"What does it mean to be a rabbi without borders?" people ask. "Is it like Doctors Without Borders? Do you travel the world?" Not in the sense of accruing more stamps on my passport. The travel is between perspectives and viewpoints, not between nations.
" I am no kill-joy! I love watching the Olympics. I root and feel pride for my tribe (USA! USA!) all dressed in their Ralph Lauren designed outfits. I get goose bumps (with appropriate 1960's self-consciousness) when our national anthem is played at the gold medal ceremony of one of our winners.
But there is a truth about the Olympics that challenges those of us who believe in a universalism that can both include the best and transcend the worst of our particular cultural contexts and tribal loyalties. If we are honest, the Olympic spirit of universalism is maintained only because the International Olympic Committee denies there are fundamental ethical principles that apply to all and avoids making any ethical judgments..."
According to Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D, in this earliest version of Israel’s desert sojourn, the Israelites did not spend forty years in the desert but rather only a few months. A much younger Moses actually led them into the land; they didn’t have to wait for Joshua or for God. Balaam, the foreign magician hired by the Moabite king to protect him from Israel, is strong-armed by God into blessing Israel, instead of doing it voluntarily.
"I received a picture and caption this morning and while very funny and specifically Jewish, it speaks to a deep wisdom about the benefits of being out of place, and certainly ones not limited to Jewish or even religion in general. In the picture a Jewish prayer shawl, typically worn at morning prayers, has been placed as a table cloth. The caption accompanying the image read, "This is what happens when your housekeeper set the table".
Let's leave aside the presumption that people all have housekeepers to set their tables, as well as the presumption that housekeepers, by definition, are not Jewish and therefore would not realize their "mistake", and see this actually as a really moving idea, and one which we could use in lots of ways with all sorts of objects..."
This week national retailer CVS Pharmacy announced that beginning in October it will no longer sell cigarettes or any tobacco products. Is this a faith story? Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, President of CLAL and Co-Founder and Executive Editor of TheWisdomDaily.com think it is.
You are invited to join the DISRUPTING DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION THEORY Web Chat on Thursday, February 13th from 1:00-1:45 pm EST. The second in this exclusive series of conversations with Tribeca Film Festival founder Craig Hatkoff and Rabbi Irwin Kula, this will center on The Cathedral and the Bazaar: How Next-gen Disruptive Innovation will Encourage Cathedrals (incumbents) to Learn How to Dance with the Bazaars (two guys in a garage), and Invite More Disruptions of Consequence.
"Most people have a deeply intuitive sense about what matters most to them. Once they learn to trust that intuition – itself no small feat — the real challenge lies in figuring out where and how to pursue it, to obtain and to deepen it. While there is no single answer, I am increasingly convinced that whatever it is that matters most to each of us, there are some helpful principles regarding how and where we are going to find it. While specific tools, practices and institutions are all crucially important to finding what matters most, in the end it's really about people and relationships...."
"If you want to know one of the many reasons why the fastest growing religious identification in America is "None" and why millions of Americans are suspicious of organized religion, look at the recent events surrounding Yeshiva University — a 116 year-old institution that is perhaps the pre-eminent institution of Modern Orthodox Judaism. In December 2012 accusations became public that Rabbis at Yeshiva University High School for Boys sexually abused students over a period of two decades and that the Yeshiva University administration knowingly tolerated the exploitation of teenage boys, neither threatening repercussion or informing the police...."
"Sandra Lawson is hoping to get by with a little help from her friends…and strangers, too. The third year student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, PA, has taken to social media to crowdfund tuition for the 2014-15 academic year.
" Food is love, at least according to many observers of Jewish life. Whether or not food really is synonymous with love, having it or not having it is a very big deal in our tradition. And as the issue of hunger takes a place on our nation’s stage to the tune of billions of dollars, that is something to which we might all pay more than a bit of attention..."