"....It’s a very unnerving experience," Kula told the 150 interfaith clergy members gathered together at Rodef Shalom Congregation on Feb. 25 for the congregation’s annual Milton E. Harris Interfaith Lecture and breakfast. Co-sponsored by the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee, the lecture, “Engaging the NONES,” seemed to resonate with the crowd of diverse spiritual leaders all wrestling with the issue of diminishing flocks....
Andrew Hahn, the Kirtan rabbi, teaches "God is in the Details: The Grammar and Language of Jewish Spirituality" for Romemu. Over seven sessions beginning on Tuesday, March 8, learn how to read a text closely, on its own terms, with rabbinic humor coupled with a constant awareness of real-lived humanity. Discover how a distinctly Jewish reading often hinges not on the big, singular idea, but on a little, seemingly unimportant word here; or, on an acceptance of messy conflicting truths, there.
"...it feels liberating to explore a topic that my conditioned former self rejected out of hand, and to do so lightly, without needing to believe or buy into it. No system of interpreting the world, whether economics or astrology, is foolproof or ironclad.
"...Human beings can grow accustomed to almost anything. There is risk in allowing the practice of ignoring one's thirst to become habitual. After a while, one might not even notice anymore that the thirst was ever there. And our emotional and spiritual thirsts are important. They come to tell us something about who we most deeply are...."
"...Moreover the sentiment, that God is a just and true judge, in face of what was clearly a life taken too early theologically offensive. And yet, I was grateful that our tradition had given me words to say, as limited and inadequate as there were. Because, while I was feeling and thinking a great variety of things, I did not know what to say...."
Brad Hirschfield highlights the verbal inflation that has occurred in the media, where the Black Lives Matters movement has been held up as equal to the Ku Klux Klan and Erin Andrews’s stalker has been labeled a terrorist.
“Words matter,” he reminds us, “According to Scripture, the world is called into being with words and I hope as we enter an election season that gets crazier and crazier, that we can resist the temptation towards this kind of verbal inflation." View Rabbi Hirschfield's discussion below.
From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD
"...Last night, a real low was when Trump felt the need to defend the size of his genitals. This was just one in a series of inappropriate remarks made in speeches, debates, and in the Twittersphere by various presidential candidates. While Trump's words last night are the most recent example of this, the reality is that poor civil discourse crosses party lines and is not unique to this election.
"When I was a teenager, I owned a pair of plaid bondage pants. They were skinny-cut, had about a dozen zippers, and were connected at the leg by a pair of straps that, as a friend reflected to me years later, “made me walk like I had two bags of live goldfish stuffed down your pants.” He may be right, but I loved those pants. Every time I wore them, I felt like a real punk rocker: free, rebellious, powerful. I was defying society’s conventions, refusing to conform, making my own style.
"...In his acceptance speech, Iñárritu ended with the plea that ‘the color of our skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair’. But should race really be irrelevant? And if it should be, then doesn't the entire case made by those concerned about the absence of color among Oscar nominees, fall away? How can race be irrelevant when it comes to our thinking, and simultaneously be a determining factor in deciding who get awards and who doesn't?..."
Join Andrew Hahn, the Kirtan rabbi, this Friday evening, February 26, from 7:30 to 9:30pm at the Integral Yoga Institute of New York.