Jewish Journal

Tag: Torah

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  • A Little Torah and Chill?

    By Rabbi Robin Podolsky

    2 days ago

    Had the Torah not been given, we would learn modesty from the cat, (to be against) theft from the flea, faithfulness from the dove, and derekh eretz (good behavior) from the rooster who obtains consent and only then has sex." (Eruvin 100b)

    Wait, how many human genders did the...

  • What Matters Most.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    2 weeks ago

    Remember when life was simply beautiful?

    Children didn’t get cancer.  No one filed bankruptcy.  Marriages were mostly… good.  Hospitals were places young women went to deliver babies.

    I yearn for that innocent past- fruits that tasted like grandma's love, friends more loyal...

  • Banish Stress & Get Happy: The Yoga of Exodus.

    By Marcus J Freed

    January 6, 2016 | 5:04 pm

    Banish Stress & Get Happy: The Yoga of Exodus.
    Kosher Sutra #13. Torah, Yoga, Meditation & Love


    Is your 2016 going to be a year of pushing or allowing? There is a time for both. Our education systems focus on continually pushing, producing & doing, but taken to its...

  • Our history of projection: Parashat Va’era (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

    January 6, 2016 | 3:55 pm

    Reading Torah at face value is fraught with danger and difficulty. Recently, readers of this publication have jumped into the fray around Torah and transgender. When columnist Dennis Prager cast his opinion on that most contemporary of social phenomena in the light of our most...

  • Deluge of letters to Prager shows inability to discuss serious issues

    December 15, 2015 | 3:24 pm

    The deluge of letters vilifying Dennis Prager for his Jewish Journal column, “The Torah and the Transgendered,” is yet another manifestation of too many Jews’ inability to amicably, or merely intellectually discuss important, serious issues without dismissiveness and ridicule.


  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Miketz with Rabbi Corey Helfand

    By Shmuel Rosner

    December 11, 2015 | 3:15 am

    Our guest this week is Rabbi Corey Helfand, leader of the Peninsula Sinai congregation in Foster City, CA. Rabbi Helfand received his rabbinic ordination in May 2011 from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America along with a Masters in Talmud and Jewish Law and a certificate in...

  • Dennis Prager has a point

    By David Seidenberg

    December 10, 2015 | 11:59 am

    What Dennis Prager says in his most recent column (“The hate is all in one direction”) is right – liberal Jews, rabbis and laypeople, responded in these pages to his piece “Torah and the transgendered” with a lot of passion and rhetoric, even beauty, without addressing his central...

  • Torah and The LGBT Community: Why Prager is Wrong!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    December 10, 2015 | 10:33 am

    Dennis Prager’s column “The Torah and the transgendered” is flawed from the start.  Most Jews DO believe that the Torah is a Divine document- but not one written entirely by God.  Most Jews believe that the Torah is a holy guide, one that was written by some inspired interaction...

  • The hate is all in one direction

    By Dennis Prager

    December 9, 2015 | 2:31 pm

    In response to my latest column, “The Torah and the Transgendered,” the Jewish Journal was deluged with emails to the editor and comments on the Journal’s website. Virtually every one of them is shameful. If you care about the moral nature and intellectual viability of American...

  • The Religious Brains exchange, part 3: ‘The shrinking of ‘the God of the gaps’ is not a problem’

    By Shmuel Rosner

    December 9, 2015 | 4:02 am

    Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger is the leader of the Beth-El Congregation in Fort Worth, Texas, an adjunct faculty member at Brite Divinity School and has served as the Jewish co-chair of the Texas Conference of Churches' Jewish-Christian Forum. Rabbi Mecklenburger was ordained at the...

  • Letters to the Editor: Responses to Dennis Prager’s column on ‘the Torah and the transgendered’

    December 8, 2015 | 2:23 pm

    The following letters are reponses to Dennis Prager's Dec. 4 column, "The Torah and the transgendered."

    Read Dennis Prager's Response

    We are 235 members of the synagogue that Dennis Prager referred to but did not identify: Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center (PJTC).

    When PJTC...

  • Response to Dennis Prager

    By Rabbi Lori Shapiro

    December 8, 2015 | 9:06 am

    When earlier last month Mr. Prager assailed against non-orthodox Judaism as not going deep enough with Torah, I championed his cause. 

    However, it seems that this month, it is Mr. Prager who has lost his way

    Torah has always been a dynamic; indeed, the rabbis prompt us to...

  • The Torah and the transgendered

    By Dennis Prager

    December 2, 2015 | 9:24 am

    Is the Torah really the best guide?

    Most Jews do not believe the Torah is a divine document, but rather that it is entirely man-made. For that reason, among others, most Jews do not think that the Torah is an appropriate guide to life. How many non-Orthodox Jews, when deciding...

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

    November 11, 2015 | 4:38 pm

    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

    November 11, 2015 | 4:30 pm

    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

    November 3, 2015 | 10:51 am

    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...

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