Welcome to The Wisdom Daily, a new site for political, cultural and spiritual commentary and analysis. Brad Hirschfield and Irwin Kula started The Wisdom Daily because as rabbis, guides and “explainers of things,” they are in a unique position to impact people.
You may be surprised to see a site that is run by a Jewish nonprofit to not only have Jewish writers, and to rarely write about specifically Jewish topics. That’s because our approach is that our organization, publication, and writing come from an “inside-out” perspective. One in which we are informed by our beliefs but are motivated to turn them into improving the entire world. That means that every person on earth has something to contribute, and that wisdom is a shared reality.
And even further, we see an enormous gap in the online publishing world. In a world where more and more people are becoming “nones”, the type of people who are spiritual but not religious, or religious but not allowing themselves to be defined by the usual constructs, there is little if any wisdom shared among or with such people. We love this movement, and believe deeply that our role is to start sharing thoughts, wisdom, and reflections for those who love living in the grey instead of the black-and-white.
- Help people address the biggest questions we face both as individuals and a society
- Lift people out of the mind-numbing polarization that typify most public debate and spiritual teaching
- Offer people greater purpose and happiness in their daily lives
About the Founders
Brad and Irwin are good friends, intellectual compatriots and partners in this endeavor. Together, they bring ancient wisdom traditions to life, making them part of the most important current conversations and inviting the widest possible range of people to find their place within them.
The Wisdom Daily is the rabbis’ latest collaboration. Brad and Irwin also serve as co-presidents of CLAL,The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. Founded in 1974, CLAL is a leadership training institute, think tank and resource center in New York City, developing Jewish wisdom as a public resource and creating innovative solutions to the political, cultural and spiritual challenges of contemporary American life.
To be alive at this moment, means that you probably have a lot of fears, questions, hopes and aspirations, without quite knowing how to address the negative thoughts and to fully realize the positive ones. That’s what wisdom is all about – it’s about being able to see, at any moment, which responses are the right ones for you to embrace.
With wisdom, you can pick any issue with sharp polarization — cultural, political, professional – and think about, “What am I really looking for at this moment?” Don’t be distracted by the responses you don’t like. Let them instead be an entry to the questions you need to ask, and perspectives you probably need to consider, in order to have the life you want, the family you want, the country you want, the world you want.
Brad has been featured on ABC’s Nightline UpClose, PBS’s Frontline and National Public Radio. He currently writes a column, “For God’s Sake,” for the Washington Post, and his writing has also been featured in The Huffington Post and Beliefnet.com. Brad authored the book, You Don’t Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism and, with Irwin, hosted a weekly radio show, “Hirschfield and Kula.” For several years in a row Brad was ranked in Newsweek’s “50 Most Influential Rabbis” list, and has been recognized as a leading “Preacher & Teacher” by Beliefnet.
We are always looking at how relationships between people can transcend ideological roadblocks. When we instinctively disagree with someone’s opinion, we ask, “How can that person have that point of view?” and rarther than demonize that positive, try to identify with the partial truth found within it. We nurture conversations in which the other person is not dismissed, but rather is someone sees the issue differently than you.
When people do this, they will automatically slow down, they will take a moment to think.
That is part of the skill set that wisdom helps us, as individuals, to cultivate. Wisdom gives us the ability to figure out the ethics of speed management in a world that’s shifted, historically, from “everything moves so slowly” to “everything moves so darn fast.”
Irwin’s writing has been featured in The Huffington Post and the Washington Post. He is the author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life and a co-editor of The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices: CLAL’s Guide to Everyday & Holiday Rituals and Blessings. Irwin has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The O’Reilly Factor and PBS Frontline. He hosted a 13-part public TV series, “Simple Wisdom with Irwin Kula,” and a public TV special. With Brad, Irwin hosted a weekly radio show, “Hirschfield and Kula.” He is a recipient of 2008 Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award. Irwin also has been honored on Newsweek’s “50 Most Influential Rabbis” list, and recognized as a spiritual thought leader by both Fast Company magazine and PBS.