The Boiling Point

New York allowing minyans, Los Angeles not yet

MINCHA: An outdoor minyan observed strict social distancing March 18 in Hancock Park. Officials say that is not permitted in California or Los Angeles, although it will soon be allowed in New York.

Molly Litvak, Community Editor

May 21, 2020

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday that religious gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted there starting tomorrow, but Los Angeles rabbis say they have not heard anything about when davening and religious services might be permitted in Los Angeles or California.  Head...

Who suffers, who perseveres

NOW: As Pesach begins in this difficult moment, it is up to us to decide how to move forward.

Rachel Lasry, Staff Writer

April 8, 2020

Many of us in quarantine feel like we are suffering. In many ways, we are. Forced not to see our friends and family, deprived of the outdoors, living in fear for ourselves and our families. These are legitimate problems. And there are less severe problems, but still great losses. Like the plans we made....

God, fragility and coronavirus: senior Tanach class seeks religious meaning of quarantine

INTROSPECTION: On the turf March 6, the class discussed Purim and personal insecurity. A week later, the topic was  quarantine.

Sam Rubanowitz, Senior Editor

March 16, 2020

Rabbi Ari Schwarzberg’s senior Tanach class held a Schoology discussion forum last Thursday on the religious significance of quarantine from the coronavirus. “Given the craziness and uncertainty of our current reality,” Rabbi Schwarzberg wrote in the discussion description, “I'd like you all t...

Which Purim Character are You?

Which Purim Character are You?

March 10, 2020

By Liad Machmali, Torah Editor It’s that time of the year again, when all Jews finally get to wear the discounted costumes they purchased back in November and reminisce in the fabulous story of Purim. This March 9 and 10, we will follow along as we read the drama-filled story of how the Persians ...

Rabbi Tsaidi’s Gemara classes work on improving mitzvah observance

<span style=FRIENDS: Juniors Alessandra Judaken and Lenny Wolkind talked on the turf last week. As part of the avodat hanefesh unit for Rabbi Tsaidi, Alessandra decided to focus on shomer negiah." />

Bayley Sandler, Staff Writer

February 23, 2020

Rabbi Yagil Tsaidi has started a mitzvah program that promotes doing meaningful but small things, so students can better themselves over time.  He calls it avodat hanefesh, which literally means service of the soul -- though it doesn’t exactly translate. “I call it avodat hanefesh, wh...

Tu B’shvat: Who grows the fruit?

ARRIVAL: Newly planted in last year’s wooden planters by the turf fence, an heirloom cherry tomato plant celebrates the holiday of the trees. “I will be starting up the garden on the third floor this Monday, on Tu B’Shvat,” Jacob posted on Schoology Friday morning.

Liad Machmali, Torah Editor

February 10, 2020

The “new year” of the trees, also referred to as the birthday of the trees or Tu B’shvat, meaning the 15th of Shvat, is coming up this year on Feb.10. You can celebrate it by having a seder, consisting of various fruits, nuts and vegetables commonly associated with the land of Israel -- figs, g...

Visit from Rav Judah sheds a Hasidic light on prayer

At a parent-teen learning session on Oct. 29, Rav Judah taught about the meaning of tefillah (prayer) and how to incorporate it into their day-to-day lives.

Liad Machmali, Torah Editor

January 5, 2020

When Rabbi Judah Mischel made his annual visit this year, students once again engaged with a Hasidic perspective that they don’t always encounter in their regular Judaic Studies program.  Rabbi Mischel, known simply as “Rav Judah,” says he tries to embody Hasidism personally while teaching i...

With last candle, thoughts on taking Hanukkah into the rest of the year

<span style=ENDING: As the menorah readies for eight candles at once, it's a good time to consider to manage assimilation versus authenticity during the rest of the year." />

Rachel Lasry, Senior Writer

December 29, 2019

As Modern Orthodox Jews, we’re all well versed in the practice of combining our authentic selves with who we feel we are supposed to be. We’re constantly struggling, always forced onto the middle ground that lies between being an ordinary American teenager and being a Modern Orthodox Jew.  ...

Eight gift ideas for the eight nights

IDEAS: This year, why give the usual? And your dog deserves a gift, too.

Liad Machmali, Torah Editor

December 10, 2019

It’s time to get lit--literally! Hanukkah is Dec. 22 through Dec. 30. While the Festival of Lights offers the usual Jewish-holiday delicious foods -- without any guilt of course, if you read the suggestions below -- gifts are definitely a highlight as well. Whether you are shopping for a sister,...

School cracks down on pencil skirts; midis and maxis preferred

<strong><span style=LONGER: Freshmen Amalia Abecassis, Zoe Miller and Tehilla Fishman worked on a class project last month. This year, girls are wearing midi, maxi and uniform skirts after Shalhevet changed its dress code to ban knee-length pencil skirts. " />

Liad Machmali, Torah Editor

October 25, 2019

Shalhevet changed its girls dress code over the summer, announcing that girls would no longer be allowed to wear pencil skirts unless they are at least knee-length and worn with leggings underneath. According to the policy, which was e-mailed to families July 31 with a letter from Associate Head o...

Sukkot Lessons from Kohelet

Sukkot Lessons from Kohelet

Joshua Glettner, Staff Writer

October 11, 2019

It is custom among Jews of Ashkenazi descent to read Sefer Kohelet, or Ecclesiastes, from the Ketuvim on the Shabbat of Chol Hamoed or Shemini Atzeret. But the book’s modern status emerges from a long history of controversy. The Mishna is Masechet Yadim records a debate among the ancient sages over...

Rosh Hashanah 5780: Lessons from Gan Eden

Rosh Hashanah 5780: Lessons from Gan Eden

Rachel Lasry, Staff Writer

September 26, 2019

While Rosh HaShanah is mainly known as the Jewish new year, its true origin is often overlooked, which is the commemoration of Creation, and essentially the birthday of Adam and Chava. A short period after their creation, after beginning their time in Gan Eden, Adam and Chava made the drastic mistake of...

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