Jewish Journal

Tag: Torah

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  • Hebron – the city of the patriarchs – has become the cradle of occupation

    2 weeks ago

    On Shabbat of Nov. 7, in synagogues across the Jewish world, the parsha (portion) of “Chayei Sarah” (“Life of Sarah”) was read from the Torah. It tells the story of the first real estate purchase by Jewish patriarchs in the Holy Land — Abraham’s acquisition of the Cave of the...

  • Hebron and the potential for Israeli-Arab coexistence

    2 weeks ago

    I am currently in Israel with my wife, and a friend of ours who lives here called to ask if we would like to join the thousands of pilgrims who visit Hebron for Shabbat Chayei Sarah. It is not strictly an “anniversary” weekend, but seeing as this parsha (Torah portion) describes...

  • Embracing the Broken in Our Communities

    By Beit T'shuvah

    3 weeks ago

    The one thing I surely know about myself and the Jews that I serve is that we are Americans.  Yes, we love baseball, apple pie, and Hollywood.  We have unequivocally benefited from all of the rights and security that America has granted, and we appreciate them.  And, in a way,...

  • My Grandpa Aghajan.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    October 21, 2015 | 4:58 pm

    Habibollah.  A beloved of God.  Beloved by Allah.  That was my grandfather’s name.  Each time I hear of trouble in Israel, I reach out for his memory as a sinking man to a buoy.

    Habib- the beloved, as his friends referred to him- and Aghajan to me- an endearing name given to...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat B’reisheet with Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen

    By Shmuel Rosner

    October 9, 2015 | 3:02 am

    Our guest today is Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen, leader of the Beth El Kesser Israel congregation in New Haven, Connecticut. Rabbi Tilsen has been the spiritual leader of Beth El Kesser Israel since 1993. He is a graduate of Columbia College in New York, where he studied Political Science...

  • Muslims, Christians Should Celebrate Genesis as do Jews.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    October 7, 2015 | 9:05 am

    In Eden, there was God, Adam and Eve and no religion!

    Genesis begins with a wide angled view of diversity:  God creates a vast range of living things—fish, birds, cattle, wild animals “of every kind” and repeats “of every kind” with each living thing.

    When it comes to the...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Sukkot with Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback

    By Shmuel Rosner

    September 27, 2015 | 3:50 am

    Our special guest today is Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback, senior Rabbi of L.A.’s Stephen Wise Temple. Rabbi Zweiback graduated from Princeton University in 1991 and was ordained as a Rabbi by the Hebrew Union College in 1998. He trained as a Jewish Educator at HUC's Los Angeles campus,...

  • Torah Animals and Death Practices: The Scapegoat, the Red Heifer, and the Broken-necked Heifer

    September 23, 2015 | 3:40 am

    Rambam says that some rules are “Supra-rational” – these are rules that appear irrational and beyond our logical understanding. He gives as examples three practices regarding animals - the Azazel, the Parah Adumah, and the Eglah Arufah. But is there any rationality, maybe some...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Ki Tavo with Rabbi Paul Lewin

    By Shmuel Rosner

    September 4, 2015 | 4:51 am

    Our guest this week is Rabbi Paul Lewin of the North Shore Synagogue in Sydney, Australia. Rabbi Lewin was born in South Africa. He studied at the famous Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel for 10 years. His qualifications include a BA in Psychology and Education from UNISA as well as a...

  • A year of learning Torah through food

    September 3, 2015 | 2:55 pm

    It’s the end of summer 2014. Rosh Hashanah is approaching, and with it the finale of the seven-year shmita cycle, a time when agricultural land lies fallow in Israel, perennials are harvested, and debts are forgiven. A year ago, I asked myself, could I give myself a shmita-inspired...

  • When Your Child Isn’t on the Guest List

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    August 25, 2015 | 5:38 pm

    Jewish schooling is a huge investment.  We spend a large portion of our after tax money to belong to a community that is loving, nurturing and all inclusive.  The school constituents become our family. 

    For years, I heard the complaints of friends with older children attending...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Re’eh with Rabbi Ben Elton

    By Shmuel Rosner

    August 14, 2015 | 4:00 am

    Our guest this week is Rabbi Ben Elton, Chief Minister of The Great Synagogue in Sydney, Australia. Rabbi Elton earned an MA in History at Queens’ College, Cambridge and a PhD in Jewish History at Birkbeck, University of London. For seven years he worked in the Ministry of Justice...

  • How to Improve the Relationship With Your Parents Forever & Bring Generational Healing

    By Marcus J Freed

    August 5, 2015 | 7:56 am

    Last year I learned a secret that transformed the relationship with my parents. I would like to share it with you. But first, a 10 Commandments soundbite: “I.. am a zealous God, who - for the haters - remembers the sins of the fathers up to the third and fourth generations” (Deut...

  • Tonight, we do not study Torah: Parashat Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1–3:22)

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    July 24, 2015 | 3:46 pm

    For many years, Tisha b’Av was off the radar of the national Israeli narrative. Many Israelis viewed the ancient day of fast as an antiquated observance lacking contemporary relevance. Some argued that Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron are the “new Israeli Tisha b’Av,” and — especially...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Devarim with Rabbi Alan Freedman

    By Shmuel Rosner

    July 24, 2015 | 3:22 pm

    Our guest this week is Rabbi Alan Freedman, leader of Temple Beth Shalom in Austin, Texas. Rabbi Freedman was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati and holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In addition to...

  • Nobody Turns 40 in L.A.

    By Marcus J Freed

    July 10, 2015 | 3:25 pm

    Years ago I met up with my father at a hotel in Eilat, after he crossed the Sinai Desert in a four day charity trek from Egypt to Israel. He cried with joy when we said hello. After four days of sandblasted hiking and star-filled camping, they made it to the Promised Land (albeit a...

  • Honoring Max Steinberg

    July 8, 2015 | 2:34 pm

    Family, friends and supporters of fallen Israeli soldier and Woodland Hills native Max Steinberg gathered on June 28 at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel to commemorate a Torah in his honor.

    Families of Lone Soldiers (FOLS), an organization committed to supporting the loved ones of...

  • Conversation drives community

    By Zev Hurwitz

    July 6, 2015 | 5:11 pm

    One of my favorite Torah lectures from my time in middle school at Maimonides Academy, (okay, the only one I remember) was where our principal delivered an address entitled “If Jews had a Christmas Tree.”

    The concept for a shiur on Christmas Trees in Judaism seems comical at...

  • Constitution and torah

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    July 6, 2015 | 12:31 pm

    In his speech that became known as “The Spirit of Liberty,” delivered in New York City’s Central Library, in the midst of World War II, the preeminent judge and judicial philosopher, Learned Hand, asked, “What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty?  I often...

  • Entering the Promised Land:  The Blessing and Curse of Memory.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    June 25, 2015 | 12:15 pm

    You arrive at my office with your fiancé.  You have never traveled together.  You sit on a sofa and I turn off the lights.  The projector shows the two of you dining in Paris, climbing Everest, crossing the Nile, zip-lining in Africa, paragliding in Australia.  As you walk out,...

  • Sermons slammed to celebrate Sinai

    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    June 15, 2015 | 2:47 pm

    Becoming ourselves is a process. We learn what our family or friends find funny or valuable, and shape our identities accordingly, either to conform to, or in opposition to those norms and expectations. Teachers help us acquire skills, the basics of contemporary education, text...
  • Black, white and nameless: Parashat Beha’alotecha (Numbers 8:1-12:16)

    June 3, 2015 | 1:43 pm

    And Miriam spoke, and Aaron, against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married: For he had married a Cushite woman” (Numbers 12:1).

    Of the one woman, we know much; of the other, we know very little. 

    Of Miriam, the prophetess, we are familiar with her deeds in...

  • On Shavuot, remembering the day I almost dropped the Torah

    May 22, 2015 | 10:48 am

    On Shavuot, we are reminded that the Torah is a tree of life to which we are to hold fast. But what happens when that hold slips from your grasp?

    It’s a question I found myself asking six weeks before Shavuot, late in the Torah service on the last day of Passover.


  • Navigating grief’s wilderness: Parashat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20)

    By Rabbi Anne Brener

    May 21, 2015 | 4:26 pm

    “You must make yourself like a wilderness in order to receive the Torah” (Bamidbar Rabbah 19:26).

    This week’s parsha, Bamidbar, begins the Book of the Wilderness, more commonly known as the Book of Numbers. We return to the narrative of the journey from Egypt to the Promised...

  • On Shavuot, reopening the book

    May 21, 2015 | 12:28 pm

    On Shavuot, which this year falls on May 23, we celebrate the day that we received the Torah on Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago. Think about that. Every year, we celebrate receiving the exact same book, or, more precisely, re-receiving the exact same Torah. But if I possess...

  • Western Wall barriers locked to prevent women from getting Torah scroll

    May 19, 2015 | 9:59 am

    A male supporter of Women of the Wall was arrested after trying to pass a Torah scroll to the women’s section of the Western Wall during prayers for the new Jewish month.

    The partitions separating the men’s and women’s sections were locked together and metal barriers placed...

  • Shavuot: Bridging the Unbridgeable Chasm

    May 15, 2015 | 12:28 pm

    Shavuot is a short holiday – one day in Israel, two in the Diaspora. There is no special mitzvah connected to it. And, at least in theory, it has no fixed date. Shavuot is completely dependent on Passover, which precedes it, and is celebrated only after the counting of seven weeks....

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Behar-Bechukotai with Rabbi Aaron Rubinger

    By Shmuel Rosner

    May 15, 2015 | 3:22 am

    Our guest this week is Rabbi Aaron Rubinger, Senior Rabbi of the Ohev Shalom congregation in Orlando, Florida. Rabbi Rubinger is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Brandeis University. He has a Master’s  degree in Ancient History from UCLA, and he was ordained at the Jewish Theological...

  • Design a tallit as unique as they are

    May 14, 2015 | 5:43 pm

    Prayer shawls, or tallitot, have long been an important part of Jewish ritual tradition. Although the date of their first appearance is unknown, Torah dictates that we wear fringes (tzitzit) on the four corners of a garment (Numbers 15:37-41) to remind us of God’s commandments....

  • 300+ Rabbis Sign activist “Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis”:  Encouraged by Pope Francis

    By Rabbi Arthur Waskow

    May 14, 2015 | 8:08 am

    More than 300 rabbis have signed a Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis, calling for vigorous action to prevent worsening climate disruption, to seek eco-social justice, and to shape a world f shared sustainable abundance..

    We are delighted to share the news of this major and...

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