"What draws people to come to religious services?
It's a question that has bedeviled clergy and dedicated lay leaders over the last few decades as more and more people leave organized religion. Sometimes people argue that churches and synagogues need to embrace the latest flashy trends. Others argue that deep commitment and tradition are what will draw people in...."
"...So my question is really, why? Why is almost everyone striving, on a daily basis, for the very things that don't make them happy? Why do we live our lives in search of something that hasn't been shown – whether from the viewpoint of an academic study – or our own experiences, to give us anything more than bragging rights, (something also shown to do nothing to increase our happiness?) If I had to hazard a guess I'd say it has something to do with fear.
"It was one of those mornings. I accidentally turned off the alarm. The flight to Manila was at 6 AM. I missed it. I put my stuff down to battle it out with airline representatives, turned around and my laptop, tossed on top of my suitcase in the frenzy of flight rescheduling, had been stolen. Of course I had a major deadline, a big project due...."
"...I was dismayed and saddened for so many reasons. I scanned the crowd, as they locked in joyous step with Trump's cadence. But, then more, I felt downtrodden when I looked over at my niece and saw the look of utter confusion on her face. Her expression read, ‘I don't understand. Everything he says about Israel is what my family wants and teaches me. And, yet, the way he speaks about other people is exactly how my parents teach me not to act....’"
"...As a senior fellow at CLAL and author, most recently of ‘Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Community,’ Schwarz has observed that while there is a sharp decrease in synagogue affiliation among young people, there is also a yearning among many for what he calls ‘communities of meaning.’ These communities find expression in a variety of activities, from prayer and meditation to social justice to farming and environmental sustainability...a small but growing number of youn
"I was sitting with a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society, Dr. Fathi Darwish, when my friend and cofounder of Roots Ali Abu Awwad approached with plates of food for both of us. I remarked to Dr. Fathi that I learned from Ali not only about Palestinian identity and life. I also learned from him graciousness and manners.
"...I recently went on a tech cleanse in order to experience JOMO (the joy of missing out). Rather than trying to peruse and accumulate as much information as possible, I set a personal goal that I would only consume information over the course of the week that allowed me to be more in tune with myself.
"...In the aftermath of the attack in Brussels, I see Facebook posts entreating me to ‘pray for peace;’ it just feels too passive. We can't leave it to a transcendent god; we have to be hands, ears, feet, mouths, hearts, and heads dedicated to serve peace, enact peace, sacrifice for peace, bring peace, be peace."
Monday’s attacks in Brussels left at least 31 dead and hundreds wounded. The rhetoric from politicians and presidential candidates, some fanning the flames of Islamophobia and some addressing only the law enforcement and intelligence aspect of the issue, seems to miss the point, says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of Clal and co-founder and executive editor of TheWisdomDaily.com. If we are to fight a war against violent extremism, we must do so in a way "that does not allow us to be dragged down into the wholesale hatred that our enemies practice."
From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD
"...Two Saturdays ago, I was walking down a street in the West Village to see a friend at work when, in the middle of the street, a woman fell. Her shopping bags went every which way, and she hit the asphalt hard. Thankfully, there were no cars around. The predictable sound of people gasping followed, and then: