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Tag: Torah

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  • Immunity and Impunity: Fear and Loathing in Gaza

    5 days ago

    “The terrorists are firing rockets from schools, from mosques, from hospitals, from heavily civilian populations. We have to try and are doing our best to minimize civilian casualties. But we cannot give our attackers immunity or impunity.”– Benyamin Netanyahu, on July 24, 2014
    ...

  • Why Vaccinations are Kosher and Required

    By Roger Price

    1 week ago

    Let’s face it. Sometimes you can deny certain established scientific truths and it does not make much difference. You can, for instance, believe that the Earth was created about 6,000 years ago and life as we know it will still go on. OK, maybe Jon Stewart and certain professors...

  • Commited to Doing Life

    By Beit T'shuvah

    3 weeks ago

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    I am worried! I am worried about what is happening in Israel. I am worried about what is happening in America. I am worried about what is happening in my work and in my life. I am worried about today and I am worried about tomorrow.

    My truth is that I am...

  • We Need to Make Freedom Ring

    By Beit T'shuvah

    July 4, 2014 | 10:43 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    Today is July 4, 2014—Independence Day in the United States. We are supposed to be celebrating Freedom on this day, yet, are we free?

    I ask this question in light of all of the activities that have happened in this past year and in the past 238 years. I...

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  • Torah too R-rated for some Chasidim, so they edited it

    July 2, 2014 | 10:53 am

    For some Chasidim, the Torah is too hot to handle.

    A recently published Bible study guide in use in a Chasidic village in suburban New York omits certain risque passages and entire passages of the Book of Genesis, according to Israeli scholar and blogger David Assaf of Tel Aviv...

  • A new era for Torah-based fertility treatment

    By Danielle Berrin

    June 11, 2014 | 1:04 pm

    As modern couples are marrying later and often postponing having children, the use of cutting-edge fertility treatments, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryonic genetic testing, is gaining widespread popularity and acceptance.

    But for Orthodox Jewish couples who wish...

  • Father’s Day: From dad’s art studio to the rabbi’s bimah

    June 11, 2014 | 12:55 pm

    I confess. Sometimes when I say from the pulpit, “A great Jewish man once said,” I’m actually just quoting my dad. OK, more than sometimes. Often. I’m embarrassed to say, “My daddy taught me …” all the time. It might make me appear immature and unlearned. However, of all teachings...

  • Capturing the Israeli summer holidays

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    June 11, 2014 | 9:54 am

    This past month, we celebrated three major Israeli holidays: Israel's 66th Independence Day, Lag Ba'Omer and Shavu'ot.

    Lag Ba'Omer is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the thirty-third day of the counting of the Omer (six weeks from Passover to Shavu'ot.) For most of us secular...

  • Judaism in the time of climate change

    By Rav Yosef Kanefsky

    June 4, 2014 | 11:11 am

    When human life is in danger, Jews stop and pay attention. In fact, we set aside Shabbat and virtually every other law not only when human life is clearly and certainly in danger, but also whenever there is a reasonable possibility that life is threatened. According to Mishnah...

  • Shavuot, when we became who we are

    June 3, 2014 | 8:41 am

    Rabbinic tradition teaches that when God spoke at Sinai, the world was silenced — birds did not sing, breezes did not rustle leaves in the trees. Out of that profound silence came the word, and were the world silent again, for even an instant, we could hear the everlasting echo of...

  • On Shavuot, reconsidering the origins of the Torah

    May 28, 2014 | 10:27 am

    Is the Torah true? 

    The story itself is pure Hollywood (and yes, there have been a few movies): God sends a messenger to free a group of slaves from the superpower of the time, Egypt. When Pharaoh says no, plagues rain down from heaven until he finally relents. The slaves leave...

  • Obligation to Society

    By Beit T'shuvah

    May 23, 2014 | 11:13 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    I am a Dinosaur. I have been looking at myself for many years now and, as of late, I realize how much my upbringing affects me. I have been looking at the world through both new and old eyes. I use the latest technology and cherish old ways of living. I am...

  • Death on Torah on the Trails

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    May 21, 2014 | 1:30 am

    On the third Saturday of the month our Torah Study group, which normally meets in a room at the synagogue, instead goes on “Torah on the Trails.” Usually, this consists of carpooling to a trailhead, taking an easy hike to a gathering place, settling in to study some Torah, then...

  • Gifts of art from the heart

    May 16, 2014 | 11:22 am

    As bar and bat mitzvah celebrations have become more sophisticated and often more costly over the years, so, too, have many of the gifts. While many 12- and 13-year-olds continue to welcome fountain pens or jewelry, it’s not unusual for a celebrant to request an iPod or...

  • The Romantic Hart

    By Milad Doroudian

    May 13, 2014 | 2:27 pm

     

    It is rather unusual to think of Jewish artists as anything but extravagant or puzzling, yet there are always the rare exceptions, which mind you are a welcomed break from the extraordinary pieces we are usually accustomed to. The romantic Solomon Alexander Hart, whose work is...

  • When Will Morality Win?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    May 2, 2014 | 3:24 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    What a week! There is the Ukraine, the Donald Sterling Fiasco, etc. We are living in a time that is rife with Moral Issues and we seem to be making Free-Will IMMORAL choices rather than Free-Will MORAL choices. What is happening? I don’t claim to have THE...

  • Yom HaShoah: The value of memory

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    April 23, 2014 | 11:00 am

    In the Torah, God is constantly remembering, and that remembering is followed by action. God remembers Noah and then stops the flood. God remembers the Israelites and then frees them from bondage. When we speak about the Sabbath, we say “Shamor v’zachor b’dibur echad,” that the...

  • From Pharaoh to Freud: The Bible’s Ultimate Id

    By Jared Sichel

    April 17, 2014 | 10:23 am

    It's up there in the annals of stupidity.

    God had just undone Egyptian society with 10 devastating plagues, striking at the heart of Egypt's various nature gods. Water turned to blood. Animals turned against humans. Light stopped working. Pharaoh's Egyptian experiment, for all...

  • Believing is Seeing (Exodus 33:12-34:26)

    April 16, 2014 | 2:57 pm

    The reading for Shabbat Chol HaMoed, the Sabbath of the intermediate days of Pesach (and Sukkot), describes one of the more exciting moments in Torah: the closest encounter any human has with God.

    Following the sin of the Golden Calf and Moses’ advocacy for the people, he makes a...

  • Acharei Mot: Cleansing Past Misdeeds

    By Beit T'shuvah

    April 11, 2014 | 11:39 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    My brother Neal called me this morning and suggested I write about a character from this week's Torah Portion. It is the "Ish Ati," the man who takes the goat for Azazel out to the wilderness. Since I didn't write about it in my weekly Torah Drash, I...

  • Become the sanctuary: Parashat Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36)

    March 12, 2014 | 3:46 pm

    Where is God, and what does the Holy One want from us? These timeless questions animate so many of us spiritual seekers. 

    Of course, there are better places to look for an answer than in this week’s Torah portion, Tzav, unless you consider barbecuing as divine service. If you...

  • Women and Torah: Masking words

    By David Suissa

    March 12, 2014 | 12:32 pm

    Especially during this time of year, when many of us disguise ourselves for the holiday of Purim, the idea of masks is usually associated with people. Even in politics and everyday life, we talk of people masking their real intentions or hiding behind a façade.

    But in Judaism,...

  • Purim: There’s something about Esther

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    March 12, 2014 | 11:45 am

    If I were assigned the task of writing a biblical-style script for a play or a movie, the Book of Esther is the last place I would turn for inspiration. The word “biblical” conjures up images of God, prophets, dreams, visions and supernatural miracles — all of which are strikingly...

  • The Charedi protests: A response to David Suissa

    March 12, 2014 | 9:39 am

    [David Suissa: Charedim should start with ‘thank you’  /
    Knesset passes Charedi draft law / Community response]

    I consider myself a friend of David Suissa. I like what he is about, trying to bring disparate segments of our Jewish community together. That is precisely why I feel...

  • Seeing Yourself in Torah

    By Beit T'shuvah

    March 7, 2014 | 1:08 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    With the opening of our new space at 8847 Venice Blvd., I have been thinking about how I got to where I am in life from where I was some 26+ years ago. I was locked up for the 2nd time and all I had was a Prayer Book and a Chumash, a book with the entire...

  • After bruising Iran sanctions battle, AIPAC conference is all about comity

    March 4, 2014 | 11:40 am

    You’ve got your rousing church choir, your multi-denominational trio of rabbis quoting Torah, your montages of Israelis and Palestinians coming together and, above all, your pleas to please, please, please be nice to one another.

    Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, Jew,...

  • Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks spends a weekend in L.A. envisioning the Jewish future

    By Jared Sichel

    February 26, 2014 | 4:07 pm

    Swiping his finger to the left, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s now-former chief rabbi, and arguably the world’s most prominent religious Jewish leader, was looking for a text he felt might show how Orthodox Jews can spread a Jewish message to the Western world.

    He wasn’t...

  • Living an Examined Life

    By Beit T'shuvah

    February 14, 2014 | 12:57 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    As I sit here, this morning, at my computer I am thinking about an article written in The Catholic Agitator by Dr. Cornel West about Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker. Dorothy Day is a hero of my wife, Harriet Rossetto and an extraordinary...

  • A Coming Out Tale: Getting Over My Embarrassment and Calling Myself Religious

    By Tamara Shayne Kagel

    February 12, 2014 | 12:30 pm

    I have always been cagey when detailing information about myself that might classify me as religious.  Not that I was ever embarrassed or cryptic about telling people I was Jewish.  Telling people I was Jewish when people asked what my Christmas plans were, or just offering up the...

  • What is Holiness?

    By Salvador Litvak

    February 9, 2014 | 5:31 pm

    [Remarks delivered Shabbat morning in the Library Minyan, Los Angeles, Feb. 8, 2014 – 8 Adar I, 5774]

    Good Shabbos!

    What is holiness? What does it mean to be holy? I have wrestled with this question ever since I found my way back to Judaism 16 years ago.

    This week’s Torah...

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