Rabbi Brad Hirschfield talks with Lars Larson about the Pope's comments about not judging gays in the Catholic Church.
"...If we only look at Israel from one end of the spectrum, or one part of the prism, with regard to a mass multitude of religious, cultural and social issues, we are not allowing ourselves to see a true picture. We need to sit in the middle and deal with the tension; the facts on the grounds and the words and visions of political leaders. Living with the tension means to be uncomfortable. It means to live with the tension rather than try to deny the validity of either.
It was a big week for Pope Francis. First he held mass on Brazil's Copacabana beach in for an estimated 3 million attendees. Then, when asked about gay priests, he said "Who am I to judge?" In doing so, according to Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of CLAL National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, the Pope "articulated an ethic of judgment" and pointed out a clear distinction between making necessary judgments and being judgmental.
"Speaking with reporters on board his flight returning from Brazil to Rome, Pope Francis made the following comment, “Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?” Who is he to judge? He’s the pope. Isn't that part of his job?! He is the leader of a millennium old institution – one steeped in legal tradition and religious norms. How could he not judge? If not him, then who? Has Pope Francis become some kind of relativist?
‘‘I may not hear very well, but I really know how to listen,’ says Rabbi Darby Leigh, as deaf Jews make strides in the community. On Aug. 1, Rabbi Darby Leigh will begin his tenure as leader of Congregation Kerem Shalom in Concord, Mass. Leigh is “profoundly deaf.” Without his hearing aids, he is unable to distinguish sounds below 90 decibels (the average range of a hearing person is 0-120 decibels, with speech being somewhere around 60 decibels).
This week the world’s media focused on the birth of the Britain’s newest prince and heir to the throne. Rabbi Brad Hirchfield, President of Clal, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership thinks we should not be cynical about all the attention paid to this child of wealth and privilege, but “allow our celebration of that one baby to challenge us to …create the lives that we hope and believe all children deserve.”
"In this Week's Torah Portion- Parashat Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25)- Moses continues his address to the people of Israel, promising them that they will prosper in the land of Israel if they obey God's commandments..."
Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. brings us bilingual poems or daily prayers to start the day. He shares that "many people cope with Monday doldrums with a nice hot shower or a cup of coffee.
Several of Clal teaching fellow Janet R. Kirchheimer’s poems have been translated into Russian by poet Liana Alaverdova. Six of these poems now appear on Literary Echo and in Jewish World. The poems in Literary Echo are: About Niederstetten; Summer Afternoon, 1934; Town Hall; Breaking Laws; and My Father's Sister; and the poems in the Jewish World are Where I am From; and The Photograph in My Hand.
"To the extent that he ever left, George Zimmerman is back in the news, an in a way that serves as an important reminder to both his defenders and his detractors. The Florida man acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin helped pull a man, a woman and two children from the van in which they were traveling, after it rolled over and eventually caught fire. For that act, George Zimmerman, by any definition, is a hero. So how is it possible that today’s hero, is yesterday’s what? Villain? Vigilante? Fool?..."