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Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson


My Daughter’s Wedding

Lungs expand when offered air. Little sacks collapse with exhalation, then revive and swell with each inspiration. Breathing is like love, the air creates space where none had...

One Dove’s Pluck

One Dove's Pluck - A poem.

Simchat Torah: A History in Four Acts

These are not dancing days. The year and a half we have been through—isolated, frightened, and uncertain—has exhausted us, made us brittle, broken our joy.

Are You Living Your Eulogy or Your Resume?

I want us to use these Holy Days—and to begin to emerge from our social distancing—by living not only our resume, but our eulogy.

On Giving and Receiving Torah: An Invitation to Conversation

It is through conversing with others that we bring wisdom into the world.

The Blessing of Springtime

Spring has arrived in Southern California, along with the month of Nisan and the festival of Passover.

This is a Lament that Never Ends…

This is a lament that never ends … Another mass killing Another person who transformed a weapon Into the angel of death, Into the plague of the death...

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Looks A Lot Like Love

Breaking through their isolation and our distance felt like the darkness lifting.

Prayer Facing Imminent Death

Momentarily distinct with our own bodies and our own consciousness, we are blessed to risk love, to parent new life, to create and innovate, to strive and to rest. And...

Healthy Unity, Honest Healing: Only After Taking Responsibility and Making Amends

It is deadly if we try to heal by ignoring the real challenges.

Thanksgiving: Two Stories, Retold

For our Thanksgiving to do its redemptive work, we must tell the stories that are truly worthy of real gratitude: stories in which we can all see ourselves and hear our voices in all their divergences and disparities, stories too nuanced and complex to be told only once.

Voting is Holy: A Reflection and a Prayer

A Reflection: Life's paradox and promise: continuity across time, minute modifications day by day, as living things reinvent themselves in a flow that shifts caterpillars into butterflies tadpoles into leaping frogs....

Judaism Is for Nonbelievers, Too

Because of Judaism, our story is as big as our people, encompassing all of our values and aspirations from generation to generation.

Why I Fast: A Meditation for Tisha B’av

Ancient Temple, holy mountain, City of Peace, Jerusalem: assaulted by Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans. They didn’t destroy a building; they shattered a covenantal promise: that the world might reflect the...

Building the Beloved Community: A Prayer

Holy One, we quiver when we consider how long you’ve taught us to love one another, to have one law that governs us all, one standard of...

Coronavirus Has Us Sheltering in Our Cocoons, Preparing to Soar

For the past several months, humanity has been fighting a new threat: the coronavirus. A  microbial organism invisible to the naked eye, this powerful...

Sefirat Ha-Omer: Making it Count!

“You shall count from the second day of Passover, when an Omer of grain is to be brought as an offering, seven complete weeks....

What if Our Only Seder Guest This Year Is Elijah?

Many of us celebrate the launch of Passover with seder meals and a wide array of special guests: family, friends, colleagues and dear souls...

L’Chaim: Jewish Wisdom for a Time of Pandemic

The coronavirus is now officially a worldwide pandemic, with hundreds of thousands of confirmed cases, thousands of deaths and also tens of thousands of people...

Yizkor: When Memory Turns Into Love

I have a dear friend, Rabbi Elie Spitz. Years ago, he had a family simcha to attend, which led to him being in New...

Shavuot and Moses, Our Rabbi

Every Jew knows about Passover, Judaism’s most widely observed holiday of freedom. Many have discovered the joys of Sukkot, the beautiful festival of booths....

What We Can Change Is Our Attitude

When I was around 8 years old, I was summoned from class to receive the terrible news that my beloved Papa (my paternal grandfather)...

Springtime Blessings

Let’s admit Southern California’s long-guarded secret: There are actually seasons here. Perhaps not as drastically distinct as the seasons of the Northeast, nonetheless, Los Angeles...

Why I’m Going to AIPAC This Year

I’m going to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference on March 24-26 in Washington, D.C., this year, and I’d like to...

Finding Gratitude in Terrible Times

Getting ready for Thanksgiving this year has required some real work. I’m not talking about prepping the turkey and baking pies. Amid all the...

The Yom Kippur Amidah Prayer Guide

For many Jews, the Days of Awe are the one time of year to experience prayer services. An essential part of those services is...

Providing Leadership for Troubled Times

The following is the address Rabbi Artson delivered at the ordination ceremony for the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, American Jewish University on May...

Saluting a Lonely Tree: A Story of Renewal

It’s impossible for anyone living in the Greater Los Angeles area to forget the terrible fires of a few months ago. December’s fires ravaged...

Why Pray?

Another horrific mass shooting, this time at a high school in Florida. As has occurred each previous time, a crazed killer with an assault...

Black and blue (and white)

This has been a bruising time to be an American.