Whirling Dervishes, an elaborate feast and a lecture by a prominent Muslim scholar – Musallah Tauhid’s joyous celebration of its move to a new home in 2008 heralded good times ahead for the Sufi Muslim worship group.
Fast-paced techno dance music blasts through Chikas, a retail clothing store off Santee Street in the heart of downtown Los Angeles’ Fashion District, which many call the Garment District. Robert Mahgerefteh, the store’s owner, helps the dozen or so young women looking for great deals on the latest fashions.
But as much as she loves the pulpit, Naomi, like me, finds the modern synagogue problematic. She believes that Judaism offers people a sense of purpose, a mission to heal society and a fulfilling spiritual path, but that too often standard synagogue services don't attract or inspire Jews, much less compel them to commit to a community.
Parshat Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36)
Where shall we leave our precious emotional and spiritual possessions that don't work anymore? Maimonides says this about the ashes of the sacrifice: "Even though removing the ashes is not formally worship, they should not be carried by a person who is ineligible to serve. They should be taken outside ...
Friday night Shabbat services at Temple Akiba Culver City with Rabbi Zachary Shapiro and Cantor Lonee Frailich .
When Dorshei Tzedek, a small Reconstructionist congregation in West Newton, Mass., began an explosive growth spurt in 1997, some of its members were concerned.
There are more than 3,000 synagogues in America. Why do some of them struggle week after week to make a minyan, while others are bustling with energy, song and laughter?
Tajikistan's government has begun demolishing the Central Asian nation's only synagogue, offering in exchange a plot of land far from where most Jewish community members live.
The work started last month. So far, demolition crews have destroyed part of the synagogue's property, including the mikvah (ritual bath) and classroom space, according to sources in Dushanbe, the capital city. The synagogue's yard was turned into a dump for the refuse.
"Why are Rosh Hashanah and especially Yom Kippur so important to my Jewish partner? He almost never attends services the rest of the year, isn't observant and doesn't even know what he believes about God. Yet, at this time of year, he insists on attending services. What's the big deal with these holidays?"
There are both "official" and "unofficial" answers to these questions. Perhaps not surprisingly, the unofficial explanations are often the more significant ones. The official answers (to which I'll return shortly) speak in terms like judgment, sin, repentance, life and death. The unofficial answers have something to do with the complicated puzzle of American Jewish identity.
Military chaplains have a proud history in the U.S. military, and most of them uphold the mission of the Chaplain Corps in the various services to America's troops and to ensure their right to free exercise of religion.
Years ago, my husband and I climbed the alleged Mount Sinai, the Perseus shower streaked the Egyptian night sky with shooting stars.
After The New Republic's Gregg Easterbrook wrote in his online column that Jewish executives in Hollywood "worship money above all else," he apologized.
Like many unaffiliated Angelenos between 30 and marriage, I face a problem every Rosh:
The Torah may be the true Gospel, but next week, one synagogue is bringing the true Gospel to the Torah.
While the pain of the Sept. 11 attacks still churns like the smoke and dust that continue to rise out of Ground Zero, eight weeks has done something to begin our healing process.
Some of the rawness of our national wound is beginning to abate, allowing us to use the clarity and insight of the still-sharp lens of grief to encounter the big questions about God and humanity that the terrorists threw into our faces.
The questions, of course, are hardly new: How can we square the lethal expression of mass evil with our notion of a compassionate God? Were the attacks the hand of God, God's withdrawal from humanity, or simply the nature of God's universe?
Late last summer at Adat Ari El, when work was going on in earnest to craft the new One Shabbat Morning service, Rabbi Moshe Rothblum recalled feeling some resentment at having to drop his High Holiday preparations to attend a One Shabbat Morning meeting.
The listings below are for Jewish congregations within the geographic area of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Congregations in areas adjacent to Los Angeles Federation can be found by calling neighboring federations:
Most Shabbat worshippers expect decorum. But Adat Ari El's new Jump-n-Jive minyan is different. Its founder, Aaron Kaychuck, describes the monthly Saturday morning service as "upbeat neo-Chassidic egalitarian." The service is unusual partly because it combines traditional Conservative liturgy with exuberant song and dance, set to the beat of an African hand-drum. It is also distinctive because Kaychuck, who leads the congregants in prayer, is 15 years old.
In the waning hours of Yom Kippur, the last rays of sun cast long shadows through the stained-glass windows. It is time for "Ne'ila," the final prayer in a day filled with prayer, when the gates on high, opened especially wide for this day, begin their final closing.
Predictably, it happened again. Conservative and Reform Jews choseto demonstrate their right to worship at the Kotel in their way, menand women together. This time, however, the worshipers had officialclearance. But their permit did not help. Sadly, but alsopredictably, Orthodox Jews prevented them from praying in their way.Passions flared. The scene became ugly. Religious extremists,unconcerned about Torah prohibitions against striking another person,became violent. Hurt and humiliated, the non-Orthodox worshipers wereforcibly removed by the police. And, of course, the media had beenprepped. The cameras were ready. They captured the tears of thevanquished and the jeers of the violent. The angry scenes wereflashed across the world.