"...Oliver Sacks may still feel ambivalent about God and about Judaism, but Shabbat clearly adds a sense of wholeness to his life. And while many scientists are wary of religion, because God is not a provable or testable hypothesis, that’s the wrong way to approach the question. If we are looking for a hypothesis to test, perhaps we should ask, ‘Can this practice enhance my life?’ That’s the true test of what religion can do."
"...If anything is clear about the 21st century, it's that change happens faster than it used to. Reinvention isn't something to be done only as a last resort. It's something we need to do all the time in order to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world. We have to make personal reinvention safer and easier to manage. Reinvention has become an important life skill...."
"...Former Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, and long-time communal leader Alan Solow, a friend, counselor and board member of Clal, publisher of The Wisdom Daily, wrote an opinion piece for JTA, which is worth the few short minutes it will take you to read. It will actually make you smarter and more self-aware about whatever position you take on the Iran deal (which currently awaits congressional approval) - and all in less than 1,000 words.
"...Ferguson has become a metaphor for the racial divide in America. Unlike the extraordinary response of forgiveness and healing rooted in the deeply religious community of Charleston, S.C., that resulted in the removal of the Confederate flag, the anger in Ferguson over Michael Brown's death is still boiling over in senseless violence nearly one year later...."
"...After 100 years, it is time for the governor of Georgia and the elected officials of our State Legislature to acknowledge Leo Frank’s innocence. In his eloquent demand for full exoneration, Rabbi Lebow reminds us, ‘Justice is the debt that the present owes the future....’"
"...My granddaughter and I sit down to make something out of clay, and I strike up a conversation with a young mother. She tells me the name of the settlement where she lives. I think to myself – Wow, we’ve done a good job! Who would have expected that a family from there, a community considered to be a hotbed of Jewish religious extremism, is here at our camp, building bridges of understanding and friendship between Palestinian and Israelis..."
"...As we begin the month of Elul, the time when we take account of our hearts, our actions and our responsibilities, it is worth considering that whatever we believe the source of meaning to be, it comes not through pursuing the desires of our hearts and eyes, but through seeking out what is larger than ourselves and contributing to it...."
"...There is no question that the experience of financial success and well-being are, at least in part, contextual. Numerous studies show that people report greater happiness when they move to a less fancy neighborhood, or are typically more affluent than most of those among whom they socialize. Their understanding of wealth and financial well-being is shaped by the context in which they find themselves...."
"...It is because of my three children that I was paraded into jail that day. It was because of them, because of their innocence and their love, that I locked arms with fellow clergy and people of faith to march to the federal courthouse in downtown St. Louis and protest the treatment of blacks and to demand reforms to the criminal justice systems in St Louis, and in America. It was them that I was thinking of as I chanted about democracy and sang songs of freedom.
"...In a couple of weeks I will have been married for 33 years. I only wish I understood earlier how much the person I fell in love with decades ago, who has loved me more than any other person in my life (including my parents as they had five other kids and no choice) knew so much before I did how I have needed to change over the course of our life together...."