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Thursday, April 9, 2020
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CATEGORY

Holidays

What COVID-19 Teaches Us About The Plague of Darkness

What's darker than not being able to see the people you love?

Russian Jews Kept Passover in Siberian Labor Camps. We Can Do It Now.

This year, Passover seems unreal. Instead of a gathering of friends and family (including the kvetchy relative that we all dread) it’s just going...

Forgot How Good ‘The Prince of Egypt’ Is? Well, Now It’s On Hulu.

Social distancing and staying inside is hard. Thankfully, accessing good things to watch during this time is not. This is the first installation of...

Pesach: Unbreakable Soul

On the first night of Nissan, we start counting until the moon is full on the 15th of the month. This is seder night,...

How Different Will This Night Be: 10 Tips for Your Virtual Seder

The greatest gathering of the Jewish year is nearly upon us and this year, the Passover seder will be celebrated like no other. Mah nishtanah...

I Get By With a Little Charoset From My Friends

This year for Passover, I’m thrilled to share some traditional recipes from an Israeli friend, Hedva Amrani, which we’ll include at our seder. Amrani is...

On Not Observing Purim This Year

Sorry, Rabbis of the Talmud, I didn’t dress up in a costume Like I was supposed to, Didn’t get so drunk I couldn’t differentiate bless and curse Like you said we should, Didn’t...

Purim: From Exodus to Esther

It would make sense to start the Jewish year on Rosh Hashanah, literally the “head of the year,” but that’s not how it goes...

Chanukah – Our Trust Deed to History

My grandson asked why we make such a big fuss about Chanukah. By the tone of his voice, I could tell that a juicy...

Breaking Out – Thoughts on Torah Portion Va-Yeishev

Of all the sublime indications that “the Bible is literature, not journalism” the subtle threads exuding from this week’s Torah portion stand out.  ...

Thoughts on Torah Portion VaYeitzei – From Darkness to Wisdom

From Darkness to Wisdom 2019: Thoughts on Torah Portion Vayeitzei  (adapted from 2018) I can imagine Jacob bemoaning his fate, justifiably. Jacob was the one,...

Torah Portion Chayei Sarah – Life Torn and Sewn Together

Life Torn and Sewn Together 2019 (adapted from 2018) Comments on Torah portion Chayyei Sarah Human pain is the backdrop of the book of Genesis, pain...

Changing and Leaving – Thoughts on Parshat Lekh Lekha

If anything, Abraham seems to have been a compulsive figure. Suddenly picking up and leaving everything like that. Let’s compare what Freud and Jung...

From the Shadow to the Comforting Shade – Thoughts Before Sukkot

The shadow haunts us – this is an inexorable truth we learn throughout the Days of Awe. In the first act of the Days...

Thoughts on the Days of Awe – Live the Light, Be Strong

Thoughts on the Days of Awe Live the Light, and Be Strong Nixon was a Capricorn. And so was Jesus. I vaguely remember the day, I must...

Literalists Don’t Go to Heaven – Symbolism and Metaphor on Shavu’ot

Literalists Don’t Go to Heaven Shabbat Bamidbar - Thoughts on Shavu’ot Our practice of Judaism is not derived from biblical religion. All Judaism today is founded...

After the Death – Torah Portion Acharei Mot

After the Death   Our Torah portion this week, Acharei Mot (After the Death), contains a ritual that bespeaks an ancient stratum of religion, and...

Long Lives of Male Holocaust Survivors Remain a Mystery

A study appeared in PLoS ONE, the peer-reviewed journal published by the Public Library of Science, that drew attention in Israel but made barely a...

YOM HASHOAH: They Were Our Neighbors

The survivors were our neighbors. They were ancient and wrinkled and they spoke Yiddish and had numbers on their forearms and were all women. I never...

On This Yom HaShoah, It’s Time to Heal

Erika Jacoby met Ursula Martens in 2017 at Jacoby’s Valley Village home for a dialogue sponsored by the Journal. Martens, a childhood member of...

The Real Miracle – Eighth Day Passover

Sometimes when people find out that I am a rabbi, they ask me whether I actually believe in the Bible, for instance the parting...

Thoughts Before the Seder – Wisdom and Conscious Living – Rabbi Mordecai Finley

I know a Hebrew School student is on the way to their Bar or Bat Mitzvah in a few years when they confidentially tell...

Trying to be Free – Rabbi Mordecai Finley Thoughts on Passover

Trying to Be Free Thoughts on the Shabbat of Passover, 2019 (adapted from 2018) “Free from what?” I ask myself, in my yearly meditation on freedom. Like...

An Entertaining Take on Passover for the Digital Age

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jrQvM8w1BI&feature=youtu.be The Passover Haggadah speaks of the Four Children, symbols of the diverse ways in which different people can access and interpret the story of...

Into the Sederverse

The Passover seder is the most celebrated Jewish ritual in the world for the same reason “Avengers: Endgame” sold a record number of pre-sale...

From Batman to Moses: Gorfinkel Discusses His Graphic Novel Haggadah

Jordan B. Gorfinkel is a Jewish cartoonist with an impressive resume. He worked as a DC Comics editor for several years, contributing to “Batman”...

Raise a Tambourine for the Song of the Sea at Passover

In last week’s Jewish Journal, I showed how to make placemats for Passover depicting the parting of the Red Sea. The follow-up to that...

Tosh-Monsey Matzah Bake

Thousands of matzahs are consumed every Passover. Did you ever wonder what a matzah bake looks like? We got insider access to a matzah...

The Enduring Success of ‘The Hamilton Haggadah’

“The Hamilton Haggadah” debuted two years ago, but much like the success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning phenomenon “Hamilton: An American Musical,” the haggadah ripped...

Why Are Sephardic Seders Different from Ashkenazic Seders?

When Rabbi Daniel Bouskila was a child, his teacher asked him to share something from his family’s seder. Bouskila sang “Chad Gadya,” in Judeo-Arabic,...

New Articles

Netanyahu Criticized for Having Son Attend His Passover Seder

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being criticized for having his son attend his Passover seder while Israel is on lockdown throughout the holiday. Netanyahu...

Swastikas Found on Alabama Synagogue

Swastikas were found on a synagogue in Alabama on the evening of April 8, authorities said. The Huntsville synagogue Etz Chayim had two swastikas drawn...

Hamas Arrests Palestinians for Zoom Chats With Israelis

On April 9, Hamas arrested several Palestinians in the Gaza Strip for having a Zoom call with Israelis. The UK Guardian reported that among those...

Census Asks American Jews — Are You White?

“My experience moving through society differs from those who are white,” said one Rabbi.

Zoom Provides Update Addressing Zoombombing

The video conferencing platform Zoom made available a security update to help users prevent Zoombombing. Zoombombing is when people disrupt a call, often with anti-Semitic...
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