Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Not saying that secularism is evil, but...

Place

Tifereth Israel Synagogue

6660 Cowles Mountain Boulevard, San Diego

Tifereth Israel Synagogue

Contact: 6660 Cowles Mountain Blvd, San Diego 619-697-6001; tiferethisrael.com

Membership: 325 families

Rabbi: Leonard Rosenthal

Age: 62

Born: Los Angeles

Formation: University of California-San Diego; Hebrew University, Jerusalem; University of Judaism, Los Angeles; Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, NY

Years Ordained: 34

San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?

Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal: I don’t really offer sermons, but what’s called a “D’var Torah” — literally, “a word of the Torah,” small explanations of what’s going in in that week’s portion of the Torah, lessons about Judaism, or thoughts about the Jewish world in general. They last no more than five to ten minutes and I deliver them on Fridays. On Saturday mornings, I am teaching lessons primarily based on that week’s readings from the five books of Moses, the first books of the Hebrew Bible, also called the “Torah,” or from the Midrash, the collection of traditional rabbinical explanations. Sometimes, too, lessons are a topical free-for-all. More formal sermons, given during the High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur — they usually last about a half hour.

SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?

RR: I’m concerned with the falling off of people from the traditional organized religions, and particularly the Jews falling away from their faith in modern society. I’m not saying that secularism is evil, but the world misses something important when we turn away from our spiritual journeys. In America, it’s hard to see religion remaining a vital part of culture, especially based on numerous studies, including Pew studies, which show the American population becoming increasingly secular — save for the fundamentalists.

SDR: What is the mission of your congregation?

RR: To provide for the spiritual education and social needs of its members, in a Jewish context. We have an excellent religious school — the Abraham Ratner Torah School — which is a supplemental school which takes place after public school hours…. In general, the educational and religious programs at Tifereth are a source of pride to me. In Judaism, we consider the next generation to be the next link in the chain of Jewish tradition and continuity. Unless we educate future generations, Judaism will not survive.

SDR: Where’s the strangest place you found G-d?

RR: Let me share a story. Recently, I got this letter from someone about some Boy Scouts who were members of the congregation. They were selling popcorn as a fundraiser for their troop, and a woman came up to their table and bought a whole case of popcorn from them. She told the Boy Scouts she was going to donate it to a homeless program. The person who wrote the letter was moved by her act and wanted me to know about it. That’s where I find G-d. There’s a line at the end of the musical Les Misérables that is fitting here: “To love another person is to see the face of G-d.” I think that’s a sentiment worth living.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

RR: Not sure. I’m not placing any bets because no one’s come back to say one way or another. This concern is considered secondary in Judaism. There may be an afterlife or there may not be, and if there isn’t, well, at least you’ve done all you could to make this world a better place. In Judaism, we don’t have a strict teaching on the afterlife, and there are many different choices to learn from, so I don’t know. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
FENCING MAINTENANCE
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Yamaha BW200 Big Wheel - $1500
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
HEALTH
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Volunteers Needed For Tacotopia 2020
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 11, 2020
COLLEGE STUDENTS:
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Ad
Previous article

Happy Ron Hill: drop a dollar in the e-bucket

Everyone knows someone who’s in trouble right now
Next Article

In love with tikka masala at Himalayan House

Lunch with the hand-wash missionary
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Leonard Rosenthal doesn’t spend much time thinking about the afterlife.
Leonard Rosenthal doesn’t spend much time thinking about the afterlife.
Place

Tifereth Israel Synagogue

6660 Cowles Mountain Boulevard, San Diego

Tifereth Israel Synagogue

Contact: 6660 Cowles Mountain Blvd, San Diego 619-697-6001; tiferethisrael.com

Membership: 325 families

Rabbi: Leonard Rosenthal

Age: 62

Born: Los Angeles

Formation: University of California-San Diego; Hebrew University, Jerusalem; University of Judaism, Los Angeles; Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, NY

Years Ordained: 34

San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?

Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal: I don’t really offer sermons, but what’s called a “D’var Torah” — literally, “a word of the Torah,” small explanations of what’s going in in that week’s portion of the Torah, lessons about Judaism, or thoughts about the Jewish world in general. They last no more than five to ten minutes and I deliver them on Fridays. On Saturday mornings, I am teaching lessons primarily based on that week’s readings from the five books of Moses, the first books of the Hebrew Bible, also called the “Torah,” or from the Midrash, the collection of traditional rabbinical explanations. Sometimes, too, lessons are a topical free-for-all. More formal sermons, given during the High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur — they usually last about a half hour.

SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?

RR: I’m concerned with the falling off of people from the traditional organized religions, and particularly the Jews falling away from their faith in modern society. I’m not saying that secularism is evil, but the world misses something important when we turn away from our spiritual journeys. In America, it’s hard to see religion remaining a vital part of culture, especially based on numerous studies, including Pew studies, which show the American population becoming increasingly secular — save for the fundamentalists.

SDR: What is the mission of your congregation?

RR: To provide for the spiritual education and social needs of its members, in a Jewish context. We have an excellent religious school — the Abraham Ratner Torah School — which is a supplemental school which takes place after public school hours…. In general, the educational and religious programs at Tifereth are a source of pride to me. In Judaism, we consider the next generation to be the next link in the chain of Jewish tradition and continuity. Unless we educate future generations, Judaism will not survive.

SDR: Where’s the strangest place you found G-d?

RR: Let me share a story. Recently, I got this letter from someone about some Boy Scouts who were members of the congregation. They were selling popcorn as a fundraiser for their troop, and a woman came up to their table and bought a whole case of popcorn from them. She told the Boy Scouts she was going to donate it to a homeless program. The person who wrote the letter was moved by her act and wanted me to know about it. That’s where I find G-d. There’s a line at the end of the musical Les Misérables that is fitting here: “To love another person is to see the face of G-d.” I think that’s a sentiment worth living.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

RR: Not sure. I’m not placing any bets because no one’s come back to say one way or another. This concern is considered secondary in Judaism. There may be an afterlife or there may not be, and if there isn’t, well, at least you’ve done all you could to make this world a better place. In Judaism, we don’t have a strict teaching on the afterlife, and there are many different choices to learn from, so I don’t know. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
QUARANTINED IN SORRENTO VALLEY We enjoy one another at the office.
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 23, 2020
DJ LESSONS The Fast EZ Way
San Diego Reader Classified ads
February 6, 2020
WANTED - SPORTS CARDS
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
1981 EL CAMINO $8,000.
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
SPORTS MEMORABILIA
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Previous article

Hunger made me imitate Michael Jackson

“The dancer gets to pick the lady that he wants.”
Next Article

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Princeton poetry

Like William Faulkner’s verse, many of his poems served as a training ground for his prose
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close