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An Abnormal Story of Changing Directions in College

madeline gelfand | Posted 11.20.2015 | Religion
madeline gelfand

"I did it because my friends are doing it! I want to fit in, but also it's something that I want." I've used this justification with my parents, as well as with friends, to try and explain myself a little bit. I should add that I'm not talking about drugs here. Or alcohol. I'm talking about Judaism.

The Power of Prayer

David Gregory | Posted 11.19.2015 | Religion
David Gregory

I like any prayer that invites quiet and reflection and that takes some attention away from my selfish concerns at any particular moment.

Why These Jewish Teens Are Listening To The Stories Of Holocaust Survivors

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 11.16.2015 | Religion

Jewish teenagers in fifteen countries from around the globe will meet with Holocaust survivors on Nov. 6-7, for "A Shabbat to Remember." The e...

Shabbat And Powering Down

David Gregory | Posted 11.12.2015 | Religion
David Gregory

We're both powerfully drawn to the idea of a day of rest, particularly in an age when it seems increasingly unlikely that we can power down or ever power off. We spoke about our different ways of observing the Sabbath and what it has come to mean to us personally and to our families.

5 Ways to Keep the Spiritual Momentum of the High Holidays

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein | Posted 10.12.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

The High Holidays and Sukkot have ended. This marathon of Jewish Holy Days earned many of us an increased spiritual awareness, sensitivity and commitment. But how can we maintain that growth throughout the year?

Looking for Sanctuary and Being Turned Away from the Synagogue of My Youth

Ellen Frankel | Posted 10.02.2015 | Religion
Ellen Frankel

There's a more welcoming feel at Bed, Bath and Beyond, even on those occasions where they apologize that they are unable to take the expired coupons. Their doors open easily, automatically.

The Burning Man Experience That Is All About Inclusive Spirituality

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 08.26.2015 | Religion

Of the more than 60,000 people who are estimated to attend the Burning Man arts festival in the Nevada desert next week, several hundred of them...

I Am a Funny Kind of Jew

Iris Ruth Pastor | Posted 08.21.2015 | Religion
Iris Ruth Pastor

Purists will say I shouldn't be texting so close to the Sabbath. Nor encouraging my sons to text on that holiday too. But once again, I find myself drawing something meaningful, significant and of lasting value from my Judaism and using it to bring solace, joy and rich meaning to my life.

How Difficult Is Simple?

Alla Kazovsky | Posted 07.31.2015 | Arts
Alla Kazovsky

Once we got to introductions, I found out that Mary Little is an artist of furniture design who creates chairs as sculpture. Considering that I was in the process of designing my first chair, the meeting was serendipitous.

Jewish Groups Unite For 'Shabbat Of Solidarity' With The Black Community

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 06.25.2015 | Religion

Beliefs and lifestyles within Judaism vary widely from denomination to denomination. But when it comes to last week's fatal shooting of nine people at...

Muslims And Jews Find Common Ground At Iftar Shabbat Dinner

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 06.20.2015 | Religion

At sunset on Friday evening, Muslims around the world broke their Ramadan fast with a ritual meal, called an iftar. At the same time, Jews around the ...

Protecting a Life Is Always a Priority

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein | Posted 05.26.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

We have a sacred duty to protect life. By educating ourselves, and protecting our families and communities with diligence in these and other safety issues, we are fulfilling that mitzvah.

Money and Shabbat

Rabbi Menachem Creditor | Posted 04.27.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Perhaps money is the best starting point for experiencing Shabbat. Money's impact is so universal in our lives that putting it aside is truly our greatest hope, an inescapable call to mindfulness which leads to independence of external obligation.

Where God Is Depends on Us

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein | Posted 04.25.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

It's a beautiful answer, completely true, but it doesn't help when you are older. When we see what goes on in the world, we often ask ourselves the very same question, "Where is God?"

It All Comes Back to Shabbat

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein | Posted 03.25.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

Just as the Jewish people could not have existed without the Exodus from Egypt, the Jewish people cannot exist without a relationship with Shabbat.

A Musical Mix of Old and New: Judith Clurman's Cherished Moments: Songs of the Jewish Spirit

Shoshana Greenberg | Posted 01.17.2015 | Arts
Shoshana Greenberg

Essential Voices USA conductor Judith Clurman started work on her CD, Cherished Moments: Songs of the Jewish Spirit, several years ago, but the project really began when she was a little girl in synagogue.

Shabbatoween 2014: Keeping it Neighborly and Making it Jewish

Rabbi Ilana Garber | Posted 12.30.2014 | Parents
Rabbi Ilana Garber

How do I undo what I've done to Halloween? I don't want him to participate in trick-or-treating, but there should be joy in helping others to celebrate their holidays (like wishing other people a Merry Christmas). Perhaps it's time to start a new Halloween tradition -- even in this rabbi's home.

Shabbat: The Linchpin of Jewish Tradition

Ramaa Reddy Raghavan | Posted 11.30.2014 | Religion
Ramaa Reddy Raghavan

On a warm Friday evening in July, aromas of onions and meat waft through Barbara Meltz's home in Stanhope, New Jersey. She is busy putting the finishing touches to her Shabbat dinner -- Shabbat being the Jewish Sabbath, celebrated every week from sundown on Friday to nightfall on Saturday.

Singing in the Car

Rabbi Ilana Garber | Posted 10.18.2014 | Parents
Rabbi Ilana Garber

An era ends, and I'm sad, terribly sad. But also so very grateful for the incredible community and the wonderful experiences we have shared as a family.

Shabbat and Trungpa

Alison Laichter | Posted 10.01.2014 | Religion
Alison Laichter

My hope is that, like Trungpa's idea of an empty heart, each time I am re-souled through Shabbat, there is more tenderness and less tangibility, a waking up of my soul, an opening of my heart, and a chance to practice making everything holy, at least one day a week.

Does Judaism Need Gender?

Leora Tanenbaum | Posted 09.06.2014 | Religion
Leora Tanenbaum

No, says Haviva Ner-David, most known as the first woman to apply to Yeshiva University's rabbinic ordination program and ten years later to receive private Orthodox rabbinic ordination.

The 28 Lessons You Learn On Birthright

The Huffington Post | Nina Friend | Posted 08.07.2014 | College

Who would’ve thought that sleeping in the desert, riding camels, and eating an unlimited supply of hummus would make for the perfect week-and-a-half...

Why I'm Suddenly Longing To Get Inked In Midlife

Shira Dicker | Posted 08.03.2014 | Fifty
Shira Dicker

Why am I even thinking about a tattoo for the first time, at the age of 53, with grown children and aging parents and memberships to three synagogues on Manhattan's Upper West Side? Why do I keep on asking myself what sign, what image, which words, what message I would want marked on my body? Is this a sign of mid-life crisis? Is it a diversion from more important matters?

Long Weekends for Life

Carin Davis | Posted 07.28.2014 | Religion
Carin Davis

If God had just chilled for a little longer back then, all of our weekends could be a little longer now. But no; go-getter God was up and at 'em on Day Eight. No case of the Monday Mornings for the Almighty.

The Problematic Message of the Story of the Man Saved From the Malaysia Airlines Flight by Shabbat

Rabbi Jason Miller | Posted 05.17.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Jason Miller

I'm still awaiting word on what actually happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight #370. While there will be those who find the 'miraculous' story of the man who didn't get on that flight because of his Shomer Shabbos travel agent to be inspirational, I remain troubled by its message.