Personal Growth

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Rabbi Brad Hirschfield on Hanukkah - Burn Brighter, Be Stronger December 18, 2014

Hanukkah is a reminder that "there is more to life than meets the eye" says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield. He's devised a simple program to help each of us achieve miracles in our own lives.

From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD

The Wisdom Daily: Hanukkah Not “Jewish Christmas,” Or Is It? December 17, 2014

"Hanukkah 2014 begins tonight, December 15, at sundown. That date corresponds to the 25th of the Hebrew month of Kislev, for you Jewish calendar buffs. And why does the holiday begin at Sundown, not midnight, as all days on the secular calendar? Because according to Jewish tradition, every day begins at sundown..."

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The Wisdom Daily: How the Light of Hanukkah Was Seen in a Post-Katrina New Orleans December 16, 2014

"The lights of Hanukkah come to remind us of one of the important truths of life - That no matter how dark things are, there is always hope. That even if we are down to our last drop of oil, our last ounce of energy, there is always possibility. If we are willing to act, to light that last candle, to take that one step even though we are so afraid, to engage in that one act of kindness, even if it seems as if it won't make any difference at all.

What Hanukkah and Christmas have in common December 16, 2014

"...So, is Hanukkah really the “Jewish Christmas” as people often describe it? The answer to that is both an emphatic “no” and also and equally emphatic “sort of.” While Judaism and Christianity are two distinct traditions, they are related both historically and also in their desire to bring meaning, purpose and love into the lives of all those who open their hearts to them.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Chicago Spiritual Communities Think Outside the Box December 15, 2014

Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann is quoted as saying: “I am part of the generation that demographers are looking at and saying, ‘Oh no, they’re not participating in organized religion. This is the beginning of the end of organized religion in America.' It’s not just happening in Jewish circles. It’s everywhere. But we are spiritually seeking, intellectually seeking.

The Wisdom Daily: Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant: How We Make Comparisons December 15, 2014

"The Chicago Bulls are off to a great start this season, leading their division with a 14-8 record. I know, it’s a long season and there’s little predictive value in such a small sample, but the Bears are beyond bad, and I am a big fan of finding solace where you can, when you can — an approach not limited to sports, by the way.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field:Women Rabbis at Forefront of Pioneering Prayer Communities December 14, 2014

"A decade ago in Los Angeles, two organizations opened their doors with a call to prayer — or they would have if they had any doors to open.Ikar, led by Rabbi Sharon Brous, and Nashuva, led by Rabbi Naomi Levy, were conceived separately.

Brad Hirschfield on Torture or Enhanced Interrogation: Where Do You Stand? December 12, 2014

On December 9, 2014 the U.S. Senate released its report on the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" against detainees suspected of being Al Qaeda fighters during the George W. Bush administration. Whether you call it torture or enhanced interrogation "is the best predictor we have of how you feel about this issue" says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield.

From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD

The Wisdom Daily: How Open Are You to New Points of View? December 11, 2014

"...Old points of view create obstacles preventing us from healing the explicit and implicit racism that still exists in our country. I suggest that, for the foreseeable future, when you hear opinions about race, you take the following three steps:

If you immediately agree with the viewpoint - and feel affirmed by it - ignore it. This is especially the case if the view comes from a person from of a different tribe than yours, and you get a thrill from feeling affirmed. That thrill is actually a sign of uncertainty.

If you reflexively and vehemently disagree with the viewpoint, try not to reject it. Sit with it, and try to locate the partial truth of that viewpont. No one is so smart that they can be 100% wrong, and at some level (be it emotional, psychological, or biographical) there is a truth in someone else's view we need to grasp.

When you get skilled at these two steps - locating at least a partial truth of views with which you disagree at first, not simply enjoying viewpoints with which you already agree - you should then try to identify what might be possibly, partially wrong with your own viewpoint. The more certain we are about our views and opinions, the more important this is.

Trust has broken down in our divided country, and it will not be restored by holding on, ever more fiercely, to our own viewpoints."

Terror Attack Anywhere Is Threat to 'Forces of Decency' Everywhere December 10, 2014

"A knife-wielding terrorist stormed a synagogue, screaming that he "wanted to kill (the) Jews." No this was not in Jerusalem, where a similar attack two weeks ago took the lives of five innocent victims — four rabbis at prayer and a brave Druze police officer who tried to stop the murderers. This attack occurred Tuesday in the Brooklyn, New York, headquarters of Chabad, the world’s largest Hasidic community.

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