Jewish Journal

Tag: Torah

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  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Emor with Rabbi Steven Engel

    By Shmuel Rosner

    May 8, 2015 | 3:13 am

    Our guest this week is Rabbi Steven Engel, leader of the Congregation of Reform Judaism in Orlando, Florida. Rabbi Engel received a B.A. in Physics from Rutgers University, a Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los...

  • Don’t Just Stand There — Do Something Holy

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    May 1, 2015 | 12:59 pm

    “You shall not stand by [the shedding of] your fellow's blood. I am Hashem.”

    Lev. 19:16 I was driving on cold morning down the highway in New Jersey and a car ahead of me suddenly veered left, went off the road, and then careened back across the highway. The car crossed some...

  • Alden solovy, wounded but still defending women of the wall

    By Aron Chilewich

    April 30, 2015 | 8:34 am

    In 2013, an Israeli court ruling gave women the legal right to pray at the Western Wall according to their own customs; they could wear tallit , use tefillin and read from Torah. However, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Orthodox chief rabbi of the wall, found a simple loophole: By...

  • At seder, don’t bite the hand that serves

    By Rabbi David Wolpe

    April 2, 2015 | 3:47 pm

    At your seder, you just might be the Egyptian.

    Consider what it means to be an Israelite and an Egyptian in the Passover story. The Israelites have no power and are at the whim of those they serve. And what about the Egyptians? They have all the power, but their morality is...

  • Is this really the Torah God gave Moses at Sinai? (Part 2)

    By Roger Price

    March 26, 2015 | 2:58 pm

    The idea that 3300 years ago, at Sinai, God gave Moses a Torah identical to the Torah we have today is a powerful concept, one that still resonates. But is it probable, even plausible?

    Previously, to explore this idea, we have taken the text of the Torah as we have it today and...

  • At a breaking point in Turkey: Should Jews stay or should we go?

    By Simone Wilson

    March 18, 2015 | 3:55 pm

    The gold and gray city of Istanbul spent Valentine’s Day bracing for snow. Under angry clouds, Turkish couples huddled around tabletops in the cafe quarter of Ortakoy, a historically posh neighborhood along the Bosphorus Strait. Jewelry-makers had set up stands along the alleyways...

  • Is this really the Torah God gave Moses at Sinai? (Part 1)

    By Roger Price

    February 25, 2015 | 10:14 am

    The Torah is the foundational text of the Jewish People. Initially, it asserts a pre-history and a purpose of the ancient Judahite kingdom to which contemporary Jews trace their emotional and often actual genetic origin, setting forth the kingdom’s legends and lore, its poetry and...

  • Where God is Depends on Us

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    February 20, 2015 | 1:33 pm

    When children ask us, “Where is God?”  We usually tell them that “God is everywhere.”

    It's a beautiful answer, completely true, but it doesn't help when you are older. When we see what goes on in the world, we often ask ourselves the very same question, “Where is God?” The truth...

  • Acting With Godliness

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    February 13, 2015 | 4:13 pm

    The Torah tells us in Parsha Mishpatim, “Distance yourself from falsehood." (Ex. 23:7) No other transgression, said Rabbi Simcha Bunim, has this commandment. What it is about falsehood that God is so concerned about us falling into?

    There is the obvious problems that lying can...

  • The King David exchange, part 3: ‘The biblical text always has an agenda’

    By Shmuel Rosner

    February 11, 2015 | 3:54 am

    Joel Baden is Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Yale Divinity School. He holds degrees in Judaic Studies (BA, Yale), Semitic Languages (MA, University of Chicago), and Hebrew Bible (PhD, Harvard). He specializes in the literary history of the Hebrew Bible, particularly of the...

  • Tikkun Olam isn’t in the Torah: it’s liberal orthodoxy, not Jewish Orthodoxy

    December 10, 2014 | 1:42 pm

    To thunderous applause, President Barack Obama described himself in a March 2013 Jerusalem speech as “a man who’s been inspired in my own life by that timeless calling within the Jewish experience – tikkun olam… the work of repairing this world.”

    Indeed, to many American Jews,...

  • Lessons of the Bible Code Controversy

    By Roger Price

    December 9, 2014 | 10:29 am

    Let’s start at the very beginning. It is, as Oscar Hammerstein once wrote, a very good place to start. Let’s go to the biblical book of Genesis, or, more specifically, to the Hebrew text of it, known as B’reishit, and look at the first four verses.  Let’s start with the first word...

  • The few. The proud.
    The Jewish Marines.

    By Jared Sichel

    October 14, 2014 | 2:45 pm

    Sitting at the front of a small room inside a nondescript building at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Navy Lt. Aaron Kleinman was dressed in a uniform rarely seen on these grounds: On top of his gray suit, dress shirt and tie, Kleinman’s head was covered by a kippah and his...

  • Simchat Torah: Celebrating Torah’s ending and beginning

    October 14, 2014 | 10:17 am

    People are drinking, singing and dancing. It’s loud and crowded. No, you’re not at a bar — or even a bar mitzvah. It’s Simchat Torah. 

    The holiday celebrates the culmination of the year’s Torah readings and is, quite literally, a time to rejoice. 

    “I love that Simchat Torah is...

  • Rabbinic group: Women permitted to dance with Torah scroll

    October 13, 2014 | 1:39 pm

    Women are permitted to dance with a Torah scroll on the Simchat Torah holiday, an Israeli modern Orthodox rabbinical organization ruled.

    Beit Hillel posted the religious ruling on its website for the holiday, which falls on Wednesday night and Thursday.

    The ruling also...

  • What’s Your Sukkah?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    October 10, 2014 | 9:47 am

    By Rabbi Paul Steinberg

    Jews argue.  It’s written into our history; it’s written into how we approach life.  Why is that? Well, Judaism wisely understands that the truth is manifold.  A does not have to equal A.  A can be B, A can be C, or any other number of possibilities, and...

  • Should rabbis talk about Israel during the High Holy Days?

    By David Suissa

    September 23, 2014 | 4:43 pm

    On the eve of the biggest sermon days of the year, a brouhaha has erupted in the Jewish world over whether rabbis should weigh in about Israel.

    “Don’t talk about Israel,” my friend Peter Beinart wrote this week in Haaretz, addressing rabbis across America. Why? Because American...

  • The Birthday of the World and Pseudoscience

    By Roger Price

    September 18, 2014 | 1:42 pm

    Soon Jews will celebrate Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. This year will be 5775 in the Jewish calendar.

    Rosh HaShanah, is sometimes called the “birthday of the world.” The reference is somewhat confusing, though. It does not concern the first day of creation as described in...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Ki Tetze with Rabbi Jennifer Krause

    By Shmuel Rosner

    September 5, 2014 | 4:03 am

    Our guest this week is Rabbi Jennifer Krause, the High Holy Days rabbi at Manhattan's 92nd Street Y. Rabbi Krause received her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, MO in English Literature and Near Eastern Studies, and her Rabbinic Ordination and M.A. in Hebrew Literature...

  • The Other Why Me

    By Rabbi Robin Podolsky

    August 14, 2014 | 5:31 pm

    So my car was smashed, the other day, with me in it.  I walked away.  Why me?

    How did all of us get to be so lucky/blessed on that day?  An out-of-control van drove across lanes of freeway rush hour traffic, breaking cars, and (to my knowledge) no living being was harmed.


  • Teaching Torah with videos to appeal to younger students

    By Kylie Ora Lobell

    August 6, 2014 | 3:46 pm

    Rabbi David Fohrman has a passion for teaching Torah to the Jewish people. He has taught at Johns Hopkins University, written a book about narratives in the book of Genesis, and was a lead writer and editor for ArtScroll’s Talmud translation project.

    But after a while, he...

  • What Would God Say?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    August 1, 2014 | 10:31 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    I am so conflicted! The situation in Israel conflicts me. The situation in America conflicts me. The situation in life conflicts me. I seem to be in the midst of conflict in most areas of my life. This week, someone who had sought recovery and then sought...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Devarim with Rabbi Rachel Isaacs

    By Shmuel Rosner

    August 1, 2014 | 3:56 am

    Our guest this week is Rabbi Rachel Isaacs of the Beth Israel congregation in Waterville, Maine. Rabbi Isaacs was the first openly gay Rabbi to be ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary. Prior to the JTS, Isaacs earned her B.A. from Wellesley College in 2005, where she was the...

  • Immunity and Impunity: Fear and Loathing in Gaza

    By David Seidenberg

    July 25, 2014 | 9:12 am

    “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

    July 23, 2014 | 10:45 am

    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

    July 11, 2014 | 11:11 am

    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...

  • 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...

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