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Jewish Wisdom

Go Make Mistakes!

Rabbi Laura Baum | Posted 03.11.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Laura Baum

If we are not making mistakes, we are not pushing ourselves hard enough. So, my suggestion for all of us between now and 2014 is to go out and make mistakes! And each time we mess up, let's consider what we can do differently next time.

Pharaoh, Climate Change Skeptic

Howard J. Curzer | Posted 03.10.2013 | Religion
Howard J. Curzer

This week, we read the classic example of a leader who strays from the middle of the road to the edge, and eventually into the ditch: Pharaoh. We in the modern world should take note.

New Year, Better Year

Rabbi Mary Zamore | Posted 03.10.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Mary Zamore

When we consider the great tasks in front of us, we easily freeze not knowing where to start, because we can not be sure that we will see the end of our work. Rabbi Tarfon reminds us that engaging in the task is most important.

Gun Owners: Who Will Stand Up And Say, 'Enough!'

Rabbi Aaron Alexander | Posted 03.08.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Aaron Alexander

We now find ourselves in a liminal space, knowing that this is precisely the time in which we, together, will either effectively address our country's obsession with limitless and needlessly violent weaponry, or slide back into our typically self-focused and detached existence.

The Nature Of Intelligence

Rabbi Manis Friedman | Posted 02.27.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Manis Friedman

In our fast-paced society, good-sense intelligence is being replaced by artificial intelligence. We are accomplishing more than ever before because we have to think less than ever before. And yet this explosion of accomplishment is not creating a happier society. How can we re-learn and re-teach the art of fine intelligence?

New Year's Resolutions And Jewish Thought

S.R. Hewitt | Posted 02.27.2013 | Religion
S.R. Hewitt

As we prepare for the new calendar year, it is interesting to look at the Jewish nature of some of the most common New Year's Resolutions.

Seeking Wisdom From Our Families During the Holidays: Genesis 47:28-50:26

Rabbi Joshua Stanton | Posted 02.24.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Stanton

Too rarely do we appreciate these cheery winter holidays as an opportunity for spiritual engagement, life review or reflection. Even more rarely do we pause to realize that the family and friends with whom we spend these celebrations are more than fellow partygoers, but potential sources of inspiration for our lives.

Dreaming Together For Change

Rabbi Rachel Ain | Posted 02.20.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Rachel Ain

Today, we must find the dreamers and the actors in our time. We must speak out. We must speak up, and we must do so today. It is the time to talk about gun control. It is time to help those who have mental illness.

Praying For Comfort And Strength

Rabbi William Plevan | Posted 02.20.2013 | Religion
Rabbi William Plevan

What do we do now in the face of tragedy? Though Joseph may have, we do not need to have capacity to forgive; that can be for some other time. Right now we need to build our capacity for light, for hope and for strength, slowly, one candle at a time.

Unnecessary Danger: A Reflection On Guns, Violence And Personal Safety

Rabbi Aaron Alexander | Posted 02.20.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Aaron Alexander

Having guns is dangerous for those who own them as well as those who are around them. Nobody can argue with that. Sure, experts are safer. Then let's require our gun users/owners to be actual experts.

Continue To Light The Flames

Rabbi Evan Schultz | Posted 02.20.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Evan Schultz

We must not wait around for miracles. Only we can counteract the evils in our world. Only we can impart upon our children a vision of light, of hope for the future, and pray for them to find a way to actualize that dream.

Lights Against The Darkness

Arnold M. Eisen | Posted 02.19.2013 | Religion
Arnold M. Eisen

The news about the school shootings in Connecticut reached me just before Shabbat, the seventh day of Hanukkah. Candle-lighting seemed more needed than usual that evening.

After Sandy Hook, Bringing Heaven Down To Earth

Tzipah Wertheimer | Posted 02.18.2013 | Religion
Tzipah Wertheimer

The issues haven't changed: guns, mental health, memories of the victims. All of these issues require action. If you're looking for something you can do today, the statement from the Pozner family of Newtown, who lost their son Noah, speaks volumes.

Love Creation, Pursue Peace: A Jewish Perspective On Gun Control

Rabbi Ben Greenberg | Posted 02.18.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Ben Greenberg

We can no longer tolerate the imposed silence on this issue. For the sake of the innocents lost, we must no longer be silent.

Jewish Teachings To Help Kids Cope With Sandy Hook And Beyond

Sharon Duke Estroff | Posted 02.18.2013 | Religion
Sharon Duke Estroff

As a Jewish parent, I have a set of resources at my fingertips seemingly custom designed to help raise strong, resilient, compassionate children who can cope in the face of hardship.

Let's All Be Children For A Day: Reflections On The Sandy Hook Tragedy

Rabbi Berel Lerman | Posted 02.18.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Berel Lerman

In memory of the beautiful little children and adults whose lives were cut short by a manic monster, let us evoke our childlike innocence and bring more goodness into the world.

Preventing Gun Violence: A Jewish Moral Imperative

Rabbi Van Lanckton | Posted 02.17.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Van Lanckton

We must not stand idly by while assault weapons and high capacity gun magazines are freely bought and sold and wind up in the hands of murderers. Every American must join the fight to oppose this slaughter and to fight for sensible gun safety legislation.

The Hanukkah Miracle Of Re-dedication

Matisyahu | Posted 02.09.2013 | Religion

There is always something -- a little spark of divinity, a little oil to make a ray of light to shine in the darkness -- something we can take hold of and use to re-build our lives. All it takes is a little light, a little hope to get started.

Servant To The Light: The Ninth Candle

Laura Berman Fortgang | Posted 02.09.2013 | Religion
Laura Berman Fortgang

As the attendant to the light, the Shamash is responsible for lighting all the others. So too, each of us is a light. We have the choice as to whether we live from that lit-up place or ignore our light.

5 Lessons Of Hanukkah To Unwrap

Ellen Frankel | Posted 02.09.2013 | Religion
Ellen Frankel

Too often, the holidays have become commercialized and the season can feel pressured with shopping and rushing and planning. Taking a step back can offer the opportunity to connect with the wisdom of tradition and to rekindle the spirit of today and the hope of tomorrow.

Jewish Mysticism Illustrated

Sarah Lehat | Posted 02.02.2013 | Religion
Sarah Lehat

Today, the 19th day of the Hebrew month Kislev, is widely celebrated as the anniversary of the Alter Rebbe's release from prison by the Czar Paul I of Russia in 1798. Elanit Kayne, a contemporary artist, has evolved an iconography of the Tanya, the Alter Rebbe's famous book.

Sandy And The Flooded Home: Reading Genesis For Post-Storm Insights

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Mishael Zion

After the natural disaster, begins the race among readers of holy texts to say something stupid regarding the "reason" for the suffering. This is especially tempting when the weekly Torah portion, Vayera, is the tale of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Being All Mother

Sara Esther Crispe | Posted 12.16.2012 | Religion
Sara Esther Crispe

The Torah calls Eve, the first woman, em kol chai, "the mother of all life," before she ever gives birth to a child. I wonder if we could read the biblical phrase another way. The words Em Kol could mean "all mother."

Uplevel Twitter Swastikas With Jewish Pride And Universal Love

Eitan Press | Posted 12.10.2012 | Religion
Eitan Press

This week the hashtag #卐卐卐 got its 15 minutes of Twitter fame as a trending topic, but also stirred up a lot of bad feelings and raised some difficult questions.

Discovering The Symphony Of Life On Shemini Atzeret

Rabbi Edward Bernstein | Posted 12.07.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Edward Bernstein

This work calls upon us to imitate God in order to bring God's presence into our lives and the lives of others. On Shemini Atzeret, we think about God seeking to linger in our presence because God needs us as much as we need God.