Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.
"I received a call this week. The baal koreh who chants the Torah portion at the shul that I attend wanted to know what he should do when he arrives at Leviticus 18:22 in the reading. He felt uncomfortable simply reading the verse this year since I, my partner and child are full members of his community. It was a very moving question for me.
"here was a powerful confluence for me while studying last week's assigned Torah portion alongside news coverage about the April 19 death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. In Baltimore, Gray locked eyes with police and ran; when he was apprehended, officers radioed for a vehicle for transport. By the time the police van pulled into the precinct station, Gray had three broken vertebrae and a fractured voice box. He died of spinal injuries a few days later.
"I believe poetry picked me. It wasn’t my decision. I [subsequently] met filmmaker Richard Kroehling at a conference, and we discussed our mutual love of poetry. I gave him a copy of my book, “How to Spot One of Us.” Two weeks later, we talked about making a film exploring Holocaust poetry. We’re now making BE•HOLD...."
Andrew Hahn, The Kirtan Rabbi, offers three sessions at the Jewish Wisdom and Wellness Festival of Learning from April 29 to May 1, 2015.
Wednesday, April 29 - The Mysterious Healing Power of the Mourners’ Kaddish: Heart, Song and Word. Go deep into the power of the Mourner's Kaddish through meditation, chanting and text study. More information and a video may be found at Jewish Wisdom and Wellness....
Thursday, April 30 - Tai Chi Prayer: Techiyat ha-Meitim and the Tailbone. Get your Chi/ruach on! In this Jewish tai chi class, learn how proper attention to the tailbone and spine is crucial to health, longevity and energy. Information and a video may found may be found at Jewish Wisdom and Wellness....
Friday, May 1 - Kabbalat Shabbat Healing Service. The Kirtan Rabbi joins with Rabbi Neil Commess-Daniels and Cantor Diane Rose for a restorative and balancing service based in music, chant, dance and meditation. Information and a video may be found at Jewish Wisdom and Wellness....
In celebration of the new album, Kirtan Rabbi: Nondual, Rabbi Andrew Hahn is making his first appearance at Craig Taubman’s Pico Union Project in downtown L. A. on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 9:00pm. The evening features the Kirtan Rabbi with Bibi McGill Beyoncé's lead guitarist), Deanna Neil, Jeff Stern, Ethan Phillips, Zack Lodmer of OmShalom Yoga and others to be announced.
"...At this complex moment in Israel-diaspora relations, service is an approach that deserves focused attention. Unprecedented numbers of young Jews are coming of age with deep questions about Israel, and many of them are unlikely to walk through the doors of any institutions in our existing communal infrastructure, like Hillels, AIPAC, or Jewish Federations. However, if we provide Next Gen Jews with ways to come to Israel to live out their values, we may be able to connect them to their Jewish identity in a different way. Next Gen Jews strongly identify as global citizens. Thousands of them travel all over the developing world with dozens of emerging new programs that give them a chance to help at-risk populations. It is critical that we provide such opportunities in Israel as well, and Yahel was created to do just that..."
"... Now if you think that Israel is perfect, think again. Of course very few people actually think that, and yet they love the place nonetheless. Wonder why? Re-read the list. And if you think Israel is a disaster, think again, as well. It's always easier to make our love - or our hate for that matter - contingent on a simplistic, "all or nothing at all" approach. But while it's easier, it's almost never wiser..."
"...But I also think there is a deep lesson we, as American Jews, can draw from Yom Hazikaron. The force that makes Yom Hazikaron so powerful to Israelis is its existentialilty, its visceral nature. What if we were to begin to treat the Jewish holidays here in the same way? What if we were to teach and celebrate Hanukkah, Purim, and other core Jewish holidays not as (quasi-)historical remnants of our tradition but as living, breathing embodiments of our present-day Jewish identity?..."
"...(Brad) Hirschfield said in order for reparations to be made between the women's group and the ultra-Orthodox community, both sides will need to make compromises — and he believes there is reason for hope.
"I think we could find some common ground," he said. "How do you factor in the love of a fellow co-religionist so whatever outrage you feel could be expressed with less hostility and violence? That's the first place to start."
"...Children of survivors live in dual and occasionally dueling realities. On one hand, we did not ourselves witness the horrors of that time. There are some things we cannot know and we cannot feel. On the other hand, our knowledge of what happened to our families is so intimate that our senses - of suffering, pain, and fear - are exceptionally heightened.