"...Judaism does not forbid abortion as some faith traditions do. Judaism does not demonize women who abort or doctors who carry out the procedure. The rabbinic tradition does not by any means align with the modern Women’s Right To Choose but it does provide leeway for women’s health and for early termination. In addition to the historic male rabbinic legal framework, there are modern prayers and rituals that have emerged largely from female rabbis and religious leaders...."
"...Recently the New York Times ran an article called “A Eulogy for the Long, Intimate Email.” There was a time when, even as electronic communication began to take over for written missives, that emails were still composed, thoughtful and long. Now, however, with the proliferation of different types of communication — instant messaging, texting — messages become shorter and more curt. And the number of messages received each day forces communication to become more clipped and direct...."
"...This rechanneling of our energies toward gun control and the removal of the Confederate flag prevents us from responding directly to ongoing violence against blacks in our country. It slows our realization that Roof’s actions as part of daily, widespread racially-motivated violence (like the circumstances leading up to Sandra Bland’s death in jail last week, after she was pulled over by police for a small traffic violation)...."
This time, it was an audience enjoying a comedy in a movie theater in Louisiana. Another mass shooting in another public place, here in the United States - adding to the long list of 2015 mass shootings in America. Many were wounded, and three lives ended, including the gunman. But the rest of us are all stuck in a cul-de-sac in this country, and none of us has the solution by ourselves. In order to forge a path to greater public safety, we need to let our hearts and minds "break open" (as it happens, an Aurora, CO, survivor did just that, hours before the Lafayette rampage). Paraphrasing Einstein, "You can't solve a problem at the same level of consciousness that creates it."
For more, watch the Faith on the Record video below.
From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD
"I did not fast during Ramadan. But I did somehow experience a little bit of the meaning of the Muslim holy month that just ended a few days ago. The ebb and flow of the fast days was in my consciousness. The daily hunger and the spiritual uplift of the faithful were on my mind. I learned a tiny bit about the meaning of this month, about being conditioned through the fast to feel empathy for the poor who don’t have enough to eat.
"In the midst of a very eventful summer for the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently found that she'd unexpectedly gone viral on YouTube. During Merkel's otherwise pedestrian TV appearance on Good Living in Germany, a 13-year-old Palestinian refugee named Reem asked a heartbreaking question about facing deportation from Germany to her native Lebanon. When Merkel noticed the girl cry, she reached out to console her, saying that she'd done well.
This week, the NASA spacecraft New Horizons sent back pictures of Pluto which were stunning in their beauty and surprising in what they revealed. Rabbi Brad Hirschfield give us four reasons these photos may fill us with awe. For more, watch the Faith on the Record video below.
From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD
"Nathan Hale had only one life to give for his country, but almost 250 years after his death, there's still plenty of Nathan Hale to go around, and that has upset a Yale-educated author a great deal. Let me explain. As a gift to university supporters, the Yale University class of 1975 recently offered a Nathan Hale bobblehead, a replica of a large bronze statue on the New Haven campus.
"You’re sitting in an armchair,
it’s your favorite, though
beat up from years of use,
and there is a tear in the fabric
covering the seat cushion, and
it’s after noon, and you’re taking
your nap, and you..."
By Janet R. Kirchheimer from On Bearings Collegeville Institute For Ecumenical Studies
"...We Jews, however we understand ourselves and our Jewishness, are more integrally linked to the larger American culture in which we live than perhaps any previous generation of diaspora Jews, including past generations of American Jews. We are, like it or not, fully at home here. This is not some 21st-century version of Germany in the early 20th century, or a variation on Spain in the 12th. It's not even that I don't believe in Israel.