The scheduled execution of Clayton Lockett by the State of Oklahoma went terribly wrong Tuesday night when the cocktail of drugs administered did not provide the swift, antiseptic death promised by "lethal injection." Instead, Lockett died of a heart attack following a gruesome reaction to the drugs. "No matter how clean and tidy we try to make the death penalty, the bottom line is we are killing people," says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield.
"Whatever political views we have on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is pretty clear that conventional diplomacy has resulted in all process and little peace. And whatever the desire for peace on either side, for a variety of ideological, political, cultural, historical, and theological reasons, the psychic reward and security that comes from maintaining and "managing" the conflict is for just about everyone greater than the imagined rewards for peace.
"Working with remarkable speed and efficiency, but perhaps with more limited wisdom, the NBA is fining Donald Sterling $2.5 million, barring him from further contact with his team, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that he would "do everything in (his) power" to force Sterling to sell the Clippers. Really? Don't get me wrong, Sterling said some pretty gross and hurtful things, and I believe in consequences. I am just not so sure about these..."
"When you picture a racist, what images spring to mind? I ask, because in a single week, my own answer to that question has come to include to images of otherwise seemingly innocent types, and in that shift, lay important cautions regarding identifying and combating racism...You don’t have to fit someone’s stereotype of what a racist is, to be racist...."
"Falling apart is a kind of strength. At least, that’s what I’m learning as I reflect this week on the meaning of “strength.” During the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot, Jewish tradition invites us to sefirat ha’omer. Literally, it means “counting of the measure” of barley. And, in ancient Israel, for seven weeks people took daily account of the ripening of the grain.
"At the fifth anniversary of the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards on Friday, April 25th, we will honor the Sputnik satellite as a major disruptive innovation that shook the world. We will also honor Olympic high jumper Dick Fosbury, who caused a storm in the 1968 Olympics by winning a gold medal and setting the world record all by jumping over the bar backwards...."
Tribeca Film Festival and Disruptor Foundation (Irwin Kula is a co-founder) announced honorees for the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, being held today in NYC. Ranging from the CEO of Kickstarter, to the creator of the Cronut, to a high school football coach, among many others, these honorees are celebrated for showing innovation at its best.
"If you were asked who you love, what would your intuitive answer be? Your life partner? Your kids? Perhaps your parents? Would you even think to immediately include yourself on the list? Your answer can enhance or diminish your ability to give and receive the love you most want. Giving and getting love are about the most fundamental human needs there are. Can you fully imagine the pain of never having been loved or of loving another? I hope not! I hope instead, that we all find ways to deepen and widen our ability to love and to be loved. It turns out that the key to that capacity probably begins closer to home than we often realize...."
The U.S. Army announced this week that active duty personnel will now have the option of claiming "humanist" as a religious preference. According to the American Humanist Society, humanism is a philosophy that "without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead meaningful, ethical lives capable of adding to the greater good of humanity." Some people of faith may take issue with the decision, but Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, President of Clal and co-Founder and Executive Editor of TheWisdomDaily.com sees this as a victory for people of all faiths. "When it comes to matters of the spirit, there are as many ways to elevate our souls, enrich our lives and contribute to the world as there are people who may want to."
"If imagination be the food of disruption, is the Bard also to be considered worthy of a TriBeCa Disruptive Innovation Award? My fellow fellows - Craig Hatkoff, Rabbi Irwin Kula and Jason Silva - To be or not to be?...Rabbi Irwin Kula: The earliest surviving mention of William Shakespeare's work was a classic critique of the sorts disruptive innovators regularly hear...The attack on Shakespeare was essentially a challenge of credentials and expertise: who gets to be the custodian of knowledge.