The Wisdom Daily: Secrets to an Extraordinary Life March 3, 2014

"This past week one of the most inspiring people on this planet, Alice Herz-Sommer, pianist and the oldest Holocaust survivor in the world died at the age of 110..."

Brad Hirschfield on Son of God and an Audience of Nones February 28, 2014

With the release of the movie Son of God this weekend, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, President of CLAL and Co-Founder and Executive Editor of, reflects on the current popularity of faith and Bible-related movies and tv programs in the context of the rise of the "nones,"or those who do not identify as any particular religious denomination. Even though people attend houses of worship less often, "the ideas that animate our faith traditions are still central to most people."

The Wisdom Daily: What it Means to be Cool February 28, 2014

"Over the next seven months, the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in an exhibit called "American Cool" is showing 100 photographs of people who defined cool in American culture, from the "granddaddies of cool," Walt Whitman and Frederick Douglass, through the generations, leading to Jay-Z, Johnny Depp and Madonna. I am semi-embarrassed to say, but I always feel it a supreme compliment when people call me a "cool" rabbi. It's meant having some mysterious mix of rebelliousness, openness to new ideas, charisma with being a bit wild, anti-authority and out front, but in an authentic laid-back way of having things under control. When thinking about "cool", the Smithsonian curators used four criteria...."

Sinai and Synapses: Christianity, Science and the Search for Truth February 28, 2014

"In the public square, Christianity and science are often presented as opposing sources of truth: if you believe in one, then you must reject the other. But in fact, many Christians find that science helps them search for truth and understanding, and believe that reason, thoughtfulness and critical inquiry are gifts from God.

Rabbis Without Borders: Student Retreats with Rabbi Sid Schwarz February 28, 2014

"… a student from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, gave one of the most creative divrei torah I have ever heard/seen on Shabbat morning. He got several male students to serve as an Acapella backup offering a niggun that was taught the night before. He spoke over the melody. He brought a cup of dirt from outside and used it as a prop as he used a midrashic text about Jacob’s dream of the ladder (sleeping in the dust) and the blessing Jacob got that his children be as numerous as the dust. It was dvar torah as performance art.

The Wisdom Daily: Can Addiction Be A Choice? February 26, 2014

"Can addiction be a choice? And if so, can it ever be considered a worthy choice? Barry Miles' book, Call Me Burroughs: A Life, raises those questions in interesting ways which invite further reflection on our right to make bad choices...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Arizona’s Need for Freedom from Religion February 26, 2014

"Is religious freedom of greater importance than the constitutional right of equality? Arizona’s state law SB 1062, which has passed through the legislature and awaits gubernatorial support or veto, argues, ‘Yes’. I suggest, ‘no’, and I do so on religious grounds...."

A Constituency Of None February 26, 2014

"...‘Freedom of religious thought and expression are sacred whether you believe in God or not. The willingness to talk about things in public even if they’re not comfortable is also sacred,’ says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, which seeks to broaden religious understanding in public discourse...."

Kirtan Rabbi in West Hartford, CT Saturday March 1, 2014 7:30pm February 26, 2014

Bring your voices, dancing socks and open hearts to join P'nai Or and Hartford Chants this Saturday for an evening of Hebrew Chant and musical meditation with the Kirtan Rabbi. Featuring: Sarah Gershuny (vocals); Adam Bauer (bass); David Noonan (percussion); other guests; AND most of all: YOU!

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The Wisdom Daily: Our Kid's World February 25, 2014

"Have you seen the series of Vizio Smart TV commercials? They are quite unnerving. They play on what we digital immigrants (I am 56) all know. Our children know so much more than us in so many areas that not only do we need to learn from them in ways parents have never needed to learn from their children, but there are times it feels like we are living in different worlds...."

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