"There are all kinds of bravery. There is physical bravery which allows firefighters to run into burning buildings when everyone else is running out, or empowers young soldiers to put themselves in harm’s way even when they can avoid doing so...."
"...Woody Allen, was a bit uncomfortable when wished a happy Jewish New Year by his interviewer, Dave Itzkoff, responding "That's for your people." However, he went to say some very interesting things about faith and religion..."
"There are many kinds of bravery. Physical bravery allows firefighters to run into burning buildings when everyone else is running out, or empowers young soldiers to put themselves in harm’s way even when they can avoid doing so. Moral bravery is the kind that people find within themselves when they must speak truth to power, or otherwise stand up for that in which they believe even when it will be unpopular. Sacred bravery fuels our ability to both seek and grant forgiveness...."
"...Instead of using 'religious' and 'non-religious', themselves terms foreign to traditional Jewish thought, perhaps we should simply ask people what they do, what practices they practice, how they work for them and what those who think of themselves as religious leaders could do to better support them in their practice, whatever it is..."
"...While no soldier should be forced to fight a battle which he or she deems to be immoral, soldiers cannot make such decisions for themselves independent of some real consequences..."
"...[Messrs. Yaverbaum and DiMassimo have] seized Yom Kippur to preach their message further. Let this day, September 18, be a ‘No-Device Day’ for us all, no matter our religious backgrounds...[Rabbi Kula says] That an online advertising campaign, targeting everyone, would incorporate a Jewish holiday is significant...‘You don’t have to have any relationship with Yom Kippur at all,’ he says. ‘It’s a mixing and blending, bending and switching.
"[Rabbi Irwin Kula] said ‘Generally speaking, I find the inability to forgive somebody else has to do with that person internally not forgiving themselves, or not having been forgiven for something they did,’ he said, noting that it is specific to each case. ‘Until it creates some kind of anxiety that undermines the person’s way of being in the world, there is nothing much you can do,’ he said. Of course, there are some transgressions and betrayals that are so deep, they can’t be forgiven.
"…‘A good portion of the liturgy is about you getting to play God and holding yourself accountable,’ said Rabbi Irwin Kula…‘If you understand that this is a place of judgment internally, if you can locate where to judge yourself, you’ll get to a better place and become more forgiving yourself.’…"
"Whatever one thinks of President Obama, his Rosh Hashanah message is a deeply Jewish, biblically aware, liturgically sensitive statement which cannot help but move any spiritually inclined person. Without stepping away from his identity as a Christian, president Obama addresses the Jewish community Jewishly, using themes and language which emerge from the people to whom he addresses himself..."
"...most rabbis are not likely to stray far from what they believe are the prevailing opinions of their congregations, said Rabbi Irwin Kula...‘The congregations are so polarized, it’s difficult for a lot of them to speak up, especially if they happen to disagree with the majority,’ he said. Those who do speak, he added, may send shock waves throughout the network of the city’s synagogues..."