"I don't want to make more of this than it is especially given the serious polarization that does exist in this country (see recent Pew study which I will be writing about next week) and the very uncomfortable blowback I received from my last post on Glenn Beck. But speaking on his radio show on Tuesday, Glenn Beck said something that I imagine you would never expect him to say.
"I've been given a gift this week -- the opportunity to open the door for someone who wanted to reconnect with Judaism. I know what it's like to be spiritually thirsty. I know what it's like to feel "on the outside," in galut -- exile -- from community and from God...."
By Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from her blog, Velveteen Rabbi
"What's the difference between being in charge and having genuine authority? What's the difference between being "the leader" and exercising leadership? If you can answer these questions for yourself and live in light of your answer, you will discover that you have both more capacity and more influence than you probably ever imagined. You will find that you can accomplish more than you may realize, and feel pretty good about it as well! All of which brings Alexander Haig to mind..."
"Today, among the many other things you do in your busy life, pray for the safe return of three kidnapped Israeli teens: Naftali Fraenkel 16, Eyal Yifrach, 19, and Gil-Ad Sha’er, 16. Take a moment any time today to pray for Naftali, Eyal, and Gil-ad. You can add the 250 Nigerian school girls, and all children around the world that have been forcibly taken from their families..."
Rabbi Gottlieb presented his work on the ARIS platform at the Games for Learning Conference. Click here for an article on the conference. Jewish Time Jump—New York is a project of Rabbi Owen Gottlieb's ConverJent which is incubated at Clal. For more on ConverJent, follow it on twitter: @converjent and @yobgorgle.
"When you think about a normal day in your life, from the moment you get up in the morning until you go to sleep, you experience far more expressions of kindness and love than meanness and hate. But as I wrote a few weeks ago, we are hardwired to be far more alert to negative, fear-inducing events that generate fight or flight responses than to positive events that generate security and empathy..."
We are no different, we really are alike, are we not? We all just want to have and live a good life.
The taboo topic of death is explored by Journalist Perri Peltz in a compelling interview with Rabbi Irwin Kula and Dr. Dennis M. Popeo of NYU School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital. We need to focus on the quality of life at the end. End of life conversations need to take place before they come up. The art of dying grows out of the art of living. Fear plays a huge and debilitating role at the end of life. We are fortunate in that our wisdom traditions give us important ways that help in this process.
"How many Americans knew the name of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl before last week? For that matter, how many of the members of our dysfunctional Congress, yet alone our polarizing pundits knew about this POW? Just about everything wrong in our culture's politics has shown itself in the aftermath of the exchange of five senior Taliban detainees at Guantanamo for Bergdahl.
This week The New York Times told a surprising story about the former Archbishop of New York, Cardinal John J. O'Connor – his mother was born Jewish. The story raises questions about religious identity, says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, President of Clal and co-Founder and Executive Editor of TheWisdomDaily.com, and suggests a discussion of what "dual citizenship" in the realm of faith and spirituality might mean.