"I have always felt I could choose to believe, or not believe, that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. Admittedly, in the midst of another Gaza war with mistrust and hatred between Jews and Arabs deepening (if that is possible), in a conflict that really seems insoluble, with political leadership on both sides incapable of making the difficult decisions and the people on both sides not ready to push their leaders to do so, it is easy to despair. But despair is a lie we tell ourselves, especially those of us who are not literally in the war zone. It took a long time to get to this point and it will take myriad acts on a multitude of levels by ordinary citizens to change the trajectory. The fact is that evil, violence, and hate do not always win and even in these tragic days - and whatever one's politics and whomever one blames for this war - we need to be on the lookout for seeds of hope...."
Venus Marie, founder of The VM Frequency, produced "4 U Being U: A Journey for the One and Only You" that includes Rabbi Kula's words "The more we let ourselves unfold, the less we unravel."
From The VM Frequency
Whatever our politics, right or left, hawk or dove, we all stand with Israel in this dangerous time. Clal faculty will be at this rally. It's time to be heard. Join us. Stand with Israel.
Monday, July 28th, 2014 12:30 p.m.
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (2nd Avenue and 47th Street)New York City
"...The problem with most religious leadership, Kula claims, is that its mission is to convert the non-affiliated. “Religion is not about creed, dogma, or tribe,” he counters. “We need to stop judging our success by membership dues — this isn’t about how many hits. First and foremost, religion is a toolbox designed to help human beings flourish.”..."
Rabbi Brad Hirschfield looks at the long history of conflict between Russia & the Ukraine and the role that religious leaders can play in choosing to either fan the flames or inspire positive change to build a better future.
From Odyssey Networks’s FAITH ON THE RECORD
"The war between Hamas and Israel drags on, with Hamas yet again rejecting the cease fire proposed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. But this post isn’t about ascribing blame, it’s about the increasingly difficult challenge of talking about the Middle East in any way that doesn’t focus on just that – on winning the blame game, as opposed to allowing the safety we have here in America to encourage conversation that might actually make a positive difference, whether our passion is for Israel or for Gaza..."
"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.