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10.12.18

Human Nature

"Nowadays, we can't really be sure whether a hurricane is just another storm, or if, somehow, the climate itself is changing – putting into question our very way of life. In the Torah, the key point is not that the world was flooded, but that, eventually, the waters receded."

Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch discusses hope and the triumph of good over evil in the face of the flood that wiped out humanity.

10.05.18

How Did You Do That?

“For all living beings the body’s needs are to continue to exist, but, for human beings, the mind needs harmony.” Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch asks difficult questions to justify religion's relevance in our modern times.

9.19.18

From the Ghetto

On Yom Kippur, in the absence of an official response from the Reform movement to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon’s recent criticism of Judaism as “divisive” and Jewish intramarriage as “a ghetto of two,” Rabbi Hirsch summarizes where the movement should be, and explains that progressive Jewish thinking today tends to mistakenly deemphasize Jewish particularism in favor of universalism when both are important.

9.18.18

30 Years On

On Kol Nidre, Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch reflected on his 30 years as a rabbi and how we come to develop wisdom and faith: “The world is bigger than any one of us. This realization that so much of what I do cannot be brought under my full control is the beginning of wisdom. And only after we have failed over and over again can we life's successes. This is when we develop that thing called faith. Not a rote recitation of religious doctrine – but a deeper devotion that seeks to affirm life despite its hardships, unfairness, injustice, and finality.”

9.10.18

The Still Small Voice

“If what some people mean by ‘religion should stay out of politics’ is that we should never engage in the social challenges of our times – never speak about the here and now, but only the hereafter – then it is something that Judaism cannot accept. We have a moral obligation to speak about, and act within, the political process,” said Rabbi Hirsch, who, in his Rosh Hashanah sermon, discussed the moral role of religion in politics.