Y.U. Report's Three Paragraphs Fails To Do Justice to Abuse — or Jewish Ethics September 4, 2013

"On August 26, the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, hired by Yeshiva University to look into allegations of past abuse at the university’s High School for Boys, finally concluded its eight-month investigation and released a report detailing its findings.

Brad Hirschfield On The Possibility of United States Military Action against Syria August 30, 2013

In response to the accusations this week that Syrian government forces used chemical weapons against its own citizens, Britain, France and the United States are considering whether to intervene and in what form this action might take."

New Riffs on The New Year August 30, 2013

"‘Increasing numbers of people are actually not coming to synagogue to celebrate Rosh HaShanah or Yom Kippur, but are doing home/familial observances,’ offering personal prayers or itemizing developments for which they are thankful, says Rabbi Irwin Kula...‘The number of people who always go to shul on the High Holy Days — that constituency is shrinking,’ says Rabbi Sid Schwarz, senior fellow at Clal"...

Measles outbreak in Texas church leads to soul-searching, thank God August 29, 2013

"How much is “too much”? There are 20 confirmed cases of measles in the latest outbreak of this preventable disease, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. At least eight of the patients are members of the Eagle Mountain International Church, church officials said, and 15 of the cases are in Tarrant County where the church is located...."

Brad Hirschfield On Finding Common Ground in the Gun Violence Debate August 23, 2013

Tragedy was narrowly averted this week in Decatur, Georgia when a young man entered a school armed with a gun, 500 rounds of ammunition and “nothing to live for”. In this instance tragedy was averted, but it brought to mind the shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School and reignited the simmering debate about the National Guns Laws.

Brad Hirschfield On A Baby Named Messiah August 16, 2013

This week, a Tennessee magistrate adjudicating a custody dispute took it upon herself to change a baby's name from "Messiah DuShawn Martin" to "Martin DuShawn McCullough." Judge Lu Ann Bellew said "The word Messiah is a title and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ." "This story is a very serious cautionary tale about what makes America great," says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, and represents a threat to personal freedom, and especially religious freedom whi

Sam Horowitz video: Bar Mitzvah battles go viral August 15, 2013

"How much is “too much”? What is the definition of appropriate celebration for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah party? Where is line and when has been crossed? These are the questions being raised, sometimes gently and sometimes with remarkable anger and hostility, in connection with the going viral video of Sam Horowitz’ Bar Mitzvah party. Of course, these are hardly new questions.

Sorting Sins: When the Law Stays the Same and Everything Else Changes August 7, 2013

"It has long been the claim of the Orthodox community that Jewish law does not or should not change to accord itself with the times. Among certain Jews, since the early 19th century, all new things are considered a priori forbidden. Despite this oft-repeated and historically questionable insistence on formal continuity, there are ways that prohibitions of sinful behavior can remain on the books unchanged in their form, and still be wholly transformed in their social effect.

What Does Religion Do for Us? Thurs. 5:30 PM, 8/8/13, Aspen Chapel August 7, 2013

Rabbi Kula will hold a talk with questions and answers on "Religion Without Borders: What Do We Hire Religion to Do for Us?" on Thursday from 5:30-6:30 pm at the Aspen Chapel, Castle Creek Road at Highway 82 roundabout, Aspen, CO. This event is part of the Chapel's Summer Enrichment Series. If you're in the area, please join us for the talk!

From Clal 8/7/13

Spiritual but not Religious August 5, 2013

Rabbi Irwin Kula speaks with David Bach about the democratization of religious resources, the anxiety of change and how mixing and bending are today's ways of making meaning in our lives. Rabbi Kula will be talking about Religions Without Borders" on Thursday from 5:30-6:30 pm at the Aspen Chapel - Aspen Chapel, Castle Creek Road at Highway 82 roundabout, Aspen.

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