Tag: Freedom


Fear, ISIS and the American Way: A Refugee's Reflections on 35 Years in the United States

Fear is an odd thing. A fearful instinct telegraphs an imminent danger to you, allowing you to be alert and protective. Fear in the wake of national tragedy or an act of terrorism is a common response. What we do with such fear in the wake of ISIS attacks and threats will reflect the best or the worst of our humanity, values, and character. For many Americans it also a spiritual question about the soul of what makes us American. My life took an unexpected turn in 1980. I was hurriedly sent......

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Passover, Freedom, and Martyrdom: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (March 30-April 3), we discussed the start of Passover and the discussion of freedom that surrounds this time. We were struck by a friend’s birthday celebration and the art of giving and receiving. And, we reflected on the Pope’s Holy Week address and the debate around Indiana’s new Religious Freedom law. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   Is Focusing on Martyrdom Really the Way To Go? – Brad Hirschfield Palm Sunday opened Holy Week on Sunday, as......

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How Free Are We? The Job of Passover

What makes this night different from all other nights? More people experience Passover Seder across more backgrounds than any other Jewish practice. On this night people all over the world engage in an evening long meditation on freedom… a dramatic mix of story telling and singing, drinking and eating, all designed to get one job done: Help us become genuinely free. How free are we? The Seder is a three-step meditation on the journey inviting us to realize: Wherever we are, we are in Egypt… in some way. There is always a......

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At Your Service: The Heart of Passover

Passover 2015 begins Friday, April 3, at sundown. It’s the most widely celebrated Jewish holiday in America and is often called the Festival of Freedom, as it celebrates the biblical Israelites’ exodus (hence the English name of the second book of the Hebrew Bible) from slavery in Egypt.?But what does freedom mean, and what sort of freedom does Passover actually celebrate? Well, here’s one way to find out. Try answering this question: What’s a three-word phrase that celebrates freedom? How about this: At your service. The ability and willingness to serve lies......

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The American Dream: A Post Independence Day Reflection

What does America mean to you? What does America stand for? Over Independence Day, I read the Declaration of Independence as a sacred practice. If there is one phrase in the Declaration of Independence that defines the American way it is that we are “endowed by (our) creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. What a remarkable intuition about what America is. As I think about where our country is today – our political and cultural polarization, the unprecedented inequality and economic hardship......

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Celebrate Passover with Braveheart, Roger Daltry and Martin Luther King, Jr.

This week is Passover, and its promise of freedom is for all people and taught by many kinds of teachers in many different ways. Here are three people – none of them Jewish, by the way – who never met each other, but meet in my head and heart this Passover. Each inspires me with their unique voice, and each invites us to ask what freedom means to us. Watch and see. Why is William Wallace’s speech so powerful?? It’s more than Mel Gibson’s delivery, or even the cornflower blue face paint......

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Whose Messiah and Who Decides?

The parents of newborn Messiah DeShawn McCullough ended up in family court when they couldn’t agree on what his last name should be. As is so often the case, they got more than they bargained for when they entered the courtroom of Tennessee judge, Lu Ann Balew. The honorable Ms. Balew quickly resolved the issue of family name, and then quickly turned her attention on the baby’s first name.? The child shall hence forth be known as “Martin”, the declared the judge. Why? According to Her Honor, the reason was clear:? the......

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