Rabbis Without Borders

Nurturing rabbis as American religious leaders, Rabbis Without Borders makes Jewish wisdom an available resource to the wider public. For more information about Rabbis Without Borders programs, visit the Rabbis Without Borders site by clicking here.

Rabbi Owen Gottlieb, PhD's work published in invaluable resource for researchers in new media, religion and digital culture May 21, 2015

Rabbi Owen Gottlieb, PhD has written a chapter in a just published book called Digital Judaism: Jewish Negotiations with Digital Media and Culture edited by Heidi A Campbell. The chapters present a broad analysis of how and why various Jewish groups negotiate with digital culture in particular ways, situating such observations within a wider discourse of how Jewish groups throughout history have utilized communication technologies to maintain their Jewish identities across time and space.

How do we forgive the ‘Peeping Tom’ rabbi? Can we? May 14, 2015

"...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.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Renewing Disruptive Innovation May 14, 2015

"...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.

The Wisdom Daily: Can Social Entrepreneurs Repair the World? May 14, 2015

"...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.

Epichorus’s sound is as diverse as its penchant for weaving musical legacies May 8, 2015

"How wide to let things stray — that’s the question in world music,” says composer and oud player Zach Fredman, the founder of the Epichorus, a Judeo Arabic retro-folk ensemble. You can see why the question has been on Fredman’s mind.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Free Speech vs. Constructive Speech May 5, 2015

"...Sometimes, though, if you’re in the same tribe as someone behaving badly, ignoring it and remaining silent can seem like agreement. That’s why I’ve decided to address Pamela Geller and her organization’s anti-Islam rhetoric and actions. In the United States of America, she has the absolute right to express herself, even if she’s wrong, even if she’s offending large numbers of Muslims and non-Muslims..."

The Wisdom Daily: The ‘Bare Vineyards’ of Baltimore May 1, 2015

"here was a powerful confluence for me while studying last week's assigned Torah portion alongside news coverage about the April 19 death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. In Baltimore, Gray locked eyes with police and ran; when he was apprehended, officers radioed for a vehicle for transport. By the time the police van pulled into the precinct station, Gray had three broken vertebrae and a fractured voice box. He died of spinal injuries a few days later.

The Wisdom Daily: From Standing By to Understanding: Black Lives Matter April 30, 2015

"...I have been in and out of sleep all night. I wake automatically reaching for the remote to see if it has gotten any worse. I hold my blanket up so that only my eyes can see, pretending somehow that if I cover enough of myself, only parts of the news will infiltrate my soul. It's too late, though. All of me is infected. All of us are infected. Baseball, the telltale sign of hope springing eternal, played in a silent Camden Yards - fans locked out for fear of violence..."

The Wisdom Daily: When We Self-Sacrifice, What Really Motivates Us? April 21, 2015

"...We often think of sacrifice as something unpleasant in the short-term, but deeply rewarding in the long-term. Yet we forget that a sense of sacrifice can be used both for good and for evil. Indeed, it's important to remember that very rarely do people view themselves or their actions as evil. Rather, most people see themselves as righteous and good human beings..."

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Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Yom Hazikaron in the USA: What Israel’s Memorial Day Can Teach Us About The Holidays April 21, 2015

"...But I also think there is a deep lesson we, as American Jews, can draw from Yom Hazikaron. The force that makes Yom Hazikaron so powerful to Israelis is its existentialilty, its visceral nature. What if we were to begin to treat the Jewish holidays here in the same way? What if we were to teach and celebrate Hanukkah, Purim, and other core Jewish holidays not as (quasi-)historical remnants of our tradition but as living, breathing embodiments of our present-day Jewish identity?..."

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