Clal nurtures new skills in leaders, helping them to prepare for the civic, spiritual, intellectual and ethical challenges in American life.
"I could have said “Dayeinu," “it would have been enough," if the President of the United States came to visit my synagogue, as he did today, May 22. That President Obama came and visited, and I got the chance to greet him and introduce him to the congregation — Dayeinu. What I never anticipated was to have the chance to be in chavruta, in a moment of a Torah-study partnership, with the President. After we greeted him, we took the President into the Biran Beit Midrash at Adas.
While presiding over a same sex wedding this week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited the powers vested in her by the U.S. Constitution, indicating how she might vote on same sex issues currently before the Court. The Rev. Franklin Graham responded by asking people to pray that Ginsburg and other justices might change their minds about same sex marriage.
"...Rabbi Irwin Kula, an author, popular speaker, and a regular teacher at the JCC Tikkun believes the JCC’s Tikkun works for hundreds of people for two reasons: one, people want communal events that transcend denominations. “That’s part of everyone standing at Sinai,” he says. “It’s not an individual experience. Everybody’s there.”
The other magnet, he thinks, is the profound symbol of Sinai -- the idea that an enslaved people suddenly becomes free, with the law to embrace or not.
"...unlike in some spiritual communities, Judaism holds that sins against God can be atoned by God, but sins against other humans cannot be forgiven until the offender takes action to fix it. Judaism specifies that an offender must admit his or her sin, in words, out loud before God; confess the sin publicly; apologize to the wronged party; offer restitution (where possible); and abandon the sinful behavior.
"...We inherit a 2,000-year legacy of disruptive innovation – not change for its own sake, haphazard or unfaithful, but careful and principled when (in Reb Zalman’s computer-ese) Jewish “system files” need upgrades to keep the spiritual motherboard running strong. The path of innovation is built into Jewish life. Reb Zalman and Christensen both taught that disruptive innovators can’t rest on their laurels: shift happens. Only God is eternal.
"...My favorite commandment is tikun olam, repair the world. It's the single commandment that I feel has the potential to change the nature of humanity, and to unleash opportunities for all people to flourish. Perhaps social entrepreneurship is the modern halacha that guides us to enact tikun olam.
"...How exciting - institutional religion with metaphysical maps, theologies, creeds, dogmas, and beliefs (that are simply wrong scientifically, philosophically, psychologically, and experientially) is weakening, as individuals feel more empowered to seek meaning and purpose across all boundaries.
This past week, the NFL released their report on the deflated football controversy in connection with the New England Patriots, also known as "Deflategate”. “So what’s going on?” asks Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of Clal and co-founder and executive editor of TheWisdomDaily.com, “The scapegoat here was Tom Brady. The bigger goat, the better goat that was kept aside and spared any shame, seems to me, has got to be Coach Bill Belichick.” For more, watch the Faith on the Record video below.
From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD
Rabbi Irwin Kula is Guest Scholar in Westhampton, NY for Shavuot, May 23 - 25, and will teach at the following sessions over Shavuot:
Saturday, May 23, 10:45pm: Beyond Tribe and Creed: Religion As a Path to Human Flourishing
Sunday, May 24, 7:00pm: The Technology of Mitzvot: Is There An App for That?
Monday, May 25, 1:00pm: Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life
"...Dixon White is a disruptive racial innovator.In response to his videos going viral, White launched a social media challenge - Dixon's racial healing challenge - so people can post their own videos describing their racialized experiences, and how they're fighting to overcome the systemic racism that permeates American culture. The response has been overwhelming.