"...Schwarz and 20 congregants returned from a 10-day trip to Haiti in December — the congregation’s third trip in four years to the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. There, they partnered with a pastor and used their bodies and their bank accounts to build houses and provide school tuition for Haitian families, many who had been living under tarps since the devastating 2010 earthquake..."
"...Exceptionally big weather, like the extreme snows and winds predicted for Winter Storm Juno – more than a foot of snowfall, with 35-mph winds – really speak to something more elemental. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)..."
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Following our President's recent call for a more fair tax system, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield explores why Americans, a generous people on the whole, get stuck debating how much individual taxpayers owe. Is it because we harbor too many doubts about our leaders? "It's not about fairness, it's about trust."
"...Understanding the rabbi as energetic capacitor shifts our question about what Jews need in rabbis. A new kind of answer emerges: Jews most need rabbis to the extent that rabbis fulfill their energetic functions. Critically, a rabbi’s title, learning and visible leadership do not alone discharge these energetic functions..."
"What defines great parenting? Clearly, that requires more than a quick answer, but for me at least, that answer includes unconditional love. This video of two gay brothers coming out to their father got me thinking about the power of unconditional love..."
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"Sometimes, political tradition points the way toward wise personal practice. Okay, maybe not that often, but when it works, as it did this week, it really works! Did you know that there's a 'designated survivor' during the State of the Union address? No, it's not somebody assigned to stay awake when the whole thing gets so boring that everyone else in the room dozes off — although I smiled when my 13-year-old daughter thought so, after she heard me use the term.
"It is a very serious time in France, especially for the Jewish community. And yet, at the center of the storm is a very unserious entity, the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Its editors may be best known for caricatures of Muhammed (venerated as a prophet by many throughout the world), but they made their living by ridiculing just about anything anyone took seriously, including themselves..."
"Today we remember Martin Luther King Jr., last century's premier exemplar of morality in public life. There will be ceremonies, speeches, television specials, editorials - and there will be very serious protests and demonstrations: Millions of Americans are outraged by the shooting deaths of young Blacks, by racial economic inequality, by a return to segregation in our education system, by the disproportionate incarceration of Blacks...
This week, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published it's first edition since the killings at their offices last week. On the cover: a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed holding a sign saying "Je Suis Charlie". "I get the impulse to put that cover out," says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of Clal and co-founder and executive editor of TheWisdomDaily.com, "I also know that just because you can do something, doesn't necessarily mean you should."
From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD
"This week, I was asked a number of questions regarding the use of the swastika. And while it might surprise some of you, it's not as simple as telling the questioner that they're crazy to even ask.