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Jewish Journal

Tag: Teshuvah

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  • A difficult conversation

    By Rabbi Laura Geller

    September 3, 2013 | 11:52 am

    The conversation is supposed to begin like this: “Will you forgive me for anything I might have said or done this year that has hurt you?” 

    You are sitting with a friend over coffee, during the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and you ask this question. Not easy. What...

  • A time of transformation

    By Rabbi David Wolpe

    September 3, 2013 | 11:48 am

    Many Jews will point to the Hebrew word het for sin, which is an archery term, and insist that Judaism teaches that sin is just “missing the mark.” That simplification does a grave injustice to the Jewish tradition. There are other words for sin in our liturgy — pesha, avon and...

  • The other annual migration of North American Jews: to shul

    By Roger Price

    August 29, 2013 | 12:42 pm

       The first of the two annual migrations of North American Jews began a couple of weeks ago, with thousands and thousands of young Jews heading to colleges across the continent. (See The annual migration of North American Jews to college.) The second seasonal migration of North...

  • Addicted to redemption

    by Rabbi Mark Borovitz, Head Rabbi at Beit T’Shuvah

    September 7, 2012 | 2:03 pm

    To introduce this blog, it’s important you meet and learn a bit about me.  I am Rabbi Mark Borovitz, and to my knowledge, I am the only ex-con, ordained Rabbi that addresses an audience comprised equally of convicts and congregants at the weekly Shabbat Services I lead. 

    I am...

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  • Teshuva in Liberia: Moving from ruin to reconciliation

    July 5, 2012 | 4:19 pm

    Sometimes, when you visit a place that is full of so much pain, the stories — and days — begin to bleed into one another. 

    The stories of the people of Liberia, whose ferocious civil war ended only nine years ago, reveal horrifying trends through 14 years of fighting. Scant...

  • Dick Cheney, torture and teshuvah

    August 31, 2011 | 1:50 pm

    According to press reports, Dick Cheney’s memoir, set to be released this week, is one long exercise is not regretting any decision he made while serving as Vice-President of the United States. This is a shame. The first step in teshuvah, repentance, is recognizing the wrongs that...

  • Yom Kippur 5769: The Art of Forgiveness

    By Jane Ulman

    October 1, 2008 | 10:28 pm

    On the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, in 1995, Eva Kor, then 61 and a real estate broker in Terre Haute, Ind., stood outside a gas chamber at the infamous camp and offered her forgiveness out loud to the late Dr. Josef Mengele for the inhumane medical experiments he...
  • Sunday afternoon flag

    By The Web Guy

    September 25, 2008 | 3:50 am

  • Liturgy reminds us what we can do to avert evil

    September 25, 2008 | 3:07 am

    Sept. 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...

  • Got forgiveness?

    By David Suissa

    September 25, 2008 | 2:18 am

    Would you believe that most Jews, including Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jews, don't fully observe the High Holy Days?

    I don't mean the basic rituals, like going to synagogue, reciting the prayers, listening to the shofar and the rabbi's sermons, having the holiday meals and saying...

  • Teshuvah and weight loss

    By Rabbi Debra Orenstein

    September 24, 2008 | 10:59 pm

    Let me begin with an important disclaimer: it is wrong to equate physical fitness with spiritual fitness. (I personally was at the peak of my spiritual strength during my last pregnancy when I gained 70 pounds and had muscle atrophy from bed rest.) I attribute no virtue to...
  • Rosh Hashanah means frank talk with family, not just apples and honey

    By The Web Guy

    September 24, 2008 | 1:19 am

    I'm happy to share this post from guest blogger Alissa Bader:


    The year 5769 is nearly upon us -- the time for apples and honey, new Hebrew calendars, and round challahs in the supermarket.

    It's a time for New Year's cards in the mail and frantically getting all of your work done in...
  • Polish the Soul for Elul

    By Rabbi Anne Brener

    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...

  • Teshuvah for Tots Sets Right Tone

    By Julie G Fax

    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...

  • The See Season

    By Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer

    September 1, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    There is a remarkable place I go to, about once a year. It is a spot on the Oregon coast. And I mean, literally, a spot. When I stand on that spot,

    I can see the whole world -- all of it.

    Straight ahead, I see the Pacific Ocean, waves rhythmically approaching and departing, humming...

  • A 5765 Resolution

    By Maurice J. Elias

    September 30, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    In 1990, the late psychologist and author Julius Segal wrote an article of exceptional depth, wisdom and practicality for Parents Magazine. His message was simple: For children to thrive, they must have the respect, acceptance and patience of parents who cherish them.

    Each of these...

  • Teshuvah for Two

    By Carin Davis

    September 23, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    There's nothing more romantic than a cantor's serenade, a symphony of grumbling stomachs, and an oversized sheet of dry honey cake.

    Which is why I might invite new guy Austin to spend Yom Kippur with me.

    Austin and I met last month on a great blind date. He's cute, he's kind, he had...

  • Embrace the Day, Invite the ‘Stranger’

    By Edmund Case

    September 16, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    My earliest High Holiday memory goes back to about age 7. It was the night before Yom Kippur and my parents had gone off to the synagogue, leaving my 10-year-old brother and me with a babysitter. I forgot that I wasn't supposed to eat anything that night, went into the kitchen, got...

  • It’s Time to Change

    By Jane Ulman

    September 2, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    The oldest and most primitive human dates back about 7 million years, according to a skull found by scientists in Central Africa.

    "That's so depressing," I say to my husband, Larry. "I can't believe that in 7 million years we haven't evolved any further than this."

    "This" being...

  • Rabin’s Funeral

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    October 31, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Given the atmosphere in the Middle East today, it is hard to believe that just seven years ago, on Nov. 6, 1995, a Jewish funeral took place where the deceased was surrounded and eulogized by Jews and Arabs. Yes, this week marks the seventh anniversary of Israeli Prime Minister...

  • The Neurobiology of Teshuvah

    October 5, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    As a scientist and a believer in human progress, I have been concerned about how well the established process of teshuvah (repentance) has worked. Yom Kippur after Yom Kippur - in fact, since the 11th century - we have recited the same confessional prayer, "Al Chet." If we were any...

  • The Fires This Time

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    September 21, 2000 | 7:59 pm

    If a book that confronts death head-on can be uplifting, Kate Wenner has done it in an auspicious first novel, "Setting Fires" (Scribner). The two fires referred to in the title offer unseen sparks, that, amid the danger of consuming flames, light the way to meaning for the main...

  • Cardinal Repentance

    By Ruth E. Gruber

    September 23, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    In 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...

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