"My husband does not do birthdays. When I first met him over 20 years ago, this truly puzzled me. Birthdays were simply not a big deal and when I pressed for a reason he fell back on tradition, reminding me that Jews don’t believe in birthdays...Birthdays are not a big deal in Jewish tradition...."
Clal Teaching Fellow Janet R. Kirchheimer's essay entitled "At the Water's Edge - Reflections on Poetry and the Torah" kicks off a new series on the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research's website — Poetry Wednesdays. She reminds us that “all great poetry reaches toward the sacred.”
From Collegeville Institute.org Blog
"This video of ESPN's Stuart Scott accepting the Jimmy V Perseverance Award is about way more than living with cancer - as if that would not be reason enough to watch. You can watch from the beginning, or pick it up at 6:50 when his speech begins, but either way you will be both inspired and enlightened..."
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"...We all have a tendency to read more from those who already think like us. So how do we navigate our way through the quagmire of information? One might try to distinguish between what is descriptive and what is opinion. But this isn’t always useful. We might hear a news report that begins by telling us how many Gazans died today and how many times Israel fired on Gaza. That is descriptive.
"Use your words," I remember saying to my children when they wanted to hit or bite during those terrible twos when children don't have the words to adequately communicate their feelings. Well, the words of diplomats and politicians, political scientists and pundits, intelligence and military experts, artists, religious leaders, and peace activists have all failed. We are killing each other rather than using our words.
"The five steps described in this Washington Post article are the result of Harvard Psychologist, Richard Weissbourd and the Making Caring Common project which he directs. Like most lists, this one may make it seem far simpler than it is to actually accomplish the goal. On the other hand, the list could actually be distilled down to an even simpler, single step – and one which is even more immediately in each of our control than the kids we produce:..."
"This week, fanatical religion and absolutist atheism lost and the rest of us won" says Brad Hirschfield, President of Clal and co-Founder and Executive Editor of TheWisdomDaily.com. Their town meeting opened with an invocation by local atheist Dan Courtney. The U.S. Supreme Court's recently ruled in the case of Galloway v. Greece, NY that prayer was acceptable in public meetings -- a case brought by a group of local atheists.
"Lately I've been talking with rabbinic colleagues about how best to minister to our congregants who are struggling with the news out of Israel/Palestine. We're hearing from people who are unable to fall asleep because they can't stop thinking about the images of destruction and grief, or who wake up and immediately start agonizing about the conflict or worrying about loved ones..."
"Ever make plans with someone, and then all of a sudden they switch things up on you? Of course you have! That's life. Does it bother you? My guess is that even if you are one of those people who pride themselves on your flexibility, if the plans were about something you consider a big deal, even you would find yourself annoyed. But why?..."
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"On Tuesday, Rabbi Tsafi Lev of West Hills fasted on the Hebrew calendar day that commemorates the breach of Jerusalem’s walls before the destruction of the Second Temple. Although Lev doesn’t normally abstain from food and drink on this minor Jewish fast day, he wanted to do so this year in the name of nonviolence as intense fighting continued in Israel, Gaza and beyond..."