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Jewish Journal

Tag: Traditions

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  • My menorah and my Christmas tree

    2 weeks ago

    For me as a youngster, Christmas was always something others did.  But I married a non Jew and in our early years together, experienced a great deal of conflict over his desire for a Christmas tree.  For several years, each December, we engaged in the same heated discussion that...

  • The convert and the Christmas tree

    By Avishay Artsy

    2 weeks ago

    For me, Christmas was always something other people did. Growing up in a Jewish home, I watched the holiday’s rituals unfold in movies, on TV and in the homes of friends: hanging ornaments on a tree, unwrapping presents and singing songs of Yuletide cheer (whatever that means)....
  • A New Way of Seeing

    By Beit T'shuvah

    August 29, 2014 | 10:21 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    It is 3:12am on Friday, August 29, 2014. I have been awake for over an hour. I’m not sure if I can go back to sleep, so I am writing my Blog.

    It has been an interesting, exciting, terrifying, and introspective month. I have had Cataract Surgery in both...

  • A New Way of Seeing

    By Beit T'shuvah

    August 29, 2014 | 10:21 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    It is 3:12am on Friday, August 29, 2014. I have been awake for over an hour. I’m not sure if I can go back to sleep, so I am writing my Blog.

    It has been an interesting, exciting, terrifying, and introspective month. I have had Cataract Surgery in both...

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  • Nissan- The Month of Renewal

    By Revital Belz

    March 30, 2014 | 1:43 am

    I used to always get new clothes for Passover. The entire year I’d look forward to getting that one new dress with my Mom- preferably something floral and colorful that looked like spring. There’s just something in the air- all of the flowers finally blooming, that time when,...

  • Some Iranian Jews still follow old traditions for preparing their weddings

    By Karmel Melamed

    April 19, 2008 | 1:30 am

    Late last year I reported on a controversial topic of extravagant spending by some Southern California Iranian Jews on their wedding celebrations in this piece which was published in the L.A. Jewish Journal. The story really touched a nerve in the community and drew both praise...

  • The whole megillah: Ten reasons to love Purim

    By Jane Ulman

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    So what is Purim about? This short guide explains the various holiday traditions and celebrations, as well as a few suggestions of unique and fun ways to partake in the festivities.

    1. Megillah Reading

    One of four mitzvot, or commandments, on Purim is listening to the reading of...

  • The Aftermath

    By Caroline Cobrin

    April 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "Are you sure we won't scare him off?" my aunt asked when I called to formally ask whether my boyfriend could come to our crazy seder.

    That question echoed through my head as I introduced him to the gaggle of cousins and family members who greeted us at the door. Most of them had...

  • Saying Goodbye 101

    By Jane Ulman

    August 25, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    On Sept. 1, my husband, Larry, and I will move our son, Gabriel, into his dormitory room at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., where he will begin his freshman year.

    How do we formally honor this important rite of passage that, more than a bar mitzvah and more than his high...

  • ‘Food Maven’ Saves Endangered Recipes

    By Judy Bart Kancigor

    April 14, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    "Jewish Food: The World at Table" by Matthew Goodman (HarperCollins, $29.95)

    When the El-Ghriba synagogue in Tunisia was bombed by Al Qaeda in 2002, the fragile remnant of a once thriving Jewish community was even further shattered.

    "The Tunisian Jewish community is one of the...

  • Sexual Taboos Split Persian Generations

    By Karmel Melamed

    December 2, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    Like many single Jews, Sharona Saghian met her husband on JDate, the Internet dating service aimed at Jewish singles. Although by doing so, the 28-year-old broke her community's old, venerated matchmaking traditions.

    Saghian is Persian and in her community most parents prefer to...

  • Did You Know…?

    By Joan G Friedman

    November 11, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Did You Know...?

    \n

    • Sometimes the marriage ceremony is held outdoors. Particularly in ultra-Orthodox and Chasidic weddings -- but anyone can do this -- the marriage ceremony is performed outside at night. The custom developed because the stars are associated with God speaking to...

  • Tips to Engage Your Family in the New Year

    By Rabbi Arthur P. Nemitoff

    September 16, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    "Dad, I have my first big test in biology next Thursday," Sandy explained.

    "Next Thursday?"

    "Yep."

    "Sorry, honey, you are going to have to miss it. Next Thursday is Rosh Hashanah and I want you to go to services with me."

    "Dad, I can't miss the test. Mrs. Smith said that the only...

  • Serve Up Something Different in 5765

    By Leora Alhadeff

    September 9, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Food is the centerpiece of every Jewish holiday. For Rosh Hashanah especially, our traditional foods are a kind of ritualistic prayer where we ask that the coming year be better than the last. During a time when are lives are weighed and measured, we dip the apple in honey and eat...

  • Melting Pot for Peace

    By Gaby Wenig

    June 10, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    It's hard to imagine a period when Jews and Arabs got along -- but that's apparently what they did from 800-1400 B.C.E., in the historical Al-Andalus period. In Spain and North Africa, Jews, Christians and Muslims got together and collaborated on arts and sciences to create one of...

  • Sorority Hopes to Join AEPhi Family

    By Lauren Korduner

    May 6, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    I'm sitting in Gina's Pizza, the local hotspot for members of UC Irvine's Greeks. The chatter gets progressively louder through the two hours I'm with Epsilon Phi's in-coming and out-going presidents, Becca Wolfson and Melissa Scholten. The smell of greasy pizza and sub sandwiches...

  • No Worries

    By Mojdeh Sionit

    April 8, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    My mom yells at me: "Hurry up, it is almost Pesach and we haven't done anything yet."

    The memory goes back several years, when I was a teenager living with my parents and brother in our three-story building in western Tehran.

    I walk toward the stove, where a big pot of water...

  • The Next Generation Adds Its Own Touch to Seder

    By Julie G Fax

    April 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    When newer, color versions supplanted the 1923 Union Haggadah Revised, Tamar Soloff's brother and father hoarded enough copies of the original to ensure that their extended families would have a supply of their own.

    "That was the haggadah from my childhood," Soloff said. After...

  • The Simple Son

    By Rob Eshman

    April 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    When I was in college in New Hampshire, the pastor of a nearby church asked our Hillel rabbi to send over a Jewish student who could help his parishioners learn about Passover. I volunteered. For all the fuzzy, feel-good reasons that a liberal arts education supplies in abundance, I...

  • Zen and the Art of Homemade Gefilte Fish

    By Donna Gordon Blankinship

    April 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    I added a new experience to my Passover preparation last year. In addition to counting the haggadahs, practicing the Four Questions with my daughter, inviting guests, shopping and cleaning the house, I made gefilte fish from scratch for the first time ever.

    Neither my mother nor any...

  • Exile the So-So Seder

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    April 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Some people like their Passover seders just as they remember them: the same lines recited by the same relatives with the same emphasis, the same songs, jokes and foods, the same delicate glassware that picks up the light in a certain way, reflecting past and present.

    David Arnow...

  • Lights Were Last to Go

    By Kathleen Vallee Stein

    December 25, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    My family never went to church but celebrated Christian holidays by putting up a Christmas tree in December and hunting for Easter eggs in the spring. I had lots of fun as a child and counted myself lucky that I didn't have to spend long, boring hours at church like the other kids.

    ...
  • A Sampling of Sermons

    October 9, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    This week, The Journal contacted various rabbis throughout the Southland and asked them to share with us excerpts from their High Holiday sermons.

    A Time to Rest and Reflect by Rabbi Debra Orenstein Congregation Makom Ohr Shalom

    Many Jews understand Shabbat as a series of...

  • What is Ethiopean Judaism?

    By Julie G Fax

    September 18, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Kess Hadane wears a deep blue velvet cape richly embroidered with gold and a white turban. But under the cape is the conventional white shirt and dark pants, and that might be more indicative of Kess Hadane's ardently assimiliationist philosophy.

    "There is no need of keeping the...

  • Book Helps ‘Design’ Delicious Simchas

    By Judy Bart Kancigor

    June 5, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    "Kosher by Design: Picture Perfect Food for the Holidays & Every Day" (Mesorah Publications, $32.99).

    If Pesach signals the emergence of spring, with Shavuot, the season bursts forth in a riot of color and luscious flavors. "Kosher by Design" by Susie Fishbein, captures the beauty...

  • Support for Summer CampAddicts

    By Lisa Keys

    May 22, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    It's a sweaty summer day in the city, and the sun -- worthy of a heat-advisory at 9:30 a.m. -- mercilessly scorches the sidewalks as I dodge bus-exhaust fumes, doughnut carts and the tourist masses while making my way to my office cubicle.

    Mentally, however, I'm 700 miles away,...

  • Educating Rita

    By Amy Rosner

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Rita Milos Brownstein, author "Jewish Weddings" (Simon & Schuster, 2002) said she wishes she had known about yichud before she was married.

    Brownstein, 50, cited yichud -- the time after the ceremony that affords the bride and groom some privacy to share their first moments as...

  • Christmas Takes

    By Sharon Schatz Rosenthal

    November 28, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    As a young Jewish student in the '60s, Robin Siegal believed that Chanukah was basically ignored in the public schools she attended, which included Hamilton High School. "It was like there was this big birthday party for Jesus, and I wasn't invited," remembered the Beverlywood...

  • Students Spread Light in Ukraine

    By Daniel MacIsaac

    November 28, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Osik Akselrud got a little help from his friends in staging a recent workshop designed to teach students to teach others about the history and traditions of Chanukah.

    That's because the head of the Hillel office responsible for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova was able to use, as...

  • A Great Party Happened Here

    By Linda Morel

    November 28, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    "Entertaining is a lot like gardening," Linda Burghardt said. "You can't make mistakes."

    In other words, no matter what you do, it's OK.

    Just as each combination of flowers produces a different garden, each approach to party planning results in a unique gathering. Through these...

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