Jewish Toolkit

The Wisdom Daily: Praying Into the Void for a Connection October 7, 2015

"...after reading this devastatingly beautiful ‘Missed Connection’ recently, I'm reminded once again that the mere act of bravely setting our prayers free – into the void – can be just as beneficial to our souls as the actual thing we're asking for. The Craigslist poster, unidentified thus far, reaches into the virtual abyss to connect with someone he met 43 years ago.

The Wisdom Daily: Who Would You Wish to Spend One Last Day With? October 6, 2015

"If there were any person in your life, living or dead, with whom you could spend one last day, who would it be? And how would you spend that day? No, I'm not stealing this question from college applications. I'm feeling the pain of the mass murder at Umpqua Community College in Oregon and the killings of Eitam and Na'ama Henkin in Israel. The deep desire to hold close those I love is definitely part of my response...."

Brad Hirschfield on A Wedding Made Unforgettable by Dad’s Decision October 2, 2015

At Brittany Peck's wedding in Ohio last month, she reportedly worried about who should walk her down the aisle. Putting her feelings first, her father surprised guests when he reached a hand out to Brittany's stepfather, pulled him from his seat, put their animosity aside and insisted that he participate in the bride's entrance. The wedding photos taken by Delia Blackburn have gone viral, and it's clear why according to Brad Hirschfield: "There are probably more good partners in our lives than we realize [and] the kind of love and open-hearted honesty that led to that moment? We all need more of it."

From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD

The Wisdom Daily: Can You Learn to Love Navigating Transitions? October 1, 2015

"When I was the parent of a toddler, I learned that transitions are hard. Toddlers don't have a clear sense of time, so hearing "the playdate will be over at noon" doesn't necessarily help them prepare. They may not have much agency in their lives, so acceding to changes may feel like yet another place where they aren't in control. And they don't have the life experience to know that everything ends - so to them, every ending is a new heartbreak...."

The Wisdom Daily: Shelter Me -- Faith in an Imperfect World September 30, 2015

"At this time of year, what is the importance of the sukkah? The temporary shelter stands with a roof made of branches that do not provide a full cover. If it rains, the inside is made unusable and a very strong wind may knock it down. And yet we plan the weeklong autumnal holiday of Sukkot to be spent eating (and in some places, sleeping) under it.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Small But Proud Jewish Communities September 28, 2015

"I grew up in a fairly small Jewish community. In the ’80s, Austin, Texas was not the cool mecca it is today. There was one small Reform synagogue and one small Conservative synagogue. There was only one other Jewish kid in my class in grade school. I remember each year having to explain to my teacher that I would be out for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and having her say, “Russia what?”..."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: What Are You Doing Tomorrow? September 25, 2015

"...How can we move forward in the midst of ‘real life?’ What is the essential message that we can call on each day, whenever faced with a personal challenge, an old habit, a new emotional injury? I feel that that message is, simply, to engage all others with the loving kindness due to a whole and striving soul, while remembering that we, too, are whole and striving – always bringing ourselves, our baggage and our dreams into every exchange in which we engage...."

Irwin Kula on MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts - Pre-empted September 24, 2015

Pre-empted: Today between 2:30 and 3 pm, Rabbi Irwin Kula will be on MSNBC Live talking with Thomas Roberts about the meaning of the Pope's visit to the United States. Watch for a clip, as it becomes available, on watch here between 2:30 and 3 pm.

From MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: The True, Smelly, Dirty, World of the Sukkah September 24, 2015

"...on Sukkot we live in our father Abraham’s tent, that tent open on all sides to welcome those who need food and shelter. On Sukkot, we are earthy, earthly, creatures who get wet in the rain and dirty sleeping on the ground. We are reminded that we have nothing, really, and must rely on the kindness and grace that comes to us. We live the truth. And this should bring us joy. It is the moment in which we can remember that we are no different than any homeless person we see on the street...."

Pope Francis, a Rabbi, Mercy, and Rosh Hashanah September 16, 2015

"I know the title, Pope Francis, a Rabbi, Mercy, and Rosh Hashanah, sounds a bit like the set up for an old Borscht Belt routine. It is anything but.

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