Jewish Journal

Tag: Tradition

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  • Glass ceiling

    By Shifra Bronznick

    April 3, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Can we talk about gender? Again? Or maybe not.

    We have been having a conversation in the Jewish community about gender for more than three decades.

    During that time there have been some remarkable changes: the ordination of women rabbis, the proliferation of egalitarian prayer...

  • On the tricky question of ‘who is a Jew[ish writer]?’

    By David Wolpe

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    I do not know who qualifies as a Jewish writer.

    If you wish to count the non-Jewish John Updike because he created a Jewish protagonist (Henry Bech) or if you include genetically Jewish Muriel Spark (who converted to Catholicism and wouldn't know a box of tefillin or a bag of...

  • The sweet rewards of Rosh Hashanah rituals

    By Sharon Duke Estroff

    September 8, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    The change was subtle but undeniable. A slightly deeper shade of brown; carrots cut lengthwise rather than sliced; some scattered sprigs of rosemary. Any other day of the year, such a discrete rift in recipe might have gone unnoticed. But this was not any other day of the year --...
  • Who pays for what at today’s Jewish weddings?

    By Jane Ulman

    August 9, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Forget the Bible, the Talmud or even the Code of Jewish Law. When it comes to figuring out who pays for what at a contemporary Jewish wedding, today's families are more apt to consult Modern Bride or TheKnot.com.

    And for those looking to tackle costs according to tradition? Well,...

  • There is more going on than just a ceremony and a party

    By Matt Lipeles

    July 12, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    I have a confession to make. I punched out my brother at his bar mitzvah. I'm not proud of it, but it's true.

    I was sitting at a table with him and a couple of cousins, and he told this joke I didn't find very funny. I looked at this smirk on his face, and I just couldn't stand it....

  • This book can help kick off successful year of study

    By Jay Firestone

    July 12, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Each week, children around the world partake in the b'nai mitzvah, a life-altering event that normally paves the way for greater Jewish participation. But how many of them actually know the meaning and origin of the simcha?

    Given my own experience as a b'nai mitzvah instructor, I...

  • An inconvenient voice

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    June 14, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Moses buries him.

    Literally - he opens up the earth, and Korah and his followers are swallowed alive.

    The rabbis of the Midrash were more graceful. They only buried him literarily and morally - projecting upon him every evil motive and base intention.

    For the rabbis, Korah...
  • Fiery holiday lights up Lag B’Omer spirit

    By Amy Klein

    May 10, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    The wind blew cold and fierce and the waves crashed onto the beach as the sun set pink behind the craggy Santa Monica Mountains and bonfires battled for their lives in pits carved into the sand.

    It's a scene that might well seem like any weekend at Dockweiler Beach in El Segundo,...
  • East meets West over Shabbat sushi

    By Deborah Vankin

    May 3, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Akira Mizutani, a tall, willowy Japanese man who's been living in Los Angeles for 12 years now, has long, flowing, jet black hair that hangs loose to his waist -- and on this night, his mane is topped with a yarmulke.

    Because tonight, like all Friday nights at the Glendale home he...
  • Where it comes from

    By Rabbi Dov Fischer

    May 3, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Not all of us realize it, but Parshat Emor is one of the most frequently read Torah portions we encounter. We typically read it in May, and again on Passover's second day and on the first two days of Sukkot. It is read on these two festivals because, like D'varim (Deuteronomy)...
  • Yichud—a romantic oasis

    By Sharon Schatz Rosenthal

    April 19, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Jennifer Tralins' wedding on a private beach near Miami was picture perfect, from the warm sand under her bare feet to the sweet sounds of the flute as she walked down the aisle in an elegant beaded gown. But for the bride, the most memorable aspect of the ceremony was her yichud,...
  • Pesach—in your own words

    By David Suissa

    April 12, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    A Jewish American soldier finds himself in the Iraqi desert on the first night of Passover and improvises a seder with another soldier by drawing a seder plate in the sand.

    Meanwhile, a Jewish lawyer from Menlo Park discovers that our centuries-old haggadah does not actually tell...
  • The Magic of Mimouna

    By David Suissa

    April 5, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Go back a few centuries and picture yourself on a small street in a Jewish neighborhood in Casablanca, Morocco, as the sun is starting to set.

    You've just finished the late afternoon prayers on the last day of Passover, and as you head home, you see Arab grocers setting up shop and...

  • Mourning the Morning Call—back in New Orleans

    By Rabbi Anne Brener

    March 15, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    If you visit New Orleans, you will certainly go to the French Quarter to seek out the well-known open-air coffee stand near the Mississippi River named Café Du Monde.

    You'll partake of the rich culinary indulgences from its spare menu.

    The first menu item you will find is a cup...

  • Missionaries impossible

    By Amy Klein

    January 25, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    When I walk into the Santa Monica restaurant, it's easy to spot the Sisters, as they are young, fresh-faced, sitting straight backed, looking expectantly at the door.

    They're not nuns, but missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which means Mormon by the...

  • Time warp again? Take a step toward tradition

    By Judy Gruen

    January 11, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    When I think back to my bat mitzvah 30-plus years ago, here's what I remember most: following the photographer's prompts as I posed against the tree in the synagogue courtyard, standing nervously on the bimah chanting my Torah portion, and giving a speech in which I excoriated...
  • Santa Claus; Uri Geller; Jimmy Carter

    December 28, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Santa for All

    I enjoyed reading Larry Miller's article, "I'm Dreaming...of a White...Chri -- Er, Holidays" (Dec. 22).

    I was born, raised and live in L.A. County, and I have yet to witness falling snow with white landscapes. Miller mentions telling his son that Santa is "for our...

  • Good albums drown out naysayers’ dire predictions

    By George Robinson

    December 28, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    All in all, 2006 was a very good year for Jewish music. Fourteen CDs won the five-star plaudit, which is certainly a hopeful sign and a pointed rejoinder to those naysayers who have been proclaiming the death of (choose one): 1) klezmer; 2) new Jewish music; 3) old Jewish music....
  • Imaginative menorahs give new twist to ancient tradition

    By Gaby Friedman

    December 14, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Moses made the first menorah. God commanded him to hammer out an ornate, free-standing, seven-branched candelabrum, replete with cups, knobs and flowers, from a solid piece of gold.

    Back then, in the desert tabernacle, and later in the First and Second Temple, the menorah fulfilled...

  • Make a festive meal fit for your Maccabees

    By Judy Zeidler

    December 14, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Chanukah has always been a festive holiday -- a time when our family exchanges gifts, lights candles and enjoys traditional foods fried in oil. Since the holiday is mostly focused around children, this menu is designed with them in mind.

    It's important during Chanukah to teach...

  • He makes unique dreidels, and he makes them out of clay

    By Sarah Price Brown

    December 14, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    In a gallery carved into a stone wall amid the ancient ruins of Caesarea, Eran Grebler sits at a potter's wheel shaping clay dreidels.

    Outside, tourists explore the old amphitheater, temple and residential quarters of this Israeli city built by King Herod the Great in 30 B.C.E....

  • Prager won’t apologize after slamming Quran in Congress

    By Adam Wills

    December 7, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Conservative pundit Dennis Prager has come under fire from Muslim and Jewish groups after he attacked an incoming Muslim congressman who plans to bring a Quran to the House swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 4.

    But Prager said he stands by statements made in his column published Nov. 28...

  • MOCA’s latest exhibition reveals the early years of the ‘Feminist Revolution’

    By Tom Freudenheim

    December 7, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    That women corporate executives are now indicted for malfeasance reminds me of the old Zionist litany that: "We won't have a normal Jewish state until it includes gangsters and whores."

    If the glass ceiling hasn't exactly been shattered, it does show a bit of leakage, although it's...

  • The Diaspora may be moving, but it isn’t going away any time soon

    By Joel Kotkin

    November 10, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    When Howard Grossman moved to the northeastern Pennsylvania town of Wilkes-Barre 35 years ago, it was a thriving industrial city with a substantial, long-established Jewish community. Today, anyone who visits Wilkes-Barre cannot help but come away with the impression that this town...
  • Sense of past leads Loyola Marymount to remember Kristallnacht

    By Tom Tugend

    November 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Father Michael Engh thinks it's only natural that a Catholic university host the citywide commemoration of Kristallnacht, which is marked by many historians as the beginning of the Holocaust.

    "We had a public Rosh Hashanah celebration in September; we observed Yom HaShoah, the...

  • L.A. Times in turmoil: is it good for the Jews?

    By Bill Boyarsky

    October 12, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Thinking about the mess at the Los Angeles Times, I can't help but raise the question we usually bring to matters great and small. How does it affect the Jews?

    The paper is going through hard times. The owner, Tribune Co., unhappy with the paper's substantial profits, ordered...
  • Live from the ‘hood: we’re gonna party like it’s 5667

    By David Suissa

    October 12, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    I love Judaism. It's got answers for everything. If something bothers me, I just ask a million questions; I dig a little and, voila, I'm enlightened.
    One thing that bothers me is how so many Jews go bonkers on Simchat Torah. If you're not sure what I mean, come visit my...
  • New Queen Esther flick is whole ‘nother megillah entirely

    By Tom Tugend

    October 12, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "'Christian Money Makes Jewish Film,' that's the headline I'd like to see above your article," Matthew Crouch, producer of "One Night With the King," suggested in an interview.
    The film, based on the biblical Book of Esther, "brims with adventure, intrigue, romance and wonder...
  • Rite of Passage Bestows Bundle of Intangible Gifts

    By Sharon Duke Estroff

    August 10, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    When we think of bar and bat mitzvah gifts, many things come to mind: fountain pens, cuff links, picture frames, checks. But the true gifts of this religious rite of passage extend far beyond the envelopes and boxes piled up at the party door. Here are a few of the intangible yet...
  • The Bittersweet Meaning of Mud

    By Natalie Katz

    August 3, 2006 | 8:00 pm


    I had been waiting seven years, and my machon summer at Camp Ramah in Ojai was finally here. It would be different from every other summer, because we would finally be the oldest group, and camp domination would be ours. I knew it would be bittersweet, and I looked forward to making...

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