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Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

December 2008 Archives

Faith Forecast for 2009: What We Can Expect From Religion Next Year

posted by Brad Hirschfield

In 2009, we should expect religion to do what is has always done — inspire the very best and the very worst in human thought and practice, especially when it comes to politics and public policy. Faith is like a […]

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Israel Redefines All Out War in Gaza

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak announced that Israel is engaged in an “all out war” with Hamas. He told reporters that the Israel Defense Forces will “deepen and widen” their assault on Hamas as needed, in order to halt the […]

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The Eight Days of Hanukkah: Day Eight, The Most Important Story of All

posted by Brad Hirschfield

This one is easy. The Most important Hanukkah story of all is yours. For seven days we have shared versions of a 2,200 year old story that have inspired people across the time and around the world. And it was […]

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1 American and 2 Israeli Perspectives on War in Gaza

posted by Brad Hirschfield

After thousands of rockets and mortars landing in what virtually the entire world accepts as the sovereign and unoccupied State of Israel, Israel began a large-scale bombing operation of Gaza this weekend. This new fighting, focusing on military and governmental […]

The Eight Days of Hanukkah: Day Seven, Your Inner Light

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Hanukkah also celebrates the little light found within and its ability to dispel a great deal of darkness. Whether within a little vase of oil found in the Temple or within our own hearts, this story promises that good things […]

The Eight Days of Hanukkah: Day Six, Freedom of Religion

posted by Brad Hirschfield

For thousands of years people have struggled for the right to practice their faith freely. Not surprisingly, the story of Hanukkah as the celebration of religious freedom became particularly popular in America where we have been conducting the single most […]

The Eight Days of Hanukkah: Day Five, Zionism and Homecoming

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Another day brings yet another Hanukkah story. But, in case you missed them, check out yesterday’s and previous days’ Hanukkah stories too. Worth doing so for the comments alone! But now, on to today’s telling of the the Hanukkah tale. […]

The Eight Days of Hanukkah: Day Four, Spiritual Renewal

posted by Brad Hirschfield

As we reach the mid-point of the holiday, we reacall that Hanukkah celebrates the re-dedication of the newly liberated Temple, as the word’s literal translation suggests. It also celebrates the spiritual renewal of the community which gathers around that institution […]

Justice, Compassion, Repentance and Atonement for Bernard Madoff

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The news keeps on coming in the Madoff Meltdown, and it’s not getting any better. But the comments to last week’s post about this mess have been great and they demand a response about the relationship between concepts like justice, […]

More On Fighting Assimilation

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Because Zvi’s comments on today’s original post about Hanukkah as a story of the fight against assimilation, are so important, so clearly stated and so wrong, I want to respond. The quick response is that far from “careless”, my reading […]

The Eight Days of Hanukkah: Day Three, Miracles Do Happen

posted by Brad Hirschfield

For many, the message of Hanukkah is that miracles really do happen and that they can happen for us. This story, found in the Babylonian Talmud, recounts how upon entering the newly liberated Temple in Jerusalem, the Hasmonean soldiers found […]

Lone Republican Jew in the House

posted by Brad Hirschfield

New House Minority Whip, Eric Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in the House, spoke tellingly with US News and World Report’s Dan Gilgoff. Cantor’s comments are intriguing, especially those about the role of Judaism in his politics, the importance Jewish […]

The Eight Days of Hanukkah: Day Two, Fighting Assimilation

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Yesterday’ post told the story of Hanukkah as one of liberation. The story of Hanukkah, is also told as one of civil war between Jews living in the land of Israel, some so-called “traditionalists” and others “assimilationists” who wanted to […]

Eight Gifts for Hanukkah: Day One, Liberation

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Hanukkah is a story of many stories. In each of them we see how specific generations of Jews, or those with different spiritual or communal needs addressed the challenges they faced. In honor of those many stories, Windows and Doors […]

Rick Warren, Barack Obama and The Jews

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The comments to yesterday’s post supporting President-elect Obama’s choice of Rev. Rick Warren to offer the inaugural invocation have been fascinating. Some go so far as to suggest that my position is a function of my being a Jew. A […]

This Hanukkah, Replace Fear with Purpose and Hope

posted by Brad Hirschfield

For more than twenty centuries Hanukkah has celebrated the triumph of purpose and hope over fear and despair. In these troubled times, times of economic uncertainty and expanding security threats, maintaining that ancient perspective is more important than ever. From […]

Rick Warren Selection is Great for Faith and is Obama at His Best

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Whether one is a fan of the next President or not, any fan of faith should be cheered by President-elect Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to offer the inaugural invocation. Once again the President-elect shows that he will confound ideologues […]

Finding Miracles for Yourself and Others

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Hannukah is about many things. The story is about a tiny amount of oil that burned for eight days instead of only one. It’s about the unexpected victory of a small army over one much more powerful. It’s about finding […]

The Madoff Meltdown, Jewish Philanthropy, and Value of Compassion

posted by Brad Hirschfield

We are all effected when 50 billion dollars vanishes from the economy in an instant as it did with the unraveling of Bernard Madoff’s gigantic Ponzi scheme which masqueraded as a legitimate investment. Trickledown economics may not work to our […]

Is Obama Black? Are You Jewish? Am I Christian?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The answer to the first question, at least, seems obvious to most of us. But as this story by AP writer Jesse Washington demonstrates, it’s a question that won’t go away. Perhaps that’s a good thing too. Why? Because definitions […]

Iran Will Get Nukes: What To Do

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Efforts to keep nuclear weapons out of Iranian hands are likely to fail, according to New York Times columnist David Brooks. Speaking to a large Jewish audience at a New York synagogue, Brooks mirrored my own long-held belief that ultimately, […]

Esther Wachsman: A Model of Spiritual Greatness

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Esther Wachsman, mother of slain Hamas kidnap victim Nachshon Wachsman, made a bold appeal today to Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert. She asked the prime minister to consider freeing her son’s murderers in order to secure the release of Cpl. […]

Gay Marriage in the Bible and in Newsweek

posted by Brad Hirschfield

This week’s Newsweek features a cover story about gay marriage – the biblical case against it and the possibility of a biblical case for it. The article is essential reading for anyone who cares about either gay marriage or the […]

Parent Figures Out Chanukah for Self and Family

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Lisa Keys of the JTA writes about her quest to celebrate chanukah and her conversation with me about how to do so meaningfully and joyfully. From questioning present-giving to wondering how an “egg roll eating Jew, who rarely lights shabbat […]

Will God Bail Out The Auto Industry?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Does God have a bailout plan for Detroit auto makers? Area churches, both Protestant and Catholic, are praying that God does. How about Jews? Why are no synagogues mentioned in the coverage of religious institutions whose members are asking for […]

Hannukah Questions Answered

posted by Brad Hirschfield

A friend, who happens to be a professor of religion and also a practicing minister, asked me the following wonderful questions about Hannukah, its practices and meaning: Why are there SO MANY spellings of the word “Khanukah”? Is the story […]

Rabbi Emanuel Rackman Dies, A Loss For Us All

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Rabbi Emanuel Rackman died at home in New York, and along with the Jewish people, the world of relgious leadership, the State of Israel, and the United States are all the poorer for his loss. He was a remarkable leader […]

Hebron Evacuation, Sad But Necessary

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Combined forces from the Israeli Army, the Border Police, and Security Services today evacuated a house in Hebron that was, according to the Israeli Supreme Court, illegally occupied. Things did not go well. From the storming of the building by […]

U.A.W. Should Teach Episcopal Church

posted by Brad Hirschfield

100,000 members of the Episcopal Church are breaking away from their current denominational structure and constituting the new Anglican Church in North America. The split between the two groups was catalyzed by the issue of homosexuality in the church, but […]

Shalom, Christmas Shoppers

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that all across America, holiday shoppers at malls are being “accosted” by pushy, money-hungry Israelis selling everything from hand cream to toy helicopters. One of the twenty-something salespeople describes what he is doing, not to […]

An Imam and His Ideas Imprisoned

posted by Brad Hirschfield

There is much to dislike, even loathe, about the Islamic cleric known as Abu Qatada. But whether or not jailing him, as the British government has just done, will accomplish anything is unclear. It’s true that it will keep him […]

400 Dead. Does Anybody Care?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Double the number killed in Nigeria as those murdered in Mumbai, and many more refuges in light of the mayhem, and yet the response to this past week’s events in Nigeria is relatively muted. Why is that? Could it be […]

No Church for President-Elect Obama

posted by Brad Hirschfield

President-elect Obama hasn’t been to church in weeks, saying he doesn’t want to disrupt the service for others. I find that rationale a little tough to swallow, but wish that he would share his real thoughts on the matter. As […]

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More blogs to enjoy!
Thank you for visiting Windows and Doors. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Truths You Can Use Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 1:28:03pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Apple's "Jew or Not Jew" App -- Should It Be Legal?
An Apple application that let users guess which French politicians or celebrities are Jewish was pulled from France's App Store. but its American equivalent is still available. French activist groups said the "Jew or Not Jew?" app violated bans on compiling information on people's religion and rev

posted 1:18:48am Sep. 18, 2011 | read full post »

Is God A Christian?
R. Kirby Godsey’s new book, Is God A Christian?, challenges what the author describes as the commonly held belief among many religious people that the God in whom they believe is “one of them”.  People, Mr. Kirby observes, too often confuse God’s religious identity with their own, leading t

posted 11:59:56am Sep. 12, 2011 | read full post »

Remembering 9/11 - Part One
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 brings up many emotions and presents some very real challenges, among them how to remember the past without being imprisoned by it.  This video, filmed at St. Paul's, the church closest to the World Trade Center site, is a wonderful example of rising to that challen

posted 2:40:58pm Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Gilad Shalit, Still A Prisoner After 1,900 Days
Below is a copy of the Statement I got from the White House, and while I appreciate the words, I can't help but also ask, "Is this the best we can do?"  United States Mission to the United Nations Office of Press and Public Diplomacy 799 United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017 (212) 41

posted 9:04:17am Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »

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