituality

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    September 14, 2011 | 11:58 am

    When Eric J. Diamond wants to understand something, he’s very methodical in how he goes about it. So when he was elected president of Sinai Temple in June, one of the first things Diamond did was to ask Howard Lesner, the synagogue’s executive director, to arrange for a tour of...

  • Letters to the Editor: Paid Op/Ed, Spirituality, Pessimism, New Leaf, Circumcision

    July 5, 2011 | 6:30 pm

    Guidelines for Writing an Op-Ed

    Paul Jeser did the right thing in buying an ad in The Jewish Journal (“I am the Guy who has Been Sending the Mails Calling for a new Editor-in-Chief”, July 1). It is where his “comments” belonged. He could even have shortened the length of his...

  • A Brief Encounter: Finding My Grandfather in Israel

    By Masa Israel Journey

    March 17, 2011 | 10:59 am

    by Matthew Eisenberg, participant in Masa Israel’s Oranim Internship Experience

    How do I explain in words who my grandfather was and what he meant to me?  I guess if you took all that is right in the world and mixed it with the biggest heart, you would have my grandfather.  I...

  • Holiness vs. Spirituality

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    April 20, 2010 | 5:37 pm

    An acquaintance recently asked me about the difference between holiness and spirituality. In America, this person noted, everyone talks about spirituality but no one
    discusses holiness. What is Judaism’s view, my friend wanted to know, about these two ideas?

    Perhaps the answer can...

  • Remember the victims, hate their killers

    By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

    December 4, 2008 | 1:45 am

    All terrorism is monstrous, but the murder of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivkah, by religious Islamic extremists stands out for its unspeakable infamy.

    The deliberate targeting of a small Jewish center and its married young directors, whose only purpose it was to provide...

  • Small schools, not public universities, have most religious students

    By Brad A. Greenberg

    August 5, 2008 | 1:29 pm

    Brigham Young University (Mormon), the University of Notre Dame (Catholic) and Wheaton College (evangelical Christian) top The Princeton Review’s list of schools with the most religious student bodies. Not coincidentally, BYU and Wheaton also rule the “Stone-Cold Sober” list.

    Big public universities, though not bastions of hedonism, were left off the religious list and instead dominated the party hot spots.

  • More moderate voices replace liberal academics

    By Brad A. Greenberg

    July 12, 2008 | 8:46 pm

    War protest at UCLA from 1972

    My decision eight years ago to leave northern San Diego for UCLA was highly unusual. In my church youth group of about 50, only a few people in the previous decade had enrolled in a big, public, liberal, hedonistic university; most of my peers either took...

  • A spiritual boost in Simi

    By Sue Fishkoff

    March 27, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Three-dozen rabbis and cantors are sitting in silent meditation in a sun-filled room at the Brandeis-Bardin Campus at American Jewish University in Simi Valley.

    They open their eyes and Rabbi Sheila Weinberg guides them in a mindfulness exercise.

    "Feel how much space there is in...

  • Maybe it’s not so weird, after all

    By Rob Eshman

    December 6, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    The first time I visited the Kabbalah Centre, I thought it was weird. The congregants all wore white; the man on the bimah called out letters of the Hebrew alphabet ("Alef to bet to taph!"); the letters themselves were displayed in massive typeface on posters around the sanctuary....
  • TV: Suze Orman isn’t all about the money—she has a spiritual side, too

    By Elissa Strauss

    November 1, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Every morning in the shower, financial guru, TV personality and best-selling author Suze Orman says a prayer -- "I ask for forgiveness and relief for all whom I did harm, and forgiveness and relief for all who harmed me" -- and she has been doing so for as long as she can remember....
  • Color me spiritual

    By Amy Klein

    October 4, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    It's another bright sunny day in Encino, but Deborah Gordon manages to almost outshine the sun. In her hot pink and purple ensemble -- from ankle-length skirt to long-sleeved blouse topped by a fuchsia hat -- this rebbetzin wasn't kidding when she said she was all about colors....
  • A Gift Ignored

    By William Goldstein

    September 20, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    The Master of the Universe has given us a gift that can connect us to the spiritual world, the one that exists beyond our physical reality. That gift is music, yet, sadly, most synagogues ignore the spiritual power of highly organized art music, the form many refer to as "classical...
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