"Images of horror, most pointedly the public beheadings of two American journalists in a matter of weeks, have ensured that the days leading up to the Season of Awe will continue to be stained with cruelty and violence. What hope can there be for a month already so tragic trailing a summer marred by war, rising Anti-Semitism globally and fatal injustice in the streets of St. Louis. And yet, this month on the Jewish calendar is Elul, not only the last month of the waning year but a special occasion in its own regard.
In this book, Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. attempts to add some new spice to the High Holidays. It is intended for anyone who wishes that there were more prayers reflecting contemporary values, while at the same time remaining true to traditional cadences.
"I just returned from a week in Israel. And yeah, that means that I was there during the war with Hamas. In fact, the morning that we landed was the day that Hamas leadership pledged to resume rocket attacks on Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport. I wasn't traveling alone either. I was traveling with two of my daughters, one aged 13 and the other 18, who I was "dropping off" for a year of study at a Jerusalem seminary.So, am I some kind of crazy person who blithely wanders into war zones?
"In the summer of 1982 I went looking for an apartment in St. Louis, Missouri, where I lived and served as a rabbi from then until late 1987. I made life-long friends and there were many nice things about St. Louis - the Arch, the St. Louis Cardinals, Washington University, the Symphony to name a few - but race was not one of them. My introduction to the problem of race came on my very first day in St. Louis.
"I was a college student doing about 78 mph on my way from Pittsburgh to New York City to visit my boyfriend. Suddenly flashing lights appeared behind me, my stomach flipped over, and I was busted. The officer sauntered up to my window. He asked questions that I felt were intrusive, like where was I going, where was I coming from, who was I going to see. He made a comment about my “pretty face” being smashed if I crashed at that speed. I wanted him to just give me a ticket and go away. Finally he did...."
In tandem with the rise of anti-Muslim bigotry, the last few weeks have seen a shocking number of anti-Semitic expressions both in America and around the world. Welton was joined by Rabbi Brad Hirschfeld of Clal, The National Jewish Center of Learning and Leadership, who help us put this rise in anti-Semitism in context, and discuss ways that faith leaders – and the rest of us – can help counter it, and bigotry against all religious minorities.
"Most TWD readers probably don’t follow the Wu-Tang Clan – perhaps the number one greatest hip hop group of all time. Rolling Stone called the Wu-Tang Clan “the best rap group ever” and there is probably no group that has introduced and launched the careers of more artists. Two weeks ago the entire clan of nine appeared on the Jon Stewart Show – the first time they were together in close to a decade – to debut a brand new song from their 20th anniversary album, A Better Tomorrow..."
From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: Unrest continues to simmer in Ferguson, Missouri since the August 9th shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown. We privilege rage over sadness to all of our peril. And we confuse imposing order with building peace between members of different communities. Watch more of Brad Hirschfield's commentary below:
"Is a new lexicon in disruption emerging? Adi Ignatius, editor-in-chief of the Harvard Business Review, recently interviewed Professor Clayton Christensen on the heels of Professor Jill Lepore’s now-famous rant about disruptive innovation in The New Yorker. The ensuing controversy put Christensen and his theory at the center of the storm. But his comments in the interview held some interesting clues as to how he sees the future of disruptive innovation.
"The whole question of continuity — be it in the face of this year's Pew study, or any other data set over which the Jewish community's Cassandra class wring their hands—is an overblown deflection. People worry about the future of their community and its traditions most when they are least certain about the real value of either in the present. Or put another way, when people are busy in the present doing what they love, or otherwise feel compelled to do, they tend to worry less about its future.