Clal makes the gifts of Jewish tradition accessible tools for spiritual growth and development.
As more details emerge as to the causes of the plane crash on Tuesday, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield considers how those who lost loved ones may find meaning in the tragedy. Within all the questions they may be asking themselves, one may be 'Where Was God'?
Rabbi Irwin Kula serves as scholar in Residence at Herzl-Ner Tamid Conservative Congregation in Mercer Island, WA on March 27 and 28th. The congregation’s theme for the weekend is “Re-Imagining American Jewish Life,” and topics include “What is Shabbat’s Job?” and “Beyond the Tribe: Judaism as a Path of Human Flourishing.”
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From Clal 03/26/15
Brad Hirschfield discusses the issues of the day. First, U.S. Army Sgt. Bergdahl charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Are the charges appropriate? Was his return politically motivated? Second, will Kerry be able to close an agreement with Iran? Third, is Mayor de Blasio overreacting and turning NYC preschool into a "Nanny State?"? And many more issues of the day. Hosted by Joe Concha along with panelists Rick Unger and Heather Hansen.
How about this:
At your service
Service to others marks our celebration of freedom from almost the moment the Seder begins...Customs, traditions, etiquette — they all send messages.
The custom that at the Seder each person's cup is filled for them by another guest sends a powerful message indeed.
"...Soon we’ll sit around our tables turning toward one another as we re-tell our sacred story by way of questions and answers exchanged between the generations of our families and community. The mitzvah of the Seder is to teach and learn from all who are present at our tables, all the archetypes and all the paths of Torah we represent. We contribute our divergent perspectives so that we can collectively envision the biblical redemption as relevant to us, here and now..."
"...Over the past few days, I've done an informal poll on how people fill out their brackets. The responses, of course, reflect profoundly different worldviews..."
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"...service to others marks our celebration of freedom from almost the moment the seder begins, where we fill the cups of others and rely on them to do so for us. Customs, traditions, etiquette — they all send messages. The custom that at the seder each person’s cup is filled for them by another guest sends a powerful message indeed: Serving others, not self-service, is actually the highest expression of freedom..."
"...Obviously, it's very easy to critique this as "instant salvation," or the dilution of religion. But I wonder. The idea behind drive-thru prayer is to offer spiritual support to members of the community who are not attached to a traditional faith congregation. This kind of service is designed for people who, for a wide variety of reasons, may be reluctant to walk into an official religious space..."
"...To be sure, triumphs like Leah's move us in part because most people are fundamentally empathic and compassionate - this story connects us to those traits...But wouldn't our world be better if there was no cancer to begin with? Would it not be better if life did not bring inevitable pain and suffering? I know, some will say such painful trials are opportunities for learning and growth. That may be, but that's a mighty high price to pay for learning and growth;..."
"Complaining comes naturally to us; during an average conversation, it's been estimated that people lob complaints at each other about once a minute. How often do we respond to someone who asks how are we doing, "Can't complain," but then go on to gripe about working too hard, or some annoying thing a friend did, or some plan that didn't work out, or a family squabble, or a bad night's sleep, or yet another outrageous politician. Or simply the general state of the world.