I’m There For You…

“With every technological advance – something is lost.” Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch braved sub-zero temperatures to encourage us to create warmth by avoiding distractions and building meaningful relationships.


The Women’s March

As mounting accusations of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel advocacy roil the national Women’s March movement, Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch announced that Stephen Wise Free Synagogue will disassociate from Women’s March Inc., and that it will join the 2019 Women’s March On NYC under the auspices of Women’s March Alliance.


“This January 19th, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue will be joining the Women’s March On NYC, to show our unyielding support for women’s rights the best way we know how. However, we are disassociating from Women’s March Inc., the national entity that coordinated the 2017 and 2018 marches – and will host the upcoming 2019 march – on Washington, D.C.,” said Hirsch. “We are not disassociating from the original goals of Women’s March. To the contrary, we are joining other progressive organizations that have also been critical of Women’s March Inc. and share the same concerns we have: that its current leadership has distorted the values and thwarted the goals articulated on that amazing January day in 2017.”


The Porcupine’s Solution

Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch discusses the painful reconciliation of Jacob’s sons in the Book of Genesis, and how we should seek to release unresolved anger in our lives.

“I meet so many people who cannot forgive and cannot forget the offense of one who was once so close. Try to come closer. Take the first step of reconciliation. A cold peace is still better than a hot war.”


After Pittsburgh

“I know that many of us are afraid. We gather today in memory, in solidarity, but also in defiance. To be a Jew is, itself, an act of defiance. We will not cower. Be proud to be a Jew: you are connected to something special and precious – Am Yisrael, the people of Israel – the only Western civilization to have survived ancient days.”

Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch reassured and inspired the New York Jewish community at the first Shabbat service after the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 worshippers were killed.


In the Cabinet Room

“Sitting there in the Cabinet Room, waiting for the leader of the reconstituted Jewish state, I felt the mysterious, ineluctable flow of time.”

Rabbi Hirsch reflected on his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the American-Jewish existential crisis: “Every Jew is like a grain of sand – we assume our full potential when we combine with all the other Jews of the world, fulfilling our collective destiny.”