Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

October 2009 Archives

Shooting at Los Angeles Synagogue

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Over the past two days, I have posted about the appropriateness of hate crime legislation and about people’s concern over anti-Semitism. Today’s shooting at Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic Orthodox Synagogue in North Hollywood, in which two members were shot at […]

“A Serious Man” Is No Serious Threat To Jews

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Having received numerous questions about the Coen brothers’ most recent film, a contemporary commentary on the Book of Job, called A Serious Man, I am going to respond even though I have not yet seen the movie. How can I […]

Obama To Sign Hate Crimes Legislation: Violates Numbers 15:15?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The White House has announced that President Obama will sign new legislation which adds provisions to include Gays and Lesbians among the groups protected by special hate crimes legislation. It would be a great idea, if hate crimes legislation itself […]

Are You Good Without God?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Starting this morning adds begin appearing in New York City subways which tell us that for millions of people, the answer is ‘yes’. Following past campaigns in Dallas, Chicago and other locations around the nation this advertising campaign for Greg […]

Is Circumcision For Everyone?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Responding to both a growing anti-circumcision movement and her own hysteria surrounding the circumcision of her two sons, Hanna Rosin writes in the most recent New York Magazine about why the case for circumcision is good for everyone, at least […]

Why a Rabbi Welcomes The Vatican’s Welcome of Disaffected Anglicans

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Why does a rabbi care about whether or not the Catholic Church decides to welcome disaffected Anglicans, as they announced yesterday? In this case, it’s because I welcome all moves which increase diversity within religious community. But whether or not […]

South Carolina GOP Leaders Guilty of Stupidity Not Hate

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Two South Carolina Republican officials have apologized for defending U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint by likening him to Jews who “take care of the pennies.” Bamberg County GOP Chairman Edwin Merwin and Orangeburg County GOP Chairman James Ulmer wrote the Orangeburg […]

Mourning and Consolation on Facebook, and Other Sacred Spaces

posted by Brad Hirschfield

We all have loss in our lives. I wish we didn’t, but we do. So the real question is where do we turn with our grief? From whom do we seek and receive comfort? What practices help us to heal? […]

Halloween 2009: Tips from a Rabbi About How To Celebrate

posted by Brad Hirschfield

On October 31, children across America will don their capes and masks and go door-to-door collecting candy and treats to celebrate Halloween. But for many traditional Jewish families and even for some Christian ones, Halloween is a time of unease […]

Sexual Abuse in the Jewish Community, Is There a Double Standard?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Perhaps the most troubling commentary on the breaking news related to the sexual abuse of children in the Ultra-Orthodox or Haredi Jewish community, is the absence of coverage about this sickening phenomenon in the community’s leading sources of news. That […]

Speaking of Hitler: Politicians on All Sides Behaving Badly

posted by Brad Hirschfield

We seem to have endless appetite for comparisons to Hitler, Nazis and the Holocaust, and like all forms of gluttony, it’s making us very sick. It’s neither a Democratic thing nor a Republican thing, it’s a simply and disturbingly a […]

Jewish Haiku: Jewish Identity Issues in 17 Syllables

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Jews and Haikus are A Rorschach test reflecting Who we think we are Beyond the 17 syllables arranged in three lines of five, seven, and five respectively, and beyond the nicely rhyming rhythm of “Haikus and Jews”, this poetic form […]

Columbus Day 2009: Was Christopher Columbus Jewish?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The question of whether or not Christopher Columbus was Jewish has been around for quite some time. And while it may not yet (ever?) be solved, its persistence speaks volumes. In fact, there are spiritual lessons to be found in […]

Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, A Lesson in Peace and Hope, or Simply Ridiculous?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

I first read that President Barack Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, in a five a.m. e-mail from a friend, not a fan of the President’s, and I assumed my friend was joking. Reading the cover of this […]

Supreme Court Upholds “Jewish Clause” Disinheriting Inter-Married Children

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The Illinois Supreme Court unanimously upheld the legality of a so-called “Jewish Clause” in the will of Max Feinberg. The “Jewish Clause” disinherited any of Mr. Feinberg’s children or grandchildren who married non-Jews. From this layman’s perspective, it seems like […]

What Is Jewish Pride? Dallas Cowboys’ Igor Olshansky Knows

posted by Brad Hirschfield

What does it mean to be proud of who you are? What does a “proud Jew” look like? In the case of Igor Olshansky, it means being a 6’6″, 315 lb. Defensive End for the Dallas Cowboys who bears twin […]

A Muslim Reaction to Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust Denial

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Seems like today is “Ahmadinejad Day” at With no advance planning or coordination, both City of Brass and my own column address the Iranian President and his connections to things Jewish. I encourage you to read City of Brass […]

Is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Jewish?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Rumors of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Jewish roots have circulated for quite some time and are surfacing once more. Interestingly, the most recent versions are more firmly rooted is specific details which point to at least the fact that his family is […]

Sukkot: How to Build a Sukkah — Ask These Architects, or Follow This Simple Plan

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Sukkot begins in just a few hours, and while you might not be able to build a sukkah as amazing as a group of architecture students as Wesleyan University, what they did is worth seeing because of the creativity, pride, […]

Sukkot 2009: What is a Sukkah and Why Do Jews Sit In Them

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Sukkot, the week-long Jewish holiday which begins at sundown this Friday, October 2, 2009, goes all the way back to the Hebrew Bible. Exodus 23:16 and Deuteronomy 16:13 describe it as an Israelite Thanksgiving (but without the turkey), while Leviticus […]

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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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