Judaism and War

Headshot of Elliot Dorff
by Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD
posted on November 12, 2020
A season is set for everything, a time for every experience under heaven:          A time for being born and a time for dying, …          A time for slaying and a time for healing, …          A time for loving and a time for hating,          A time for war and a time for peace.                                              (Ecclesiastes 3:1‑8) Read more...

Starting Again on Blursday

Headshot of Gail Labovitz
by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, PhD
posted on October 7, 2020
The last time I attended a Torah reading at my synagogue was the Shabbat of March 14, parashat Ki Tissa, in the latter part of Exodus. By Monday, Los Angeles was under lockdown and the American Jewish University took classes on-line. Read more...

The Significance of Aesthetics in Judaism

Headshot of Elliot Dorff
5781
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...

Our Day In Heaven

Photo of Pinchas Giller
5781
by Rabbi Pinchas Giller
posted on September 25, 2020
In general, Jews expect to maintain a becoming agnosticism about metaphysics. They tend to observe the admonition of the second chapter of the Mishnah in Hagigah, namely that “whoever considers these four things, better that they should never have come into the World: what is above, what is below, what came before and what will be after.” Hence, it is considered slightly tasteless to speculate about Heaven, or the afterlife, or even the nature of the soul, in conventional Judaism.  Read more...

"We Can Learn From Our Trials"

Rabbi Bradley Artson
by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
posted on September 18, 2020
How life teaches us! We read books and attend lectures and we think we are ready for what life brings. Armed with our learning, we venture into the world only to discover that the formulas of the brain do not help bind the wounds of the heart. Read more...