Tag: Israel


Breathing, Curiosity and Blame: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (Oct. 19-23), we examined why moments of boredom are profoundly beneficial, how blame can make serious crises all the more difficult to solve, what it takes to “go public” with your political beliefs, what secular students seek by formally studying religious traditions… and more. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   Beyond Bored: Entering the Soul of Creativity – Adam Lavitt Recently, I introduced meditation to my high school spirituality class. I joined them, closing my eyes, peeking......

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A Good Point About Shifting Blame

Over the past few weeks, Arab terrorists have launched a wave of bloody violence against Jewish Israelis unparalleled since the Second Intifada. Of course, this recent violence did not erupt devoid of context. Decades of moral failings on both sides of the conflict have indeed created fertile conditions for fear and anger to fester. At the same time, with a desire to demonstrate awareness of that context, and a well-meaning urge to express sensitivity to the concerns of all parties involved, it seems some have come to the conclusion that this murderous......

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Wigs, Firearms and History: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (Oct. 12-16), we wrote about the gun violence debate and our collective responsibility, the Columbus Day detractors and which historical events are worth celebrating, the freedom people find when they let go of old beauty standards, an inspiring book about the art of well-being… and more. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   Breaking America’s Addiction to Guns – Irwin Kula One shoe bomb attempt and we all have to take off our shoes at the airport… A......

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Civilians Under Attack in the Middle East

There have been recent attacks on Israeli citizens who are going about their lives, including a rash of stabbing assaults, and all eyes are on the Israeli response and the efforts to restore some order. While visiting Jerusalem this week, I’m seeing the effects of this recent mayhem in the streets: “It’s not that I’m saying that Israel is blameless all the time, but what’s going on now is terror…People are feeling spooked without letting rage or anger take over.” Watch my recent appearance on The Daily Wrap, discussing this topic:......

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Praying Into the Void for a Connection

A fascinating “missed connection” ad on Craigslist from a man seeking a woman he hasn’t seen in four decades got me thinking about the many forms that prayer takes, including a powerful ritual in my childhood of writing down my hopes and wishes. When I was a young boy, my family would fly to Israel at least once a year, staying in the south with my Israeli family, and venturing regularly up north to visit Jerusalem, too. Whether by bus or car, I would always use the travel time to agonize over......

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Reading President Obama and the Iran Deal, From the Bottom Up

Whether you support President Obama and the deal with Iran, oppose it, are genuinely uncertain about where you stand, or even if you are just plain tired of the ongoing debate about it, I have an article for you. Former Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, and long-time communal leader Alan Solow, a friend, counselor and board member of Clal, publisher of The Wisdom Daily, wrote an opinion piece for JTA, which is worth the few short minutes it will take you to read. It will actually make......

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Judaism in America: It's (Probably) the End of the World as We Know It

This post originally appeared on Patheos.com: We Jews, however we understand ourselves and our Jewishness, are more integrally linked to the larger American culture in which we live than perhaps any previous generation of diaspora Jews, including past generations of American Jews. We are, like it or not, fully at home here. This is not some 21st-century version of Germany in the early 20th century, or a variation on Spain in the 12th. It’s not even that I don’t believe in Israel. I do, and am proud to call myself a Zionist,......

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Can Peace Be Bought and Sold?

Just about everything wrong with American/Western diplomacy in the Middle East in general, and with Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy in particular, is embodied by the study in this New York Times report, “Profit as an Incentive for Israeli-Palestinian Peace.” The Rand Corporation (a nonprofit that researches public policy, with clients including the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) actually spent two years and $2 million compiling a 228-page study on the “opportunity costs” that would come with an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. Their conclusion: If an independent Palestine was to emerge tomorrow,......

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Giving, Rebelling and Slowing Down: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (April 20-24), we took a look at what may finally be slowing the pace of the tech revolution, how we rationalize our decisions to make sacrifices, why Israeli food represents more than local flavor, what keeps us from seeing our neighbors in need, and where women are rebelling against religious rules. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   If Our Tech Revolution Slows Down, What’s Next? – Brad Hirschfield Fifty years ago this week, an important prediction by......

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The Violent Reaction to Women of the Wall

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: Religious freedom is in the news again, as Israelis rebel against rules about where and how women can pray. This week, some at the Western Wall in Jerusalem reacted violently when members of the advocacy group Women of the Wall defied traditional (gender-based) restrictions on public expressions of faith. An angry riot reportedly ensued among the ultra-Orthodox witnesses, and I thought about this: “Why would people behave that way? What was going on? Where does love of your fellow Jew, also a tradition, factor......

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