"Words like truth and falsehood, honesty and lie, get tossed around with great ease and certainty. But what if it isn't as simple as that? What if something false is actually true? Think that's not possible? Think about placebos that work even though they "shouldn't". A recent study shows that believing that you have slept well, even if you have not, will improve your performance as if you had.
"What do you say when you look at your life? Is your glass half full or half empty? Your life, or at least your longevity, may depend on your answer. Recent studies bucking the trend toward "positive psychology" and the science of being happier, indicate that pessimism, not optimism, may contribute to living a longer life. Of course, the pessimists among us will doubt these findings and their promises, which ironically may make those promises more likely to come true!..."
"Last week over 30,000 TD Bank (Toronto Dominion) customers across Canada were surprised and delighted to receive $20 as a thank you for being regular customers. But a dozen or so customers received a much bigger surprise. These pre-selected folks received a special customer thanking experience at their local branch through the ATM's turned into Automated Thanking Machine (ATM). The gifts doled out were all personal and emotional homeruns... I honestly don't know what to feel about this. Is this a harmless gimmick, a cynical exploitation of vulnerable people, or a genuine expression of compassion and gratitude to regular customers who have many choices of where to bank?..."
"‘There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.’ So says the author of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) in a famous chapter that begins by telling us, “there is a time for every matter under heaven.” Yesterday was Tisha B’Av, a fast day which traditionally commemorates the destruction of the first and second temples in ancient Jerusalem and all subsequent tragedies to befall the Jewish people.
"Nazis, Nazis, Nazis," said Steve our 40 year-old, charismatic, Australian (by way of a half dozen countries) guide as we began a walking tour of Berlin, "that's all most people think when they come to Berlin." My family and I were in Berlin for a week - our first time in Germany - and Steve was so right. Berlin is young, hip, culturally rich, fun and edgy - and for the week we were there not fifteen minutes could go by without thinking Nazis, Third Reich, Holocaust. Memorials, museums, the guttural sound of achtung in announcements, any elderly person, and the Fette Fraktur black letter typeface all triggered anxious mixtures of incredulity, anger, horror - and guilt about having such a great time in such a fascinating city that was the seat of genocide. Most of the time these were passing feelings we masked and mitigated by macabre jokes about being detained, arrested, or deported..."
"Every April for the past five years Professor Clay Christensen has travelled to New York City to co-host the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards—a collaboration between Christensen and the Disruptor Foundation (which he co-founded with us) and the Tribeca Film Festival.
"In the past week the rabbis writing on this blog have commented on several current controversial issues, Christian anti-Semitism, US immigration law, and the Hamas-Israeli conflict. The views expressed are varied, and if you are a regular reader of this blog, you will often see rabbis taking different opinions on the same issue. This is the kind of pluralism and open dialogue Rabbis Without Borders fosters.
"As the father of three girls, ages 20, 17 and 13, this video from Stephen Colbert caught my attention. As someone who appreciates the complexities of parenting in ways that marry serious attention to so-called traditional values with genuine openness to the fact that each generation’s uniqueness demands respect, this video struck me as genuinely wise..."
This week, the Pierce County Council in Washington voted to display the national motto “In God We Trust” in its chambers. The controversial decision came after heated debate and strenuous objections from local atheists. Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of Clal and co-founder and executive editor of TheWisdomDaily.com says that “even if the vast of majority of us believe in God or some higher power, not all of us do.” so alongside In God We Trust should be the other national E Pluribus Unum.
From Odyssey Networks’s FAITH ON THE RECORD
On May 29, 2014, Sinai and Synapses partnered with Central Synagogue to present a panel discussion on the topic “Can Science and Religion Co-Exist?” It was a provocative and respectful discussion among three distinguished panelists:
Rabbi Bradley Hirschfield, President of Clal – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership and author of the book You Don’t Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism