Archive | Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi

Theodore Cashuk, October 19, 1935 – November 18, 2016

The following graveside eulogy was delivered by Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal on November 21, 2016 at El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego. SAN DIEGO — Joseph I. Weiss once wrote, “However short, however long the time given to those who are near to us, strength will be fashioned through the gratitude of our hearts for […]

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Posted in Obituaries & memorials, Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi, San Diego County

When Jews argue with God, they become obligated

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal SAN DIEGO — One of the things I love about Judaism is our ability to question and argue. Although Judaism does demand that we accept much on faith, we are never forbidden to question why things are the way they are, and to challenge God, and even express our unhappiness about […]

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Posted in Jewish Religion, Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi

The coming tenth famine

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal SAN DIEGO — During my first year of Rabbinical School I had a roommate who dropped out. After studying for a year, he had had enough. He described Judaism as a giant birthday cake. If you have a little, it’s great. But if you eat the whole thing, you will get […]

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Posted in Jewish Religion, Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi

Why did God choose a rainbow?

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal SAN DIEGO — The story of Noah and the ark is one of my favorites. After the flood, God decided that God would never destroy the world again by flooding because “yetzer lev ha-adam ra mi-ne’urav”-human beings, by their very nature, have an inclination to do evil. God realized that humans are […]

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Parapets around our roofs and our hearts

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal SAN DIEGO — One of the most conspicuous signs of a Jewish home is the Mezuza on the doorpost. While sometimes people think that the essence of the mitzvah is affixing the decorative case on the doorpost, the important part of the Mezuza is what’s inside: a small scroll with the […]

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Posted in Jewish Religion, Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi

We can be each other’s moral teachers

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal SAN DIEGO — In Parashat Re’eh, Moses charges the Children of Israel to obey God. “See, this day I set before you blessing and curse: blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I enjoin upon you this day; and curse, if you do not obey the […]

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Posted in Jewish Religion, Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi

Fearing and revering God

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal SAN DIEGO — In parashat Eikev, Moses succinctly summarizes God’s demands of us: “And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God demand of you? Only this: to revere the Lord your God, to walk only in His paths, to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with […]

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Posted in Jewish Religion, Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi

Resi Ida Kalmar (March 16, 1921-August 7, 2016)

Eulogy by Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal (Delivered August 8, 2016 at Mount Sinai Cemetery, Los Angeles) One of the editors of the Book of Proverbs has preserved for us a striking metaphor which conveys to us a profound insight into the purpose of life. He tells us: Ner hashem nishmat adam. The soul of a person […]

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Posted in Jewish History, Obituaries & memorials, Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi, San Diego County

What Midrash would say about the U.S. Supreme Court

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal SAN DIEGO — One of the less laudatory traditions of our political system is elected officials “rewarding” their friends and supporters with appointments to positions such as ambassadorships, judgeships, and other offices. While the appointees may be well-qualified, they are not always the most qualified person for that position. In parashat […]

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Posted in Jewish Religion, Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi, USA

How a dispute can better the community

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal SAN DIEGO — Judaism has always encouraged diversity of opinion among its adherents. Historically, it has been those who have insisted on unanimity of belief who have ended up on the defensive. However, the motivation of those who hold diverse opinions has always been subject to scrutiny. In putting forward differing […]

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Posted in Jewish Religion, Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi

Israeli gov’t backtracks on Kotel promise

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal SAN DIEGO — Back in March, I wrote about the Israeli government agreeing to establish an egalitarian prayer space along the Kotel extension, south of Robinson’s Arch. At that time I wrote: “From now on the State of Israel recognizes three Western Wall prayer areas: Male Orthodox, Female Orthodox, and a […]

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Posted in Jewish Religion, Middle East, Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi

No religious justification for Orlando murders

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal SAN DIEGO — Judaism holds that human life is absolutely and fundamentally sacred. With three exceptions (murder, sexual assault/incest/adultery, and public idolatry), any mitzvah in Judaism can be violated in order to save a human life. It may even be argued this violation is not voluntary but obligatory: mitzvot must be […]

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Posted in Jewish Religion, Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi

Study Torah or do the mitzvot?

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal SAN DIEGO –There is a long running dispute in Jewish tradition over which is more important: the study of Torah or the performance of mitzvot. It is generally accepted that Torah study is more important, but only because it leads to the performance of mitzvot. Nevertheless, Torah study, in and of […]

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Posted in Jewish Religion, Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi

Conservative rabbis debate proposed reforms

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal SAN DIEGO — Since I was ordained in 1980, the Jewish community and its institutions have been going through a period of significant change and restructuring. Rabbis and Rabbinical organizations have not been insulated from these transformations. This week I attended the International Rabbinical Assembly Convention in New York City. I […]

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Posted in Jewish Religion, Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi

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