Praying in the Dark

(Parashat Vayetze – Genesis 28:10-32:3)   By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila     “Jacob left Beer-Sheba, and set out for Haran. He came upon a certain place and stopped there for the night, for the sun had set” (Genesis 28:10-11). On his journey towards Haran, Jacob...

read more

Prayer from the Heart

(Parashat Toledot – Genesis 25:19 – 28:9)   By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila     Prayer from the Heart (Parashat Toledot – Genesis 25:19 – 28:9) Parashat Toledot presents us the Torah’s second incident of a barren woman. Like Sarah in the previous generation, we are...

read more

The Sephardic Golden Path

(originally published in 2014 still relevant 8 years later)   By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila     I was raised in a home where terms like “Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Haredi, Secular Zionist” or the like were not a part of our vocabulary. Jews were Jews. In our...

read more

My Moroccan Succoth

My father, of blessed memory, was born and raised in the Mellah of Marrakesh. All of the Moroccan traditions I practice on Sukkot are customs I learned and inherited from him. Those special Moroccan traditions – which I grew up with and practice to this day – adorn...

read more

Lest We Sit By Silently…

“Every day not far from here, as we sit here, men, women and children are murdered in Syria, and particularly in Aleppo,” said Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef. “Millions of refugees are homeless, hundreds of thousands of others are starved, under siege....

read more

Sukkot: Our Jewish Thanksgiving

It was an experience I will never forget. It was Chol HaMo’ed Sukkot, the intermediate days when one can go to work. My father went to work, and my mother and I were going to the synagogue for Sukkot services. My mother did not drive — a rarity in Los Angeles! — so we...

read more