“The weak can never forgive.
Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
Archive for September, 2013
Taking a note from George Saunders’s commencement address at Syracuse in the spring, Kathleen McCartney, the new president of Smith College, started off her school year by calling attention to the failures of kindness and reminding her students of the strength in being kind.
“The kindness you find here — the kindness you create here — is and will be just as powerful as the diploma you will bring with you into the world beyond the Grécourt Gates. It can open doors. It can open minds. It can close divides.”
Read her full speech after the jump. Wishing everyone a kinder school year for 2013-2014.
I read about efforts by the Reform and Conservative movements of Judaism to revise the way Bar Mitzvahs are being conducted and to explore how the rite of passage can deepen the bond with the B’nei Mitzvah and their families. It is the type of refreshing idea that is so obviously on target that in retrospect makes you wonder why nobody had led such a charge before.
Rethinking how we train for and conduct Bar Mitzvahs is urgently needed. Not only should we do away with the Vegas-type excesses of some parties, but as the NYT article below shares, B’nei Mitzvah offer the opportunity for kids that are becoming men and women to learn their roles in making this a better world – a critical concept of Judaism, tikkun olam, and one that makes me most proud of my heritage and religion.
We should not stop at supporting social projects that kids can adopt that year. We should use the Bar Mitzvah training year to educate kids about how Judaism extols us to be mentshes (good human beings). Pirkei Avot – The Ethics of Our Fathers – is the type of jewel that I think is often skipped in favor of more traditional but less spiritual, inspirational and value-centric teaching in temple. It makes all the sense in the world to me that instead of rote repetition of words kids may not understand, we should invest in ethical guidance that will serve them for the rest of their lives, not to mention connect them to their faith with greater pride.
New research confirms that juice is not a good substitute for actual fruit consumption, according to the New York Times Well Blog. Juice has a high glycemic index, so it can spike up your blood sugar levels. In contrast, fruit with its fiber and pulp absorbs itself into the bloodstream at a slower pace. And certain fruits like blueberries help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Read the full story after the jump.