A member of Kehillat Shaar HaShamayim prays at the Torah during Shiviti's "Platt Family Torah" Dedication. (November 2015, Photos by M)

Don’t You Wan’t To Be Eulogized?

November 28, 2016 Rabbi Yonatan Halevy 0

I once had an extremely unsettling conversation that left its marks on me until this very day. [I wish to note the following disclaimer: as disdainful as some of these sentiments may sound, they did not come from a malicious place, but from a place of having been programmed as [Read more…]

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Distance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

November 15, 2016 Rabbi Yonatan Halevy 1

Peace is not always the best solution to a conflict. There, I said it. How many times have we been taught that we must always forgive, but never taught that there are those which our Torah does not demand us to forgive? How often have we heard that we must judge everyone favorably, but [Read more…]

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Mikveh Matters: Letters to a Rav

September 28, 2016 Rabbi Yonatan Halevy 0

“I wish to share with you my initial hesitancy in writing this letter. Rabbi Shalom Messas zt”l, Chief Rabbi of Morocco and later Chief Rabbi of Yerushalayim, related that he had never been asked a single Taharat HaMishpachah question from any woman during the duration of his leadership in Morocco. [Read more…]

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Donkey, Elephant or Jew?

July 20, 2016 Rabbi Yonatan Halevy 0

[To understand this message, you must have an open mind and heart. For those who have not yet reached the level of sophistication to look at the world from outside their comfort zone, I echo the warning of our Master the Rambam: the following words will only bring upon you [Read more…]

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Don’t Be Mainstream

July 15, 2016 Rabbi Yonatan Halevy 0

It is too often that I am asked “why can you not just be a mainstream rabbi?” To which I always respond: “what is mainstream in Judaism?” The answer? “What everyone else does!”. If the Jewish people believed that numbers created a mainstream one would be compelled to follow: 1. [Read more…]

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Gimmel Tammuz: Personal Struggles

July 8, 2016 Rabbi Yonatan Halevy 0

I have been struggling immensely after a conversion with a dear friend. Traditional Jewish phrases have been altered to include foreign concepts, but then we are blamed for lack of unity when we voice concern over them. For example… What used to universally be: “Give Nachat to our Creator” has [Read more…]

Rabbi Yonatan Y. Halevy

Public Statement: Kosher LA

July 4, 2016 Rabbi Yonatan Halevy 0

It has come to my attention that a certain communal figure who is respected by many in matters of Kashrut, has questioned the reliability of the “Kosher LA” certification on our local The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. I state with absolute confidence: this is utter nonsense, and one who [Read more…]

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Be A Knowledgeable Jew!

April 21, 2016 Rabbi Yonatan Halevy 0

                In the Jewish world, literacy used to be a source of pride. Ignorance was shunned and enlightenment was chosen. I am constantly taken aback by how – seemingly – religious Jews are obsessed with publicly displaying their ignorance of Hashem’s legal system. [Read more…]

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