Jewish Journal

Tag: Torah Portion

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  • Torah portion: Your body is a temple

    2 days ago

    I am a rabbi and a chaplain. I once had a hospital patient respond to that introduction by saying, “So you’re Jewish and Christian?” This points to how little is known about this thing called “chaplaincy” and how hard I must work to explain it, wherever I go. 

    The word “chaplain”...

  • Letters to the editor: The Kotel, Olney’s descendent and fighting homelessness

    2 days ago

    Make the Kotel Barrier-Free

    Rabbi Daniel Bouskila’s argument that there should be no minyanim at all at the Western Wall, where any Jew — or non-Jew — can come and meditate as individuals, is to be lauded (“The Kotel Decision: A Sephardic Jew Responds,” Feb. 5). Only in the two...

  • Torah portion: Becoming humans

    1 week ago

    “Evolution” is an explosive word in a Torah article. I’d like to argue, though, that there is one sense of evolution that is agreed to by all Jewish scholars.

    Parashat Mishpatim opens its message with the laws of owning a slave. A refrain heard twice in the Torah portion is that...

  • Torah portion: We all stood at Sinai

    2 weeks ago

    Bruchim habayim b’shem Adonai

    Blessed are those who come in God’s name

    You are ALL invited to a wedding …

    Judaism is based on the belief that all of the Jewish people — past, present and future — were present at the marriage of God and the children of Israel. We all stood at...

  • Torah portion: The ordinary miracle of the extraordinary

    3 weeks ago

    We must live in the world of the ordinary. But if we then open our eyes and look — really look — we can glimpse the extraordinary. 

    Moses learned this lesson. He had to work hard in the world of the ordinary, shepherding his father-in-law’s flock, to arrive at the place of the...

  • Torah portion: The Jewish Black Swan

    January 13, 2016 | 10:45 am

    “Come to Pharaoh, for I have made his heart and the heart of his servants stubborn so that I can put these signs of Mine in his midst; and so that you may relate in the ears of your son and your son’s son … how I displayed My signs among them — that you may know that I am HaShem”...

  • Torah portion: The destruction of memory

    December 30, 2015 | 9:35 am

    “A new king arose over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. And [Pharaoh] said to his people: Behold, a nation — the Children of Israel — are more numerous and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply … for when it happens that a war befalls us, they too...

  • Torah portion: Securing a Jewish legacy

    December 28, 2015 | 2:56 pm

    What will be our legacy? Every generation asks itself this question. It’s part of aging and looking to bridge past and future. Legacy gives us a sense that our life is worthwhile. It gives us the basis to believe that all our struggles and decisions in life can be framed in a way...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Vayechi

    By Shmuel Rosner

    December 25, 2015 | 3:50 am

    As the Jewish Journal video staff is on vacation this week, we decided to give you a couple of our past discussions of this week's Torah portion.

    Parashat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26) is the final portion of the book of Genesis. The portion describes the final days of Jacob, the...

  • Torah portion: A lesson in Joseph’s pain

    December 16, 2015 | 9:33 am

    In Parashat Vayigash, we witness the intense climax of the Joseph story, a story that begins in familial jealousy and estrangement and ends in empathy and reunion.

    One message emerging from this tale is that when we hold our own pain and experience deeply, our own grief of loss...

  • Torah portion: Their brother’s keeper

    By Rav Yosef Kanefsky

    December 9, 2015 | 11:25 am

    It is hard to know what is going through the minds of Joseph’s brothers when Jacob commands them to descend to Egypt to purchase food, in the midst of the Canaanite famine. Does it occur to them that they might encounter their brother, who was sold so long ago? Might they have been...

  • Torah portion: Silence is golden

    December 2, 2015 | 11:19 am

    In this week’s Torah portion, Joseph has two dreams, both of which indicate that he will rule over his brothers. One of the dreams signals that he will not only rule over his brothers, but also over his parents. Joseph tells his brothers about his dreams, and they resent him for...

  • Torah portion: Speeding up to slow down

    November 24, 2015 | 9:48 am

    In one of my favorite essays by the humorist David Sedaris, he recounts his experience of chasing after his husband Hugh on their various vacations. Sedaris writes, “Most of Hugh’s and my travel arguments have to do with pace. I’m a fast walker, but he has longer legs, and likes to...

  • Torah portion: Jacob, the imperfect and perfected patriarch

    November 18, 2015 | 9:58 am

    At the beginning of our parsha, we find Jacob utterly alone, en route to exile, without friends or family. He is a lonely immigrant en route to a foreign land. What produced this sordid state of affairs? 

    The answer is, of course, the cunning trickery that Jacob employed in order...

  • Torah portion: Somebody else’s dream

    By Rabbi Lisa Edwards

    November 11, 2015 | 11:31 am

    I had the pleasure last week of a reunion with an old friend. Through a leisurely evening of reminiscing, we recalled the moments of profound influence each of us had made on the direction of the other’s life. 

    My friend remembered that in a wary moment 28 years ago, I encouraged...

  • Torah portion: Love and loss —  two ways about it

    November 4, 2015 | 1:10 pm

    Last week, I had a root canal. It turns out that I had a crown that had never been permanently cemented — I only received temporary cement that eventually washed away, allowing bacteria to move in. 

    I could not believe I had not gone back to the dentist to have it permanently...

  • Torah portion: One night in Tokyo

    October 28, 2015 | 10:54 am

    Although I was just a kid, I still remember my walk to synagogue on Feb. 12, 1990. It stands out because I passed a newspaper, and on the front page was something I had never dreamed of seeing.

    There he was, laying on the floor, out for the count — the unbeatable Iron Mike Tyson,...

  • Torah portion: Abraham—a magnetic leader

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    October 21, 2015 | 11:13 am

    While waiting in line at a Los Angeles International Airport gift shop last week, I noticed a colorful display of magnets. One in particular caught my eye. In attractive red, yellow, green and purple fonts, it read: “RISK more than others think is safe, CARE more than others think...

  • Torah portion: Do I have your attention?

    October 14, 2015 | 11:49 am

    It was a heart-stopping photo that flashed through social media and around the world last month: A toddler, Alan Kurdi, face down, dead upon the Turkish shore, the Syrian refugee’s sturdy toddler shoes pointing downward as the shallow waves caressed his still face. 

    Death by...

  • Torah portion: Yom Kippur a coming home for the Jewish soul

    October 8, 2015 | 11:07 am

    It happens every year. People come to services for Rosh Hashanah and remember how meaningful Judaism can be in their lives. They fast and pray fervently on Yom Kippur and come up to the rabbi to talk about their great revelation: They are Jews and are going to start coming to...

  • Torah portion: From error to forgiveness

    September 30, 2015 | 9:26 am

    Rest assured, there is a perfectly good reason why the Shabbat Torah portion for Sukkot all but ignores Sukkot: All the juicy references to the holiday have been used up. 

    We have already read the explicit commandments to celebrate in booths with the lulav, “so that future...

  • Torah portion: That precious moment

    September 24, 2015 | 10:34 am

    When I was pregnant with my daughter, some two decades ago, I fell in love with the idea of a natural childbirth, one without drugs or surgery. I read testimonials from women who described their natural deliveries that were followed by a beautiful time of bonding together with...

  • Torah portion: Miracles on the plains

    By Rabbi Dov Fischer

    September 16, 2015 | 10:23 am

    We live in an age of miracles — as, in fact, every age has. In ancient times, miracles could be seen more clearly because God revealed Himself more manifestly. He spoke directly to our forebears. He smote Egypt with Ten Plagues, delivered the Jews from bondage to freedom, divided...

  • Torah portion: Time for a change

    By Rabbi Anne Brener

    September 8, 2015 | 4:33 pm

    Later generations will ask [when they] see the plagues and diseases that God has inflicted upon the land ... they will say, ‘Sulphur and salt has burned all its soil. Nothing can be planted. Nothing can grow. ...’ All ... will ask, ‘Why did God do this to the land? Why this great...

  • Torah portion: The secret to happiness

    September 2, 2015 | 10:33 am

    We all want to be happy. Yet, happiness is elusive, and even defining happiness is a challenge. 

    Throughout our history, we have turned to the Torah for wisdom and guidance. Does the Torah have anything to say about happiness? A line in this week’s Torah portion may provide the...

  • Torah portion: ‘I am walking because our babies are dying’

    August 26, 2015 | 11:31 am

    On Aug. 19, I sat down with an African-American grandmother from Detroit to share breakfast. We sat at a plastic table under a tent in the parking lot of Ebenezer Baptist Church West in Athens, Ga. I was there to take part in America’s Journey for Justice, an 860-mile march from...

  • Torah portion: Justice and mercy

    August 19, 2015 | 10:41 am

    Judaism understands both mercy and justice to be divine attributes, and yet these two traits stand in direct contradiction. To be merciful requires a suspension of what justice demands. To be just requires a suspension of the compassion that leads to mercy.

    On the High Holy Days,...

  • Torah portion: Importance of choice

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    August 12, 2015 | 11:36 am

    There are many things in our world that we humans feel are not in our control. I often hear about the “market” deciding what to do, even though the stock market is an entity we created and that we control. Major issues such as poverty, hunger, climate change, war and certain world...

  • Torah portion: Why I’m proud to be Israeli

    August 5, 2015 | 3:08 pm

    Last week, Jewish-Israeli terrorists committed an atrocious crime against humanity. They entered a Palestinian village outside Nablus in the West Bank, and burned down two houses. In one of the houses, a family of four was sleeping: a mother, a father, a 4-year-old boy and his...

  • Torah portion: How to make teens excited about Judaism

    July 29, 2015 | 10:47 am

    Recently, a mother invited 30 teens, all Jewish day school graduates, to spend Shabbat services and eat lunch at our Chabad center in Bel Air. The goal was to give them a look at “traditional” Judaism. 

    In typical teen fashion, they gathered outside during services and lunch, and...

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