Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.
"...It matters who candidates decide to spend time with, as it does for all of us. And it also matters why they are with them. The mere fact that a person, whether me with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia or our candidates for the presidency, spends time with someone is not synonymous with an endorsement of that person and everything for which they stand..."
"...This article about the World Evangelical Alliance, a European evangelical organization, renewing their push to "proselytize European Jewry", typifies how foolish we can all be, even as we pursue the very best of goals. Once again arrogance and posturing pass themselves off as substitutes for respectful spiritual encounter and true interfaith relations...."
"...I ask you to consider this morning's New York Time's coverage of the new Hezbollah museum in Nabatiye, Lebanon. I ask you to speak out against this museum which is actually a shrine to death..."
"...We have managed to kill as many people over the last two hundred years, without God in the mix, as we did in the thousands of years before. So maybe we need to try something else. Instead of killing off either God, or those who don't share our beliefs, perhaps we should reintegrate the two in a healthier way. That is what I find so useful about Rev. Warren's comment..."
During the summer of 2008, Rabbi Irwin Kula was invited to Rwanda as part of the Clinton Global Initiative Commitment. The only religious leader to participate, he joined experts from the healthcare, film, and business communities to learn about the challenges facing Rwanda as a developing country. His particular contribution was to offer wisdom gained from the Jewish experience of dealing with the devastating trauma of the Holocaust, and to reflect on Rwanda's remarkable process of reconciliation, forgiveness, and unity in the face of its painful recent genocide.
"The following question was posed by the editors of the Newsweek/Washington Post blog, On Faith: The ACLU, joined by the ADL, has asked the U.S. Naval Academy to end prayers at mandatory meals, and yet all branches of the service employ chaplains. What is the proper role of religion in the military?
"Hoping that something truly interesting would emerge from Senator Obama's just concluded visit to Israel and the West Bank, I waited until now to comment. But the truth is that not much happened. Nothing the candidate said or did could demonstrate to anybody on any side of the conflict in the Middle East, how an Obama presidency would affect the futures of Israelis, Palestinians or those who support them. ..."
"...I appreciate that the need for a quick response now can be balanced by a new response tomorrow. The awareness that the thoughts and feelings in the immediate aftermath of this vicious attack, or any other, can grow and change should not be forgotten. The rage of this moment may not be the best place from which to chart the course of this ongoing problem. ..."
American Pilgrimage, a TV series featuring Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, takes viewers into the homes, mosques, and sites of leading imams and Muslim religious thinkers from across North America. Aired on Bridges TV (American Muslim TV Network), the series takes Rabbi Hirschfield on the road, providing an in-depth look at the issues dividing people of faith, the teachings and texts which shape their beliefs, and the big questions we grapple with as Americans and as human beings.
"I leave the Madrid Conference for Global Religious Dialogue this morning with many things, including a mysterious gift, many questions, and genuine hope for the future. But the gift comes with the best story, so let's start there.