Judaism

Stop Telling "Moderate Muslims" What To Do

Davide Mastracci | Posted 12.09.2014 | Canada
Davide Mastracci

Ali A. Rizvi recently wrote an open letter to "moderate Muslims." I'm not sure if Rizvi's letter was directed toward me, as I don't measure my faith in chicken wing flavours, but I'm going to respond anyway. Rizvi's good will doesn't last long as he immediately begins to lecture Muslims about our "increasingly waning credibility" in the West.

Kafka & Langer: An Unusually Complex Friendship

Beverley Golden | Posted 11.08.2014 | Canada
Beverley Golden

All any of us wants is to be seen and to be heard. This longing is at the core of our human beingness. Most never get the opportunity to share their l...

Anti-Semitism Is Growing. Is Israel To Blame?

Corey Levine | Posted 09.27.2014 | Canada
Corey Levine

I grew up with the understanding that to be a Jew meant being on the side of justice. As a child, I watched my parents donate money to have trees planted in Israel in the name of their parents, who had survived the pogroms of Eastern Europe. From them I also learned the value of Tikkun Olam: "healing the world" in Hebrew -- that to help those who are suffering was an integral part of Judaism.

The New Indigenous Peoples Being Slaughtered

Mark Taliano | Posted 09.21.2014 | Canada Politics
Mark Taliano

Israel's largely American-supplied war machine--though Canada is increasingly adding to the mix -- is perpetuating the imperial cycle of conquest: a technologically advanced force is imposing its monstrous will on a vilified, relatively defenceless people.

How to Bring Out Your Inner Buddha

Kim Smiley | Posted 04.22.2014 | Canada Living
Kim Smiley

For a Jewish, middle class, Montrealer, I've spent a lot of my life in the company of the Buddha. I have had an 18-year on-again, off-again relationship with the Buddha. He's been by my side during the ups and downs. I never practiced Buddhism, but I have been a student of the religion for half my life.

As a Man of God, I See the Value in Atheism

Rabbi Ben Hecht | Posted 02.23.2014 | Canada Living
Rabbi Ben Hecht

I understand the importance of free thought and the necessity for societies to allow for variant perceptions on God including atheism. It is for this reason that I, as a religious person, strongly advocate for freedom of religion and decry these nations who persecute those who, in the process of thought, arrive at different perspectives.

Stay With Me, Just One More Day

Diane Weber Bederman | Posted 11.18.2013 | Canada Living
Diane Weber Bederman

I recently watched the end of Steven Spielberg's 2001 movie, Artificial Intelligence, which I haven't seen since its release. The time is the 22nd cen...

I'm A Rabbi, But I Didn't Fast This Week -- Here's Why

Elyse Goldstein | Posted 09.17.2013 | Canada Living
Elyse Goldstein

I'm not fasting because the oldest symbol of "unity"--the Western Wall--is a battleground for religious pluralism, and I imagine that if the Cohanim were still around they would be on the side of the Haredim, not on the side of those women who, like me, want to be full participating Jews with tallit and a Torah.

Why Deny Women Access to the Western Wall?

Annie Claire Bergeron-Oliver | Posted 09.08.2013 | Canada
Annie Claire Bergeron-Oliver

Police barricades blocked hundreds of Women of the Wall supporters, a liberal Jewish women's group, who are demanding equality of worship at the Western Wall. Current customs prevent females from wearing prayer shawls and from praying and reading the Torah aloud, as men are permitted to do.

First Nations and the Jews: A Common History

Diane Weber Bederman | Posted 07.15.2013 | Canada
Diane Weber Bederman

Think of the many cultures throughout history that have disappeared, some for which we've no account, and others now only known by artifacts or bits and pieces of written history. Rather than focus on the cultures that have been lost, First Nations can focus on the one that has survived thousands of years,

Should I Raise My Child With Religion, Or Let Him Choose?

Yummy Mummy Club | Posted 07.06.2013 | Canada Living
Yummy Mummy Club

Though we were both raised Catholic, my husband and I made a conscious decision to eschew religion when raising our son. I'm a big believer in love over rites and rituals. Like many parents, we want him to make an informed decision about his own spirituality when he is old and mature enough to do so. Yet part of me wonders if agnosticism is truly the right move.

Why Atheists Are Wrong About Religion

Diane Weber Bederman | Posted 07.03.2013 | Canada Living
Diane Weber Bederman

That Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins are disappointed that religion hasn't gone the way of the dinosaur perhaps speaks to the fact that religion provides something of great importance to human beings, an importance that is beyond their grasp. Science provides the cold hard facts of life. Religion provides meaning. Even Dr. Krauss agreed that we make the meaning in our lives. Why can't that meaning come from religion?

Orthodox Jewish Woman Sues Lancôme For 24-Hour Makeup Claim

Huffington Post Canada | Stefani Forster | Posted 05.02.2013 | Canada Style

An Orthodox Jewish woman is suing Lancôme and its parent company, cosmetics giant L'Oréal, over its alleged "24-hour" makeup, claiming that the prod...

Does Following a Methodology Make You Religious?

Rabbi Ben Hecht | Posted 06.08.2013 | Canada
Rabbi Ben Hecht

There is an interesting disconnect in our world today regarding religion. Being an adherent to a certain religion is simply seen, to most people, as a description of the way by which this individual achieves spirituality. This is not, however, the way that religions -- even more so, traditional religious systems -- actually view themselves.

9 Dishes to gluten-free Healthy Passover

Meghan Telpner | Posted 03.26.2013 | Canada Living
Meghan Telpner

Passover is a Jewish holiday that extends for eight days, requiring observers to avoid leavened bread. That's the basic rule. No problem. I don't remember the last time I ate leavened bread. Beyond this -- the rules get a little fuzzy. You could join 10 different families for Passover on the same street and have 10 different experiences of what Passover is.

How Chanukah Became an American Myth

Rabbi Ben Hecht | Posted 02.06.2013 | Canada
Rabbi Ben Hecht

As a Rabbi, I have always found it somewhat curious the way the general North American public looks upon the festival of Chanukah. While actually a relatively minor holiday in the Jewish calendar, it is given much significance in Western society. But what I also find fascinating is the way that North America had to simultaneously transform Chanukah into a festivity that relates to the North American consciousness. If people are going to be celebrating this holiday then it better have a meaning with which these individuals can connect.

In Remembrance of Yitzchak Shamir, and an Elevator Ride with Him

Avrum Rosensweig | Posted 09.03.2012 | Canada
Avrum Rosensweig

In 1994, while in the employ of the United Jewish Appeal and Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, I was given the task of overseeing former Israeli prime minister Yitzchak Shamir's trip to Toronto. But of course, as fate would have it, Saudi Arabian sheiks were staying in the same hotel as he was. What was I to do?

Why Are Israeli Police Stopping Jewish Women from Praying?

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld | Posted 08.21.2012 | Canada
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

On June 21, a Jewish woman was detained for hours by Israeli police for praying at the Western Wall. Why? Because she was wearing a tallit -- a prayer shawl. Some say that women who are wearing the tallit are flaunting their piety, but is this really the case? Shouldn't we, as a Jewish people, give women the benefit of the doubt when they honour Hashem?

Chief Rabbi or Corrupt Pol?

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld | Posted 08.08.2012 | Canada Living
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

In September 2012, a successor to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the current Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, will be appointed. The new rabbi will begin his tenure in September 2013. If the post will not undergo a major transformation and become purely one of spiritual and educational leadership, then it is far better to leave the post empty than to continue the institution of a chief rabbi.

Who Says You're a Jew?

Richard Marceau | Posted 07.15.2012 | Canada
Richard Marceau

I find myself disheartened by the direction that the conversion debate is unfolding in Israel and the Diaspora. While we cannot hope to be, nor should we strive to be, uniform in our views, we have an obligation to be united as one Jewish people. It makes no sense that Orthodox converts, including those looking to make aliyah (moving to Israel), face the possibility of seeing their fully halachic conversions retroactively annulled.

This Kippa Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means

Rabbi Ben Hecht | Posted 07.11.2012 | Canada
Rabbi Ben Hecht

When me and my wife were looking for our seats at a concert, a man approached me, and began to interrogate me on whether I believed in a personal god. To be honest, I did not know how to respond.

Why Is Jonathan Sacks Fighting Progress?

Yoni Goldstein | Posted 01.25.2012 | Canada
Yoni Goldstein

Last week, the chief rabbi of Britain decried the late Steve Jobs, specifically consumerist society. Of all Orthodox rabbis, he is the one who is supposed to understand the intrinsic value of an iPad, because that device, and the consumerist culture that ultimately begat it, represents choice and the prospect of greater knowledge.

What Does The Shofar Call You To Do?

Mira Sucharov | Posted 11.11.2011 | Canada
Mira Sucharov

While we are enjoying the dog days of summer, we are also in Elul, the final month of the Jewish calendar -- one of traditional personal reflection. One synagogue asks on Twitter: WDSCU2D?

The Risks of Jewish Particularism

Mira Sucharov | Posted 09.15.2011 | Canada
Mira Sucharov

Tragically, we all know what happens when a particularist worldview is pushed to the unthinkable extreme.