Clal makes the gifts of Jewish tradition accessible tools for spiritual growth and development.
Brad Hirschfield highlights the fact that Secretary of State John Kerry officially labelled as genocide the acts being perpetrated against Christians, Shiite Muslims and Yazidis by ISIS.
“This is a historic statement, ” he reminds us, “what does it mean to call something something if it doesn’t move us to action? ” View Rabbi Hirschfield's discussion below.
From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD
"...The problem is clear. The economics of ostensibly traditional ways to ‘do Jewish’ – such as high-price Kosher foods and high-cost synagogue dues – narrowcasts Judaism toward the affluent, which in turn lifts costs higher. The result is that for many, cost is either a real barrier to doing Jewish, or a psychological barrier to doing Jewish – and either way it's a serious problem for the inclusivity and continuity of Jewish life...."
"...We should have known when he wanted to build a wall. We should have known when he wanted to register an entire religion. We should have known when he wanted to bar an entire People. We should have known when we no longer allow our children to watch debates because of his barbaric language. And so, we have to know right now, as he encourages bullies to swarm and punch those who protest his ways. You know a real bully when he won't fight himself.
"...What if we don’t need to live each day like it's our last, and could get the same benefits from merely imagining it to be so? Perhaps all we really need is a ‘carpe diem’ thought exercise. No major commitment or drastic life change. Those resolutions never take, anyway. Just a simple thought exercise...."
"...In the current political season in the US, there is much to cause outrage and, on its surface, it is no laughing matter. Other colleagues have commented on this blog about the coarseness of the political discourse and the dangerous hate-mongering of Donald Trump. Should he become the Republican nominee, there are real fears about the chaos he could sow, not only within the political system, but among citizens who are being encouraged to express and act upon the basest of human emotions.
"...One night we discussed the existence of God;
Like a prophet he spoke with conviction.
He explained how we are abandoned
In a universe indifferent to light.
His logic was sound and my arguments weak;
I cried for the loss of my innocence...."
"...what I love about Pi is that it is not a rational number at all. That means that in addition to not being able to express it as a fraction, it is actually a never-ending and never-repeating sequence. Pi, like life, just keeps moving along. I love that. And not only does it keep moving along, it keeps moving ever closer to greater precision and accuracy, but we all accept that it will never get there...."
"...The election is being discussed everywhere these days. Your kids, no matter how old, are aware of it. Talk with them, share your views with them, and involve them in the process. It is one of the best ways to fulfill our civic duty."
"On a given Friday night, Rabbi Dan Ain can more likely be found celebrating Shabbat in a jazz club or in a Brooklyn warehouse than in a synagogue. Known to many as ‘Rabbi Dan,’ Ain seems just like any other one of his congregants — a motley group of musicians and concert goers, shakers and seekers, and young families looking to get spiritual...
"...I am concerned that so many in our nation are so focused on supporting the candidate(s) with whom we resonate that we may automatically demonize their political counterparts because of their otherness - that is: they are not like us. They don’t say the things we do, or seem to espouse the values we embrace. This reaction may be human. It may have its roots in our ancient tribal instincts — but I also sense that it is dangerous.