“We are numb to the damage that our culture of shame wreaks,” says Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, as he examines the lengths we go to protect our dignity in this week’s parasha. “Dignity is the very essence of what makes us human. The Talmud tells us that when Rabbi Elazar was about to die he gave one final teaching to summarize all others: ‘May each of you be very careful of the dignity of others.’”
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch examines generational tensions, both modern day and through the lens of this week’s parasha, Va’yerah. Ultimately, whether you are a critical Baby Boomer or a sophomoric millennial retorting, “Okay, Boomer!” time speeds by. “You will spend a brief moment holding the levers of social power and then give way to those who follow you.”
After accidentally dating a d’var Torah “3019,” Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch began to think about the world in 1,000 years and how future generations will look back on our time.
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch questions our country’s health in the wake of the NBA-China controversy. “The general manager of the Houston Rockets sent a rather bland tweet upholding the struggle for democracy in Hong Kong – and chaos ensued. What could be more American – or Jewish – than to ‘fight for freedom?’”
On Yom Kippur, Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch discusses the ways we seek to escape – and give meaning and purpose – to the anxiety of life. Some choose the path of science and technology, but does it liberate or paralyze? Some take the opposite approach: resignation. “There is a third way,” he says, “the Jewish way: finding meaning, purpose and joy in the world as it is, and ceaselessly working to create a better world.”