"Trans-denominationalism and post-de-nominationalism are great words. They sound big and important. “We are entering a new post-denominational age,” the Jewish pundits declare. Often this declaration is meant to scare people. We are entering uncharted water; the great Jewish institutions of the 20th Century are crumbling. We don’t know where we are headed. Ahh! Watch out! Okay, reality check: we have been here before. We are masters at navigating change.
"Complaining comes naturally to us; during an average conversation, it's been estimated that people lob complaints at each other about once a minute. How often do we respond to someone who asks how are we doing, "Can't complain," but then go on to gripe about working too hard, or some annoying thing a friend did, or some plan that didn't work out, or a family squabble, or a bad night's sleep, or yet another outrageous politician. Or simply the general state of the world.
"...Our focus day-to-day is on ourselves. Which means that we are capable of deeply caring about something larger, say God, America, Israel, without feeling obligated to pay a commiserate balance of attention, even to these vital, greater-than-self ideals and values..."
Brad Hirschfield discusses the 3/11/15 shooting of policemen in Ferguson, MO with Steve Malzberg, host of "The Steve Malzberg Show," and TV commentator, Adam M. Thompson. Have the press, Attorney General Eric holder, the president and other notables created a climate in which police and protestors are less likely to work towards bridging the schism?
From Newsmax with Steve Malzberg, 3/12/15
"...So the burial custom may be dying. But that means, in a time of cultural change, planning a funeral is a moment of genuine opportunity. As the "how" of saying goodbye shifts, we can connect to a series of shared "whats" to help us navigate the moment of change with greater wisdom and compassion for all those saying good-bye..."
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Maybe you'll be deep in the work of the external cleaning for Passover, but how about pausing to take a day, just for yourself, to focus on internal cleaning? If this is something you know you also need, come join us at a pre-Passover Spirituality Retreat with Clal Resident Reb Drew (Kirtan Rabbi), Rabbi Elyssa Joy Auster, and vegan nutritionist, Doron Petersan.
This week the University of Oklahoma expelled two students and shut down the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity after a video showed them chanting and making racist slurs. Rabbi Brad Hirschfield wonders if “we’re on a collision course between protecting free speech… and responding to the very real issues of race that still exist in this society.”
From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD
"...I do believe that love is the only force powerful enough to put an end to hatred and cruelty. And everywhere you look, people are desperate for love. Souls are waiting to be infused with hope. Ignorance is ripe to be overcome. So yes, we need to be vigilant and active about what is happening far away. But perhaps even more so, and every day, to be involved with what is happening here, in our own homes, neighborhoods and communities..."
"...What women shared with each other in cookbooks was much more than a simple how to, it was a commitment to reliving the memory of the Exodus as we have been instructed to do. Food is important to all Jewish holidays, even Yom Kippur revolves around food or the lack there of. But without dedicated culinary vigilance Passover would fall short of the demand to make ourselves feel like we ourselves are going out of Egypt.
"...Islam still needs to go through such a reformation. By not saying this (in his attempt to provide context), the President came off as aloof about the real threats of this present-day, cancerous form of Islam.When we focus on the brutality of ISIS and call it evil, crazy or power-mad, we miss the point.