Jewish Toolkit

Brad Hirschfield on A Wedding Made Unforgettable by Dad’s Decision October 2, 2015

At Brittany Peck's wedding in Ohio last month, she reportedly worried about who should walk her down the aisle. Putting her feelings first, her father surprised guests when he reached a hand out to Brittany's stepfather, pulled him from his seat, put their animosity aside and insisted that he participate in the bride's entrance. The wedding photos taken by Delia Blackburn have gone viral, and it's clear why according to Brad Hirschfield: "There are probably more good partners in our lives than we realize [and] the kind of love and open-hearted honesty that led to that moment? We all need more of it."

From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD

The Wisdom Daily: Can You Learn to Love Navigating Transitions? October 1, 2015

"When I was the parent of a toddler, I learned that transitions are hard. Toddlers don't have a clear sense of time, so hearing "the playdate will be over at noon" doesn't necessarily help them prepare. They may not have much agency in their lives, so acceding to changes may feel like yet another place where they aren't in control. And they don't have the life experience to know that everything ends - so to them, every ending is a new heartbreak...."

The Wisdom Daily: Shelter Me -- Faith in an Imperfect World September 30, 2015

"At this time of year, what is the importance of the sukkah? The temporary shelter stands with a roof made of branches that do not provide a full cover. If it rains, the inside is made unusable and a very strong wind may knock it down. And yet we plan the weeklong autumnal holiday of Sukkot to be spent eating (and in some places, sleeping) under it.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Small But Proud Jewish Communities September 28, 2015

"I grew up in a fairly small Jewish community. In the ’80s, Austin, Texas was not the cool mecca it is today. There was one small Reform synagogue and one small Conservative synagogue. There was only one other Jewish kid in my class in grade school. I remember each year having to explain to my teacher that I would be out for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and having her say, “Russia what?”..."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: What Are You Doing Tomorrow? September 25, 2015

"...How can we move forward in the midst of ‘real life?’ What is the essential message that we can call on each day, whenever faced with a personal challenge, an old habit, a new emotional injury? I feel that that message is, simply, to engage all others with the loving kindness due to a whole and striving soul, while remembering that we, too, are whole and striving – always bringing ourselves, our baggage and our dreams into every exchange in which we engage...."

Irwin Kula on MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts - Pre-empted September 24, 2015

Pre-empted: Today between 2:30 and 3 pm, Rabbi Irwin Kula will be on MSNBC Live talking with Thomas Roberts about the meaning of the Pope's visit to the United States. Watch for a clip, as it becomes available, on watch here between 2:30 and 3 pm.

From MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: The True, Smelly, Dirty, World of the Sukkah September 24, 2015

"...on Sukkot we live in our father Abraham’s tent, that tent open on all sides to welcome those who need food and shelter. On Sukkot, we are earthy, earthly, creatures who get wet in the rain and dirty sleeping on the ground. We are reminded that we have nothing, really, and must rely on the kindness and grace that comes to us. We live the truth. And this should bring us joy. It is the moment in which we can remember that we are no different than any homeless person we see on the street...."

Pope Francis, a Rabbi, Mercy, and Rosh Hashanah September 16, 2015

"I know the title, Pope Francis, a Rabbi, Mercy, and Rosh Hashanah, sounds a bit like the set up for an old Borscht Belt routine. It is anything but.

The Wisdom Daily: Why We Freeze Up and Forget How to Communicate September 16, 2015

"We've lost the art of civil discourse. According to an annual "Civility in America" survey, more than 90% of us now consider lack of civility a real problem. More than a third of us admit to being uncivil to others. When we take into account social desirability bias, we know that there are a lot more of us out there who are not engaging in civil discourse. Our inability to enter into genuine conversation is undermining our communities and denying ourselves the opportunity to learn about each other.

Rabbis Pitch In To Help Small Communities: CLAL's 'Service Corps' Addresses Isolation Of Places Without Clergy September 16, 2015

"Small towns in Georgia, South Carolina, and the Bahamas, and even some non-Orthodox communities in Israel are the first to respond to an invitation from Clal…, to submit a request for a part-time rabbi. They are part of a new Clal initiative known as the Rabbinic Service Corps. A network of 150 rabbis has agreed to donate their time and head out to far-flung communities for a few days each year to provide services to communities where there are no clergy.

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