"This week, fanatical religion and absolutist atheism lost and the rest of us won" says Brad Hirschfield, President of Clal and co-Founder and Executive Editor of TheWisdomDaily.com. Their town meeting opened with an invocation by local atheist Dan Courtney. The U.S. Supreme Court's recently ruled in the case of Galloway v. Greece, NY that prayer was acceptable in public meetings -- a case brought by a group of local atheists.
"Lately I've been talking with rabbinic colleagues about how best to minister to our congregants who are struggling with the news out of Israel/Palestine. We're hearing from people who are unable to fall asleep because they can't stop thinking about the images of destruction and grief, or who wake up and immediately start agonizing about the conflict or worrying about loved ones..."
"Ever make plans with someone, and then all of a sudden they switch things up on you? Of course you have! That's life. Does it bother you? My guess is that even if you are one of those people who pride themselves on your flexibility, if the plans were about something you consider a big deal, even you would find yourself annoyed. But why?..."
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"On Tuesday, Rabbi Tsafi Lev of West Hills fasted on the Hebrew calendar day that commemorates the breach of Jerusalem’s walls before the destruction of the Second Temple. Although Lev doesn’t normally abstain from food and drink on this minor Jewish fast day, he wanted to do so this year in the name of nonviolence as intense fighting continued in Israel, Gaza and beyond..."
"Jesus may teach that it is better to give than to receive, but it may be that receiving is actually the more difficult task, at least when it comes to compliments. Most people are actually quite generous when it comes to offering compliments. Accepting them is a whole other deal.Personally, I often find it really difficult to simply and graciously accept a compliment. How about you?
"Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 15th is a fast day in Jewish tradition. It is called the 17th of Tammuz, named after the date on the Hebrew calendar. It is a minor fast, meaning that the fast lasts only from sun up to sun down. It commemorates, among other things, the breaching of Jerusalem’s walls which led to the destruction of the Second Temple..."
In light of the recent escalation of violence in Israel and the Gaza strip, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield reminds us that whichever side of the argument you stand on, arguing about the facts won't get us any closer to peace but demonstrating compassion for those lost on both sides, may help us get closer to it. He urges us to remember the names of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaar and feel compassion for all four boys not just those we identify with.
From Odyssey Networks’s FAITH ON THE RECORD
"...what has been most challenging for me personally has been the internal tension between my liberal values and my loyalty to Israel—and I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way...Morality, Haidt argues, isn’t just one thing. It has five main different facets to it—care for others, justice and fairness, loyalty, respect for authority, and a sense of sanctity. Liberals, he notes, tend to focus mainly on the first two (care and justice), and feel much less strongly about the other three (loyalty, authority and sanctity).
"How do you live well? And when the times comes, how do you die well? There is no single or simple answer to either of those questions, but there is real wisdom that can help us all to answer those questions better. This story in the New York Times and its accompanying video describe, with exquisite poignancy, different patients' experiences in a long term care hospital i.e. a place where people may reside for years, but very few of whom will ever recover from the diseases which brought them there.
"What does America mean to you? What does America stand for? Over Independence Day, I read the Declaration of Independence as a sacred practice. If there is one phrase in the Declaration of Independence that defines the American way it is that we are "endowed by (our) creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". What a remarkable intuition about what America is.