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Shhh . . . No! Be noisy!

Shhh . . . No! Be noisy!

LOS ANGELES — On Purim, can we really blot out the memory of an evil like Haman, who threatened our very existence, with a noisemaker?

When in a popular Purim song we sing “Hava narishah-rash, rash, rash,” “Wind your noisemakers,” all that “rashing” does momentarily make the darkness go away. But in what direction do we turn as we step into the light?

It’s not that the sound is supposed to make us entirely forget Haman. In fact Purim, which this year begins at sundown March 15, is the time of year when Jews are supposed to remember what we have been told to forget.

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 April 2014 00:52 )

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Features

‘Partnership minyans’ grow, as does the controversy

NEW YORK — If it wasn’t clear before, it should be abundantly clear now: The Orthodox establishment will not sanction so-called partnership minyans, and it’s willing to go to the mat to fight them. In recent weeks, a flurry of articles by leading Orthodox rabbis and scholars have taken aim at the phenomenon of partnership minyans, which feature traditional Orthodox liturgy and mechitzah dividers separating the sexes but allow women to read from the Torah and lead certain parts of the serv...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 March 2014 13:43 )

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Features

The chasidic female terrorism expert

The chasidic female terrorism expertNEW YORK — When a 16-year-old Lubavitcher named Ari Halberstam was gunned down on the Brooklyn Bridge on March 1, 1994 by a Lebanese livery cab driver, the killing seemed to be a cut-and-dried case. The shooter, Rashid Baz, was captured the following day and confessed to police. After a trial several months later, he was sentenced to 141 years in prison. But a murder conviction was not enough for Ari’s mother, Devorah Halberstam. She saw a terrorist conspiracy behind the shooting and criti...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 February 2014 13:03 )

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Features

The unexpected rabbinate of Susan Miller Rheins

The unexpected rabbinate of Susan Miller RheinsRabbi Susan Miller Rheins lifts a heavy chair and sets it down in front of Temple Sinai’s Ark. In contrast to the animated offices and populated hallways, the sanctuary is as subdued as her attire. For a few moments, Rheins’ initial reserve blends into the surroundings. Her voice is so soft she’s asked to speak louder. Then an unexpected question unleashes the candor lurking in her eyes. On Aug. 6, 1990, the New York Times published the wedding announcement of Rabbi Susan Lynn Miller and...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 February 2014 15:07 )

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Features

Death Café

Death CaféTo philosophize is nothing else but to prepare for death. — Cicero On a warm winter afternoon, strangers slowly enter Feldman Mortuary. Led into an adjoining room, they are encouraged to sample fresh coffee, assorted teas and an exquisite cake. There is no funeral at the mortuary today — but death is not taking a holiday. In fact, death is on everyone’s mind. Welcome to the Death Café, a global, grassroots conversation about our mortality that was founded by the UK’s John Underwood...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 February 2014 14:59 )

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