Blog: Rabbi Farkas

Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on January 17, 2019

The other night I was speaking at a Teach-in for a progressive Zionist organization called Zioness.  (Full disclosure, I am a founding board member). I had the honor to sit next to Emiliana Guereca, Founder and Executive Director of Women’s March Los Angeles and a dynamic speaker. Towards the end of the evening, a young participant asked us, “What is the use of protesting? I mean, it’s a lot of work to get downtown with all those people.  What does it get us anyway, how much has really changed?” 

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on December 18, 2018

What will be our legacy? Every generation asks itself these questions. It’s part of aging through life where we look to bridge past and future. Legacy gives us a sense that our life is worthwhile. It gives us the basis to believe that all our struggles and decisions in life can be framed in a way that can live on after us.  

It gives us a chance at immortality.

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on November 15, 2018

These past several weeks we have seen so much tragedy in my community. From the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, to another shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill, to the raging fires across California. In my community alone, some 250,000 people have been displaced and hundreds of homes have been destroyed. Notably centers of our Jewish community like JCA Shalom, the Wilshire Blvd Camps, and Ilan Ramon Day School all suffered critical damage.

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on October 4, 2018

Last Sunday we launched our mental health initiative called “So Healthy Together.” Over two hundred people came from all over the city to share their stories and learn from experts.  What I learned from our launch was that community is the most important aspect to helping prevent tragic loss like suicide to mental illness and to help survivors heal.  The world is a lonely place and is only getting lonelier.

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on September 20, 2018

For the past ten years I have lead a physician's talmud study group called Dinner for Docs. We meet about once a quarter, have some wine and eat a nice dinner. Then we engage in Talmud study. It was there that I really got to know Dr. Joe Beezy. He’s sitting right over there. Joe and I became friends over a page of Talmud, so much so that he asked me to perform the marriage of his daughter, Talya, to wonderful man named Leonard. Talya, it was such a beautiful day, warm and verdant, your dad played the recorder, remember? It was on that day I met your brother this dashing young man with a huge smile, named Ben.

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on September 12, 2018

It was once said that Judaism is a tradition of minimum text and maximal interpretation.  Take these three words from the book of Leviticus “V'ahavtah l'rechah kamocha” Love your neighbor as yourself. (Lev. 19:18).  How clear can that be? How straight forward? How simple, how universal?  “V'ahavtah l'rechah kamocha” Love your neighbor as yourself.

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on August 28, 2018

How literal is faith? The other night I was at a shiva minyan and I was asked by one of the family members how could one pray for miracles that don’t not exist? I took a deep breath, knowing that others wanted to speak to me and said that I don’t believe in the supernatural like turning water into blood or splitting the sea, and I’m not sure that God really exists. But my faith and the language of faith is not so literal. The God I believe in is a poem, not an essay. Let me explain.

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on June 13, 2018

Invocation for Assembly Member Jesse Gabriel
June 11, 2018

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on June 7, 2018

At the end of this week’s Torah portion, Shlach, we find one of the most famous paragraphs of liturgy:

“God spoke to Moses, telling him to speak to the Israelites and instruct them to make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments for all generations. Let them attach a cord of blue to the fringe at each corner. That shall be your fringe: look at it and recall all the commandments of the Lord and observe them...”

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on May 10, 2018

As we close out the book of Leviticus, the third book of the Torah, we can take a moment to reflect on its central theme - holiness. No other book in the Torah focuses as much on the idea of becoming holy as this priestley book. The reason d'etre of being an Israelite is found in the pasuk, “You shall be holy because I, the LORD am Holy” (Lev.19:2)

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