Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

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The Kindness of Strangers

Published under Introspection, Religion May 26, 2015

This is a really beautiful story of kindness. Hessed is the Hebrew  word for compassion and loving-kindness, and according to Ethics of Our Fathers, is one of three pillars that support the world. For me, Hessed is the essence of Judaism as well as its foundation, and it is what I love the most about the Jewish religion.

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On Toleration in Theology

Published under Religion Feb 18, 2015

 

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Islam has a problem right now

Published under Middle East, Religion Oct 09, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The challenge of anti-Semitism

Published under Israel, Religion Aug 24, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why I’m an Anti-Anti-Zionist

Published under Israel, Palestine, Religion Aug 18, 2014

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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.

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Shana Tova

Published under Introspection, Religion Sep 08, 2013

A nice thought for the new year from Aish after the jump.

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