"We are all for freedom and for human rights in general. But we also know that our commitment to insure that people live in free societies with human rights is often compromised, consciously and unconsciously, by both our individual and national self-interests.
"Pope Francis has engaged and inspired millions of non-Catholics, former Catholics and alienated Catholics since assuming his position as global leader of the Catholic Church. He is both a spiritual master and global celebrity, so yes, the world is now filled with FOPs - Fans Of the Pope. Only now, some of them may be reconsidering their views, though I am not sure that that is fair, at least not to Pope Francis..."
"In this talk I gave at BIF10 in September, I focus on religion from the most practical and, as it turns out, most innovative perspective: how well do our religions serve our deep human needs? What if religions were actually measured by their ability to impact our capacity for gratitude, hope, empathy and our sense of belonging?
In this book, Clal Resident Bible Criticism Scholar Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. writes that in J's version of the Genesis account the world wasn't created in seven days, it was already there. God was not an aloof deity whose mere words could create worlds, but an insecure and entirely immanent being.
"Last week's announcement by Jerry Seinfeld that he is "probably on the autism spectrum" has been met with mixed emotions by those of us who are connected to the autism community...."
By Rabbi Rebecca Schorr, Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Jewish Week
"We all know and feel that science and technology are transforming how we work, love, and play. Our lives are being affected inside and out: how our brain works, how we communicate, connect and create, how we parent and politic, how we learn and heal and die, our lifestyle and culture. There are techno-utopians who think this is the be-all end-all and techno-dystopians who think this is simply the end.
This week, the Board of Education in Mongomery County, Maryland voted 7 to 1 to eliminate references to all religious holidays in their published calendar for 2015-2016. They acted in response to a request from the community's Muslim leaders that the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Adha be added alongside holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hoshanah.
Publisher Jaime Stern of the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix was among the panelists discussing what the community’s priorities should be at a Valley Beit Midrash event held at Congregation Beth Israel on Oct. 22. Jewish News published a recap, “Panel addresses community priorities,” in the Oct. 31 issue. Readers have asked that we provide more information on what was discussed. What follows is an adaptation of her prepared remarks in which she mentions Rabbi Irwin Kula.
"To me, “father” and “soldier” are almost antithetical words. My 89-year-old parent was an English professor. He taught Shakespeare. His world was (and still is to a certain extent) a man of theatre, books, film and intellectual banter. A hammer and a screwdriver were dangerous tools in his hands. His mind was much stronger than his muscles. But my father was indeed a soldier...."
"Could football really be the new tobacco, as suggested by the cover of the NY Times Magazine and to be fair, by The Dish's Andrew Sullivan 2.5 years ago? Before you go calling me some nanny state, un-American alarmist just looking for one more legitimate pleasure that people should be free to enjoy, watch this video which details the brain damage sustained by high school football players..."