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  • Students Seek Identity in Israel

    By Rachel Brand

    April 3, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Rhonda Van Hassalt's concerned father offered her $1,000 not to go to Israel. Although the money would have been enough to send both Van Hassalt's and her boyfriend to Europe for winter break, it wasn't Europe that was tugging at her heart -- it was Israel.

    "When I was young, I...

  • Knowing the Person

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    April 3, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Did you ever notice how we tend to make up our minds so quickly that we become closed to ideas that might change our opinion?

     Recently, I came across the following sign prominently displayed on an executive's desk that succinctly summarized it: "Don't confuse me with facts --...

  • Alternatives to Drugs

    By Rabbi Eli Hecht

    February 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "The world exists only because of the innocent breath of schoolchildren," attributed to Jewish sages, first century Talmud.



    Recent reports of children as early as 2 years old receiving psychotropic drugs has me worried. How safe are Ritalin and Prozac -- the stimulants and...

  • The Jews and Iraq

    By James D. Besser

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Pollsters didn't survey American Jews after last week's dramatic United Nations speech by Secretary of State Colin Powell, but if they did the results would probably show that the community is on the same wavelength as a confused, anxious American public.

    Ask any rabbi or community...

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  • How Not to Date

    By Teresa Strasser

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Look, I'm not going to tell you how to find "the one," how to radiate that "I'm available" light, how to register for wine tasting seminars and join networking groups.

    I have no dating advice. None. I won't suggest clever phrasing for your personal ad or how to choose a photo to...

  • Spiritual Sounds

    By Gaby Wenig

    February 6, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    If -- by chance -- you start flipping through Christian radio stations and you come across some Hebrew songs, the person singing them is most likely Sam Glaser, a Los Angeles-based Orthodox musician whose spiritual music is traversing religious boundaries. "I have no idea how the...

  • Divine Judgment

    By Rabbi Steven Weil

    January 30, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, known as the Rav to his many thousands of students, takes exception to the usual distinction many make between the chukim (decrees) and the mishpatim (judgments). Usually, some think that chukim are nonrational laws, while the mishpatim are rational,...

  • The Parent Trap

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    January 23, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    What makes a good parent? Once, while waiting on line at Passport Control in Israel, I overheard two American couples talking.

    Each was describing how much luggage they had brought. Finally, one said to the other, "We brought nothing for ourselves. The truth is we could have done...

  • Good Jew, Bad Jew

    By Lilla Zuckerman

    January 23, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    He was the kind of guy you would take home to your mother. He was Harvard educated, well-mannered, spent time with the elderly, and held an executive position at a major network. He had traveled the world, written a few books, and was shopping for a home. And naturally, he was...

  • Moses: No Orator

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    January 2, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The art of public speaking is a special gift. In the anthology "Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History" (Norton & Co., 1997), New York Times columnist William Safire collects 200 of history's outstanding instances of oratorical eloquence.

    He divides this compendium of great...

  • Serah’s Legend

    By Rabbi Laura Geller

    December 12, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    For many of us, this season is marked by being with families and sharing our family stories. In the Torah cycle it is the time of the year that we read the powerful story of a family of brothers, a story about forgiveness and reconciliation. Buried in this story about brothers is a...

  • Synagogue Sportsmanship

    By Rabbi Allen Krause

    December 5, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Most of my congregation knows from references I've made over the years that I am a devoted sports fan. Ever since I was a youngster,

    sitting with my dad watching football on TV, I've had "my teams" -- the Rams, the Dodgers and the Bruins. On rare occasions I have even gone to the...

  • The Making of a Potential Suicide Bomber

    By Uri Avnery

    November 28, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Since last Sunday, a question has been running around in my head and troubling my sleep: What induced the young Palestinian, who broke into Kibbutz Metzer, to aim his weapon at a mother and her two little children and kill them?

    In war, one does not kill children. That is a...

  • Wingman Wanted

    By Carin Davis

    November 14, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Let's talk about Ruth and Naomi, two smokin' hot babes who Thelma and Louised it from Moab.

    Ruth could have ditched her friend to find a new dude. But instead, she played her "where you go I go, where you stay I stay" wingman card and schlepped across the desert with Naomi. My...

  • The Kiss

    By Rabbi Avrohom Czapnik

    June 20, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    In this week's Torah portion, we are introduced to the concept of a chok (statute) -- a divine law that we do not understand.

    We are required to do it without knowing why, or what we are accomplishing spiritually with the performance of the mitzvah.

    Question: Are chukim statutes...

  • Seeking Solid Ground

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    June 20, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    One day, my oncologist was in a talkative mood. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after 30 years in the lung cancer world, he knows that religion doesn't always help his patients.

    "How are you doing?" he asked. "I mean, this has to be a big test of faith."

    Now, 18 months after...

  • Earth to Heaven

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    May 30, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    A woman in Alcoholics Anonymous once told Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twersky, a leading psychologist, the following story: An old friend of hers, who was still an alcoholic, asked her how long she had been sober. She responded that it was already two years. The friend couldn't believe it and...

  • The Holiness of Life

    By Rabbi Michael Gotlieb

    April 18, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    All of us have heard, or experienced a variation of the following story, told of a father and his daughter. She, a busy professional; he, a retired widower. In one of their virtually nonexistent exchanges, he asks: "With your booked schedule, will you be able to attend my funeral?"...

  • A Bittersweet Blessing

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    April 11, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    The great Israeli author, Shai Agnon, related a fable about a little boy and his old father, who together tended a goat. Each day the goat wandered off and returned at evening, its udders filled with the sweetest of milk. The boy wished to know where the goat went, and on what grass...

  • Silence and Rage

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    April 4, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    In a parsha that features spectacular displays of sound and light, the most dramatic moment is actually the quietest one. In fact, it sometimes feels like the opening chapter's tumult and noise only serves to draw us even deeper into the second chapter's thunderclap of silence.

    The...

  • An ‘Embrace’ to Remember

    By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

    February 14, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Sixty members of Young Israel of Century City gingerly walked on the muddy path and crowded into Dalia Har Sinai's little farmhouse in the southern Hebron Hills community of Susia. Outside, the sheep and goats were in the barn. The farm and grazing land and organic vegetable patch...

  • A Tough Match

    By Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom

    November 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Our parasha includes a description of possibly the first shidduch (arranged marriage) in history. With the death of his beloved Sarah, Abraham turns his attention to the future and sends his servant back to "the old country" Haran to find a wife for Isaac. The mission with which he...

  • Our Two Worlds

    By Rabbi Cheryl Peretz

    November 1, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    In today's world, it is so easy to get caught up in the development and achievement of the many goals we set for ourselves. From the time we are very young, we are trained to begin thinking about what we want to be when we grow up and how we will get there. And as we grow up, those...

  • A New Nation

    By Rabbi Susan Laemmle

    October 25, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Jewish history begins with God's call to Abram: "Go forth from your native land and from your father's house to the land that I will show you." This call resonates through the millennia in two important ways. It connects our earliest beginnings and very identity as a people to the...

  • Lenin, Meet Noah

    By Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein

    October 18, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Fall was just beginning to turn the Moscow air crispy when the lot of us -- 10 high school seniors and three faculty members of YULA Girls' School -- trudged down the stairs of our Intourist Hotel in the late '80s, and began our walk of several miles, not to the better-known Chabad...

  • A Portion of Parasha Breshit

    By Abby Gilad

    October 11, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Here we go again! We start the New Year by reading the Torah all over again from the beginning. Why do we do this, year after year? Why do we read the same things over and over again? Maybe we can find the answer in the word that means "year" in Hebrew: shana.

    There are two words in...

  • The Situation

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    August 30, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    To know the mind of Israel today, you needn't consult a Gallup poll. Just jump into any taxicab and ask the driver about ha'matsav (the situation). His first response, "Milchama [war] -- there's going to be a war. We need a war," he'll carefully explain, "to show them we're still...

  • Law and Order

    By Rabbi Yakov Vann

    August 23, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    "Judges and officers shall you appoint in all of your cities."

    This divine commandment to establish a judicial system serves as the basis of all Western law; a fair system affording protection to each of its citizens and guests.

    Though this is a communal responsibility, it is...

  • When Booty Calls

    By Teresa Strasser

    June 21, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Sometimes, a Booty Call can sneak up on you.

    Case in point: a second date with a guy I met at a bookstore. He was running late, called to say he'd have to baby-sit his niece and nephew and wouldn't be available until after 10 p.m.

    No problem, I said, grateful to be able to watch the...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Unworthiness is not a quality that carries positive connotations. It's usually thought of as a state to be overcome, or a situation to be avoided. Perhaps, though, it has a redeeming feature. Perhaps feelings of unworthiness should actually be reveled in and appreciated -- at least...
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