Brad Hirschfield on Conversion Therapy: Gay Rights or Public Health? April 10, 2015

This week President Barack Obama released a statement condemning the practice of reparative, or conversion, therapy designed to “treat” gay, lesbian and transgender youth. According to Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of Clal and co-founder and executive editor of, this is not a gay rights issue, but “a public health issue, and very much in the domain of the President and the federal government."

From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD

The Wisdom Daily: The Option to Forgive Is Always There April 9, 2015

"...What The Book of Forgiving does - with genuine wisdom, courage and beauty - is remind readers that the option to forgive is always there, and that when we offer forgiveness to others, we may be giving ourselves a remarkable gift as well. The same is true, I think, when we seek forgiveness from others, whether it's ultimately granted to us or not..."

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Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: A Jewish Obsession With Counting April 9, 2015

"...Still I’m not ready to let go of the counting. The simple ritual of numbering the nights and then the weeks from Passover to Shavuot, is a reminder that liberation is not just an end in and of itself but also a beginning. At Passover we celebrate the ability to break free of that, which enslaves us.
We all have our burdens. And Passover celebrates the idea of being able to miraculously free ourselves from those burdens. But it is never that simple. Liberation takes work. "

Janet R. Kirchheimer's poem "One-Sixtieth Prophecy" published in The Forward April 8, 2015

"Near the house,
next to the woodpile,
lies a dream
too weak to enter.

I hold my shadow down as it
tries to escape, shut the windows,
bar the doors, imagine myself bright and shiny.

I am Joseph in the bor, the pit, empty of water,
but full of scorpions and serpents.

There is no one to listen..."
To read the entire poem, click here.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Meandering Towards Revelation April 6, 2015

"...even when we commit to a path of liberation, it can only unfold in each of our unique bodies and minds, with all their habits and imperfections. This work is slow, and like all holy work, requires of us three things: that we reach for the ground before leaping toward the sky, that we engage in the holy act of nourishing our bodies in community—and mostly, that we remember the simple and holy work of numbering our days."

Brad Hirschfield on Why We Should Be Talking About Religious Freedom April 3, 2015

Lawmakers in Indiana and Alabama are facing a firestorm after they enacted new legislation around religious freedoms, which critics say is designed to discriminate against LGBT citizens. In contentious debates, there has got to be for all of our sakes, a way to combine passionate advocacy with spiritual and intellectual humility. Not paralysis, not silence, but genuine humility that recognizes the dignity of those on the other side. Rabbi Brad Hirschfield asks "is it possible that even those with whom you disagree want the exact same thing?..."

From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD

How we can talk about RFRA at Passover without killing each other April 3, 2015

"...There must be a way to combine passionate advocacy with spiritual and intellectual humility. If not, then the two sides are painfully alike, and most of us will suffer from an increasing polarization that will make it harder to do what most Americans want – which is to have their own rights respected and to not curtail the rights of others..."

Brad Hirschfield on The Daily Wrap discussing Indiana, Gov. Pence and more April 2, 2015

Brad Hirschfield discusses the issues of the day. First, Indiana, Governer Pence and coverage thereof, extension of the Iran talks deadline, the Supreme Court's rejection of the case about high schoolers sporting American flag tees at a Cinco de Mayo event, and more. Hosted by Joe Concha along with panelists Rick Unger and Heather Hansen.

The Wisdom Daily: How Free Are We? April 2, 2015

"...How free are we? The Seder is a three-step meditation on the journey inviting us to realize:

Wherever we are, we are in Egypt... in some way.
There is always a Promised Land... some better place we can reach.
We can get to that better place but only by wandering together.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Talking about Dying is Really Talking about Living April 1, 2015

"...The theological quandary of eschatology...the question of what happens to us after we die has puzzled theologians and laypeople alike for millennia. I happen to believe strongly in the idea of an afterlife. When I have the sad occasion/privilege of witnessing death, I have no doubt that our bodies are mere capsules for our souls. Our souls are truly what give each of us our unique gleam and charm.

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