On June 25, Rabbi Irwin has been invited to the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival to introduce and frame the riveting new documentary, Precious Life, by Israeli journalist Shlomi Elder. The film looks at hospitals, one of the few remaining links between Israelis and Palestinians. Following a lead to a desperate Palestinian family trying to save their immune-deficient baby, the film offers a complex story through a hopeful, humanist lens.
"...The article was filed from Troyes, France — the city where Rashi, perhaps the most widely read biblical commentator lived, and where he also produced wine along with wisdom. For me, this was captivating stuff."
Sunset Kirtan at the IRIS Gardens, (238-1 Towpath Rd., Accord, NY) Sat., July 16. All chi’d up after a full-day workshop with Tai Chi master teacher Rick Barrett, greet the sunset by chanting with the Kirtan Rabbi Andrew Hahn. Featuring Akiva ("The Believer") Wharton on percussion. Join for the whole day, 10 am-4:30 pm, or just for Kirtan, 6:30-8:30 pm. No previous experience with tai chi or chant necessary. For more information, go to kirtanrabbi.com
"New York Congressman Charlie Rangel can’t decide which religious teachers to invoke, and he keeps waffling about whether he actually knows what they would say, but it’s pretty clear to him that whatever the faith, they would be totally opposed to any politics other than Mr. Rangel’s. That’s a pretty arrogant claim, especially for someone who refuses to be pinned down about the specific response he believes would be offered..."
Rabbi Brad Hirschfield responds to questions via video on topics of the day. Today: Debt/deficit negotiations, and the scandal at News International and the public's role.
"Rabbi Irwin Kula...has said of ‘Miral,’...that what’s missing in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a ‘lack of empathy on both sides.’ Miral ‘is fundamentally a meditation on empathy.’ That only begs the question: In recent years, how many films have been made — anywhere — with empathy for, say, West Bank settlers?
"...When Mr. Rangel asks, “What would Jesus do?” or considers what Moses, Muhammad, or the Buddha would say regarding our fiscal woes, he makes a colossal and all-too-typical mistake by assuming that they would certainly agree with him..."
In a letter to the editor responding to an opinon piece entitled ‘Bolton’s insight was invaluable’ Joe Berkofsky of the Jewish Federations of North America was critical, saying "it fails to mention the other speakers at the event, who covered a broad spectrum of topics in the Jewish world. The afternoon included presentations from Jewish federation executives Steven Nasatir of Chicago and John Ruskay of New York, as well as Rabbi Irwin Kula...
"Rosh Ha’ayin [Israel] celebrated the Grand Opening of its promenade and the success was even beyond expectations. The cornerstone of the opening was the 2,000 food tastings and cooking demonstrations created by the New Orleans chefs, Israelis chefs, and volunteers including Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, Alan Franco, and countless others..."
"...The cartoon published by Richard Falk, United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, is not only anti-Semitic, as charged by ADL head Abe Foxman, it is also obviously anti-American. But the worst thing about the cartoon is that it is not surprising..."