"The lights of Hanukkah come to remind us of one of the important truths of life - That no matter how dark things are, there is always hope. That even if we are down to our last drop of oil, our last ounce of energy, there is always possibility. If we are willing to act, to light that last candle, to take that one step even though we are so afraid, to engage in that one act of kindness, even if it seems as if it won't make any difference at all.Category: Personal Growth, Building Bridges, Politics & Culture, Leadership, Jewish Toolkit
"...So, is Hanukkah really the “Jewish Christmas” as people often describe it? The answer to that is both an emphatic “no” and also and equally emphatic “sort of.” While Judaism and Christianity are two distinct traditions, they are related both historically and also in their desire to bring meaning, purpose and love into the lives of all those who open their hearts to them.Category: Personal Growth, Building Bridges, Politics & Culture, Jewish Toolkit
"The Chicago Bulls are off to a great start this season, leading their division with a 14-8 record. I know, it’s a long season and there’s little predictive value in such a small sample, but the Bears are beyond bad, and I am a big fan of finding solace where you can, when you can — an approach not limited to sports, by the way.Category: Personal Growth, Politics & Culture
Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann is quoted as saying: “I am part of the generation that demographers are looking at and saying, ‘Oh no, they’re not participating in organized religion. This is the beginning of the end of organized religion in America.' It’s not just happening in Jewish circles. It’s everywhere. But we are spiritually seeking, intellectually seeking.Category: Personal Growth, Building Bridges, Politics & Culture, Leadership, Rabbis Without Borders, Jewish Toolkit
"A decade ago in Los Angeles, two organizations opened their doors with a call to prayer — or they would have if they had any doors to open.Ikar, led by Rabbi Sharon Brous, and Nashuva, led by Rabbi Naomi Levy, were conceived separately.Category: Personal Growth, Building Bridges, Politics & Culture, Leadership, Rabbis Without Borders, Jewish Toolkit
On December 9, 2014 the U.S. Senate released its report on the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" against detainees suspected of being Al Qaeda fighters during the George W. Bush administration. Whether you call it torture or enhanced interrogation "is the best predictor we have of how you feel about this issue" says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield.
From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD
"...Old points of view create obstacles preventing us from healing the explicit and implicit racism that still exists in our country. I suggest that, for the foreseeable future, when you hear opinions about race, you take the following three steps:
If you immediately agree with the viewpoint - and feel affirmed by it - ignore it. This is especially the case if the view comes from a person from of a different tribe than yours, and you get a thrill from feeling affirmed. That thrill is actually a sign of uncertainty.
If you reflexively and vehemently disagree with the viewpoint, try not to reject it. Sit with it, and try to locate the partial truth of that viewpont. No one is so smart that they can be 100% wrong, and at some level (be it emotional, psychological, or biographical) there is a truth in someone else's view we need to grasp.
When you get skilled at these two steps - locating at least a partial truth of views with which you disagree at first, not simply enjoying viewpoints with which you already agree - you should then try to identify what might be possibly, partially wrong with your own viewpoint. The more certain we are about our views and opinions, the more important this is.
Trust has broken down in our divided country, and it will not be restored by holding on, ever more fiercely, to our own viewpoints."Category: Personal Growth, Building Bridges, Politics & Culture, Leadership, Jewish Toolkit
"A knife-wielding terrorist stormed a synagogue, screaming that he "wanted to kill (the) Jews." No this was not in Jerusalem, where a similar attack two weeks ago took the lives of five innocent victims — four rabbis at prayer and a brave Druze police officer who tried to stop the murderers. This attack occurred Tuesday in the Brooklyn, New York, headquarters of Chabad, the world’s largest Hasidic community.Category: Personal Growth, Building Bridges, Politics & Culture, Leadership, Jewish Toolkit
In a world that often confuses celebrity with achievement and big numbers with big value, Hanukkah celebrates our unique value and capacity for greatness.Category: Politics & Culture, Jewish Toolkit
"The other night I had dinner with a remarkable young couple. Each comes from very serious, beautiful families of different religious origins. He has an Ethical Culture and Quaker background, embodying what I call a secular spirituality. Meanwhile, it was her Jewish parents who arranged our get-together. Both are smart, good, responsible people with whom I've worked on creative projects in Jewish life for years..."Category: Personal Growth, Building Bridges, Politics & Culture, Leadership, Jewish Toolkit