The Significance of Aesthetics in Judaism

Headshot of Elliot Dorff
by Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD
posted on October 2, 2020
We appreciate our Jewish heritage for a long list of reasons. Among them are these: 1. It is ours, giving us a sense of identity. 2. It links us to our community, past, present, and future. 3. It spells out what is moral and motivates us to act morally. 4. It marks events in our lives, including the passing of each day and of the days of the week and year, and the life cycle events in our lives, thus giving a sense of differing meanings to those times. 5. It gives us a sense of God, that is, the transcendent aspect of human experience. Read more...

Hidden and Not So Hidden Treasures

Headshot of Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
by Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
posted on September 26, 2018
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
I spent this summer a bit differently than most of my summers have been.  Most years, I plan some big trip - across the country, across the world, by a beach, on the sea.  But, for the first time in as long as I can remember, this summer, I decided to stay at home and committed to exploring places in Los Angeles I had never been. Read more...

Enter Through the Gift Shop

Photo of Rabbi Abe Friedman
by Rabbi Abe Friedman
posted on October 7, 2017
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
The synagogue where I grew up, Ahavath Achim in Atlanta, Georgia, had a gift shop with floor-to-ceiling windows displaying a varied assortment of items. Among my earliest memories of shul-going, I loved to look at the glittering kiddush cups and havdallah sets,magen david jewelry, ironic aprons and sports-themed  kippot sitting in the windows. Read more...


Rabbi Bradley Artson
by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
posted on October 4, 2014
Here's the thing about transitions: Most of the time you don't know you are about to go through it until it has already happened. I teach a course for first year rabbinical students - it is a History of Jewish Philosophy - and one of the first things I tell them is that nobody ever knows the name of the period of time they are actually living through until someone decides that that period is over. The one thing they did not have in the biblical period was a Bible. Read more...