Building Bridges

Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.

Praying for Obama’s Death: Pastors are invoking Psalm 109 — "May his days be few" — in hopes of saving our country, and our souls November 23, 2009

"There are other signs imprecatory prayer is growing in popularity. Beliefnet’s Rabbi Brad Hirschfield writes that Psalm 109 is now a top Google search...."

By Lilly Fowler from

Noted rabbi’s book gets positive reaction from University of Central Oklahoma November 21, 2009

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield is interviewed about his book by The Oklahoman. Hirschfield says: "I wrote the book because I believed the tradition that I draw on most, Jewish, and the other traditions that I’ve encountered can be used to help people lead happier, more ethical, more fulfilling lives, because I believe that we need to learn how to be deeply committed and genuinely open....."

Reach beyond your comfort zone, rabbi advises November 20, 2009

"What can each of us do to help heal the world? Rabbi Brad Hirschfield suggests a simple first step: Make an effort to reach 10 percent beyond your own comfort zone — whether the subject is religion or politics or parenting...."

By Meredith Moss from the Dayton Daily News

Supporting Israeli Arabs, Good Idea or Dangerous Precedent? November 20, 2009

"Jewish support for initiatives addressing co-existence among all citizens of the State of Israel, both Jewish and Arab, has gone mainstream. Is this a good thing or not?..."

From Windows & Doors, Brad Hirschfield’s daily blog on Beliefnet

Should Jews Celebrate Thanksgiving? November 19, 2009

"This should be a no-brainer, right? Well for a significant number of Orthodox Jews, it's not so obvious and that fact speaks volumes to the thinking of many in that community...."

From Windows & Doors, Brad Hirschfield’s daily blog on Beliefnet

Obama’s Bow, and What Mordechai and Haman Can Teach Us About It November 17, 2009

"The uproar over President Obama’s bow before Japanese Emperor Akihito refuses to die down. As soon as it happened, it brought to mind the Biblical Book of Esther, and the story of Mordechai refusing to bow down to Haman...."


By Brad Hirschfield from’s
Windows & Doors

Googling Psalm 109 to death November 16, 2009

"...Trends in search terms are signals of trends in the culture, and today brought some very bad news. Any time the citizens of a state, particularly a democracy, invoke their faith to pray for the demise of those they oppose politically, we should be concerned..."

From Brad Hirschfield’s blog in the Washington Post-Newsweek’s "On Faith" Column

Justice, Mercy and the D.C. sniper November 10, 2009

"...[When]John Allen Muhammad, known as the D.C. sniper,...dies tonight, there will likely be those outside the prison cheering the fact that ‘he’s getting what he deserves’ and an equal number of people protesting his ‘murder’ by the state...."

Hirschfield on Fort Hood, Religion and Violence November 10, 2009

"... Faith is like a fire; it can warm our homes or burn them down...." Rabbi Brad Hirschfield discusses religion and violence with Lars Larson.


From the Lars Larson Show on Westwood One

Fort Hood massacre no indictment of Islam, but raises questions November 7, 2009

"...Rabbi Brad Hirschfield ... said Muslims need to be asking ‘hard questions’ among themselves. ‘I think their way of dealing with it is putting distance between the perpetrator and the tradition,’ ... ‘Which is fine, but they need to ask themselves what is the relationship between the faith which the murderer shared with them, and the act he performed. Simply saying they are unrelated is too easy.’..."

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