Tag: Passover


Family, Poetry and Health: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (April 6-10), we examined the merits of a “good enough” life, a family made extraordinary by loving boys with autism, the art of self-expression through poetry and the spoken word, practical teachings about forgiveness and a new show of leadership regarding American kids’ health and well-being. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   Gratitude for ‘Good Enough’ – Michael Bernstein In?the film Whiplash, drum teacher Terrence Fletcher – played by J.K. Simmons – fervently attests that “the two......

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Gratitude for 'Good Enough'

In the film Whiplash, Terrence Fletcher – the monomaniacal drum teacher played by J.K. Simmons – fervently attests that “the two most dangerous words in the English language are ‘good job.'” Someone hears these words of approval and loses the edge that spurs them to practice harder and go beyond expectations. No longer afraid of failing, their switch is turned off, and the world loses its next great accomplishment. Simmons’ performance is disturbing, and his behavior is never far from the line between discipline and abuse. Yet it’s hard to shake his......

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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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When You Believe

Have you ever seen the DreamWorks animated film Prince of Egypt? The scene when the Israelites leave Egypt is scored by a beautiful ballad, “When You Believe,” sung by Michelle Pfeiffer and Sally Dworsky. The version recorded by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, seen here, won an Oscar in 1999:   When the Exodus story is being chanted as a central practice of the Passover holiday, people are invited to experience the “miracle of being redeemed” – of moving from slavery to freedom. Whether historically true or not, the Exodus is one......

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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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Wanting it All and Always Finding Enough

There is a well-known song sung at every Passover Seder – a meditation on gratitude – called Dayenu, which means, “It would have been enough”. The song acknowledges 15 major biblical events inviting people to sing “dayenu” after each one. If the Israelites were liberated from Egypt but the sea didn’t divide – “dayenu” – it would have been enough. If the Israelites got through the sea but had no food in the desert, dayenu…if they had food but didn’t make it to the promised-land, dayenu. But would any of these really......

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