Mitt Romney’s dog/ God problem March 16, 2012

"Mitt Romney has a palindrome problem...In Governor Romney’s case, the problematic palindrome is Dog/God. Of course, the ‘dog’ is Seamus, a family pet which the Romney’s took on vacation 25 years ago, riding in a dog carrier, strapped to the top of their station wagon. To me, the amazing thing about this story is that anybody cares!..."

19th Maccabiah Games -- Healthy Engagement March 14, 2012

"Maccabiah is one of the healthiest engagements with young people...in American Jewish life." says Rabbi Irwin Kula who has participated in the games in various capacities, including officiating as rabbi at many b’nei and b’not mitzvah ceremonies. Maccabi USA is seeking Jewish athletes to represent the USA at the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 17-30, 2013.

Purim celebrates the good and bad in all of us March 6, 2012

"...Purim reminds us of a key insight — one which doesn’t shrink from difference, or even the need to fight existential foes — and it all comes down to knowing that we are one..."

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From Brad Hirschfield’s blog in the Washington Post’s "On Faith" Column — For God’s Sake

A Twist on Posthumous Baptisms Leaves Jews Miffed at Mormon Rite March 5, 2012

“...It’s important to say that in some ways it’s meaningless,” Rabbi Baum said. (Rabbi Laura Baum is an alumni of Clal's Rabbis Without Borders program.) “But it’s also religiously arrogant. I think words matter. Their doing their rituals could be insulting to the families of people whose relatives are being baptized. In the case of people who died during the Holocaust, they were killed because of their religious identity, and now another group is confusing the story...."

Brad Hirschfield on The Gift of Difference March 5, 2012

"...Rajiv Malhotra has, in fact, written a wise and important book — one whose greatest contribution is to wrestle with genuine difference not simply as something to be overcome, but as a gift to be cherished. Malhotra argues that ignoring difference in favor of a Pollyannaish, if well-intentioned, flattening of distinction, is not only foolish but arrogant and even dangerous. I could not agree more...."

Rabbis Without Borders Alumni Retreat March 5, 2012

The second annual Rabbis Without Borders (RWB) Alumni Retreat took place at the Pearlstone Retreat Center outside of Baltimore, Feb 26-29, 2012. Rabbi alumni and rabbinic students from the first two RWB cohorts who are now ordained, were invited to attend. For many, the retreat is their one opportunity to network cross denominationally, share ideas, build networks, and look at issues on the American religious landscape in a new light, helping them in their work and community building activities.

Slow-Cooked Stews: The Foods We Eat and the Women Who Cook March 5, 2012

"Long before the romance and fervor of the rebbe’s tisch, the table was a holy space for Jews — wherever they lived. When Judaism arose from the ashes of the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, every Jewish home became a ‘minor temple’ and the table became the altar..." More...

Noticing a Change in the Seasons March 5, 2012

There are times when the natural world calls out to us to notice a change. The first chill in the evening air, the first shoots of bulbs, or even the first time we feel the heat of the sun as it awakens us to the yearly cycles of life. In these moments, we are given a preview to the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and emotions that the new season will bring to us.

Machalif z'manim m'shaneh itim

You turn the seasons and change the times

Patrilineal Descent in a Pluralistic Community March 2, 2012

How do we define Jewish identity? For the past few decades, a generation has grown up regarding itself as Jewish, whose identity follows patrilineal descent. Many are integrated into all aspects of Jewish communal life, yet are not accepted by major portions of the Jewish community.

Brad Hirschfield on, "Is marriage a right or a privilege, and who decides?" March 2, 2012

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield responds to questions on topics of the day. Today: Should same sex marriage be left up to popular vote?

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From The Washington Post Conversations Live Q & A with Rabbi Brad Hirschfield
, 3/02/12

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