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  • Commentary

    By Rabbi Baruch Cohon

    July 2, 1998 | 8:00 pm


    Challenging the Rabbi's 'Version'

    By Baruch C. Cohen, Esq.

    Several weeks ago, The Jewish Journal published a Torah Portion on Parasha Behaalotecha, authored by Rabbi Steven Leder of Wilshire Boulevard Temple and titled "Striking...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    June 25, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    The True Meaning of Freedom

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    They're coming! The fireworks, the concerts and the barbecues are all happily bearing down upon us as the Fourth of July approaches again. Instinctively, and...

  • Fatal Flaws

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    June 18, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Students of drama are well acquainted withAristotle's view about the "fatal flaw." Protagonists of tragedy, nomatter how exalted, are brought down by a tragic flaw from within:bad judgment or bad character.

    Centuries before Aristotle developed his theory,the Torah illustrated it,...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Steven Z. Leder

    June 11, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Striking the S-Word

    By Rabbi Steven Z. Leder

    I never heard the N-word, growing up, because we were Jewish. For my parents, the S-word sufficed. Although they never would have denied someone an opportunity based on skin color, it was " schvartzes " who...

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  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Debra Orenstein

    June 4, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    It is wonderful to volunteer more, do more, commit more. But our tradition, with love and practicality, offers this caution: Check first that your basic obligations are met.

    Who is greater: a person who is obligated to perform a certain act...

  • A Woman’s Voice

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    May 28, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    The adult bat mitzvah ceremony has been arecognized part of American synagogue life for more than a decade,but until now it has been easy to dismiss as an "angry woman'sritual." The first wave of women to ascend the bimah took up theyad, the ritualhand-shaped Torah pointer, out of a...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    May 28, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Martin Buber was wrong. Buber proposed that "alllife is meeting," and that all human interactions fit into twocategories: I-Thou and I-It. I-Thou describes those close, mutual,responsive relationships in which we become genuine, unique personsto one another. I-It is for everything...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben

    May 21, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    I grew up as a hyperactive child. Of course, noone ever called it that at the time. They didn't yet have suchclinical labels for every childhood behavioral challenge.

    I was just considered to be a problem child. Icouldn't sit still in class and I was constantly (read: daily)getting...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    May 14, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    In April 1994, following numerous suicidebombings, 400 American Jewish leaders took a two-day trip to Israelto show American Jewish support for the besieged State. With a30-percent tourism drop due to the terrorist bombings, these leaderswanted to encourage American Jews to visit...

  • Letters

    May 14, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    I agree with Joel Kotkin that any politicalactions that serve to further divide Californians along racial linesare hurtful to all of us ("The Racialization of L.A. Politics," May8). However, I take issue at his support of Proposition 227 and itsco-author Ron Unz.

    As a teacher in...

  • The Bonds that Unite Us

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    May 7, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Enter a cathedral, and what do you feel? Thesoaring vaulted ceiling, the giant columns, the colossal statues ofsaints and martyrs, the luminous stained-glass images of scripturalheroes -- the architecture articulates a spirituality of contrast. Weare small, insignificant, ephemeral...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    April 9, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    An unusual Buddhist-Jewish dialogue took place inSeptember 1989, when the Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama, metwith a group of six Jewish leaders. The Dalai Lama requested themeeting, not because of an academic interest but, rather, because ofa practical need. He wanted to...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    April 2, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    Here's a riddle: What do leprosy and the State ofIsrael have in common? Hopefully, nothing leaps to your mind rightaway. I, however, needed to solve this riddle before I could begin towrite this week's parasha column: For the week that we celebrate Israel's...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben

    April 2, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    A few summers ago, we went on a driving trip tothe Grand Canyon. I remember one particular day, as I stood near sometourists high up on the edge of the canyon, and looked down into adeep and beautiful gorge that seemed to stretch on forever. Amid allthe "Oohs" and "Aahs," I overheard...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    March 19, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Context is everything. Certainly, this must besaid concerning the curious opening of this week's Torah portion. Forthe portion opens with a command that has been issued many timesbefore: the command to observe the seventh day as a day of rest.There is no new information here. The...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Steven Z. Leder

    March 12, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    It was my third funeral of the week, and I wastired of death. I thought this one would be easier than the others,since it was an elderly woman who suffered terribly and truly wantedto die. Her name was Sarah; her only relatives left were her nephew,Harry, and his son, Joel.

    So I...

  • Other Voices

    March 12, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    The evening following the final session of theSecond International Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy, I attendeda small family dinner and celebrated the wedding of a SatmarChassidic couple. Among the guests were men with long curledpayot (it'spronounced "payyes" there), and some...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    March 5, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Why is this night different from all other nights?

    On all other occasions, Judaism compels us to penetrate our façades to discover who we really are. On Purim, we don masks and costumes and pretend to be who we're not. Year-round, we seek a clear appreciation of life and a true...

  • A Traditional Meeting Place

    March 5, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    It all begins on a Friday around sundown. You, theparticipant, are assigned to a family's house. Perhaps you arrive attheir doorstep, or maybe you meet them at Aish HaTorah's KabbalatShabbat services at Pico Boulevard and Doheny Drive and walk homewith them afterward.

    At the dinner...

  • A Liberal Feminist Meets ModernOrthodoxy

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    February 26, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    The second International Conference onOrthodoxy and Feminism was held at New York's Grand Hyatt Hotel overPresidents Day weekend. For liberal women like me, such conferencesare a thrill even from a distance. Two thousand women attended,double the number at the pioneering event a year...

  • God Takes the Field

    By Larry Derfner

    February 26, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    There's nothing more peculiarly, confoundinglyIsraeli than soccer on Shabbat. But it may be coming to an end. It'sa sign of the times.

    For 70 years, big-league soccer games in Israel --or, before 1948, in Palestine -- have been played on Shabbat. Whilethe game is beloved by all...

  • Los Angeles, 5758

    By Julie G Fax

    February 19, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    There was noquestion: Of the three rabbis sitting up on the dais at UCLA Hillel,Rabbi Shlomo Riskin had the toughest sell. After all, audiences whocome to hear panels on pluralism usually bristle at Orthodoxy'sseeming exclusivity.

    But, true to self, Riskin didn't let theanticipation...

  • Climbing Our Mountain

    By Rabbi Steven Z. Leder

    February 12, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    As I, at 16, traveled through Israel for the firsttime, my Jewish nerve endings were hypersensitive. Every stone, face,taste, smell, breeze, star, touch, glimpse -- everything -- moved me.Somehow, I knew I was close to God, and now I was going to be closer-- Moses closer; I was going...

  • Synagogues, Temples and Shuls

    By Julie G Fax

    February 12, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    As Shabbat ebbs next week, try Young Israel ofCentury City for something a little sexy -- namely, a lecture on "TheFacts of Life: How to Teach Yeshiva Students," led by Rabbi Baruchand Michal Finkelstein.

    While many parents feel uncomfortable discussingsex with their children, the...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Steven Z. Leder

    February 5, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Here's a story that will sadden andamaze you. It's Jean Dominique Bauby's story. In 1995, he was theeditor-in-chief of Elle magazine in France, the father of two youngchildren, a 43-year-old man known and loved for his wit, his styleand his passion for life. Until he suffered a rare...

  • Tu B’Shevat Salad

    February 5, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Value: Survival. Wheat represents a staple of life. It isbasic to breads, crackers and many other nourishing foods. Many of ustake the food on our table for granted, while others who are lessfortunate are not even guaranteed simple survival.

    Text to recite: "Im ein kemah, ein Torah....

  • A Teacher’s Guide to Parents

    By Beverly Gray

    January 29, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    What do Jewish educators think about Jewishparents? To get the inside scoop, I turned to "Jewish Parents: ATeacher's Guide." It's a recent co-venture by Joel Grishaver and Dr.Ron Wolfson, both veteran teachers and observers of the Jewisheducational scene. The irrepressible Grishaver,...
  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    January 22, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    The Nazis took my uncle Henry at the beginning ofthe war. He survived more than five years as a slave. Young andstrong, he was a carpenter, and they needed carpenters. At first,they moved him from camp to camp, including a stay at Pleshow, whereSchindler's people were kept. And,...

  • CommunityMilken’s Class Acts

    January 15, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Left to right, Dr. Joseph Hakimi, Chaya Shamie, MarianneSiegel, Lowell Milken, Tova Baichman-Kass and Lynn Karz.

    Every year, the Milken Family Foundation gives public recognitionand $10,000 each to education professionals "who have madesignificant contributions to excellence in day...

  • Judaism & Homosexuality

    By Ruth Stroud

    January 15, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Left to right, panelist Rabbi Elliott Dorff of University ofJudaism, Rabbi Lisa Edwards of Beth Chayim Chadashim, moderator Mark Levine, panelist Rabbi Leila Gal Berner and lawyer and AIDS activistDavid Rephun, the panelist from an Orthodox background. Below,panelist Rabbi Allen...

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