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Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

January 1970 Archives

Tu B’Shevat 2010

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Tu B’Shevat 2010, or perhaps more appropriately 5770, begins at sunset on the 29th of January, which corresponds to the 15th of the month of Shevat in the Hebrew calendar. Although little observed since the time of the Temple, Tu […]

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Phylactery Funnies or Tefillin Test

posted by Brad Hirschfield

You gotta love this image which landed on my desk this morning, both because of how funny it is and how telling: While it’s true that no one will get thrown off an El Al Israel Airlines flight because someone […]

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J. D. Salinger Was Jewish? Who Cares! Or, Who Cares?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

J. D. Salinger is dead at 91, and yes, I care — I loved and still love Catcher in the Rye. But the fact that so many Jewish journalists, pundits, etc. are focusing on the fact that he was Jewish […]

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Finding Kosher Food in Indonesia

posted by Brad Hirschfield

I am currently a guest of both the United States government and the Foreign Ministry of Indonesia, participating in an unprecedented encounter, facilitated by New York-based Religions for Peace, between a group of faith leaders from the world’s most powerful […]

Making Sense of Benedict XVI

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Pope Benedict XVI’s decisions regarding Jews and Jewish history continue to vex and confuse many Jews. Having already shared my own perspective in previous posts, including most recently, one on the Pontiff’s recent visit to the Great Synagogue of Rome, […]

Keeping Your Spiritual Balance

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Beliefnet.com’s VP of Editorial, Michael Kress, shares a piece of his own spiritual autobiography in a column entitled, An Unorthodox Education</em>. Even if I do not entirely accept the dichotomy he draws between tradition and modernity, or personal choice and […]

Shabbat in Haiti: A First-Hand Account of the Past Week

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Arele Klein, a voulnteer serving with the Israeli relief team in Haiti writes movingly of the past week and the work he and the team have been doing since arriving last Friday. As Shabbat approaches, his words open our hearts, […]

Phylacteries, or Tefillin, are Suddenly Big News

posted by Brad Hirschfield

A US Airways flight traveling from New York to Louisville diverted to Philadelphia when crew and passengers became alarmed as a young man strapped something to his head and arm while speaking in a foreign language. Turns out that what […]

The Pope’s Synagogue Visit Raises Questions about Healing and Forgiveness

posted by Brad Hirschfield

For only the second time in its long history, a Pope visited Rome’s main synagogue. Given that one can walk from there from the Vatican, that itself is historic. But the context of the visit and what Pope Benedict XVI […]

Dr. King’s Spiritual Lessons for Pat Robertson and for The Rest of Us

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a preacher through and through. From the images he invoked, to the cadence of his speech, to the values which shaped his every decision, Dr. King, whose life and work we formally honored yesterday, […]

A Rabbi’s Prayer in Response to Natural Disaster

posted by Brad Hirschfield

How does one pray in the wake of this week’s events in Haiti? Or does that really beg the question of how we pray on any given day in the face of equally painful, if less grand, tragedies? I am […]

Haiti, Pat Robertson and Wondering Where God Is

posted by Brad Hirschfield

With estimates of 100,000 dead in Haiti, and many times that number suffering horribly in the wake of the earthquake which shook Port-au-Prince, many people ask, “why did God do this?” And Pat Robertson has what he thinks is the […]

Is “Green” the Newest Religion? Is Guilt Good?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Stephen Asma asks, in the most recent Chronicle of Higher Education, if going Green has replaced Classical religion among the American mainstream, at least insofar as it fuels our sense of moral guilt. It’s an interesting idea, because it reminds […]

Scapegoats, in the Bible and In Washington

posted by Brad Hirschfield

It looks like Nevada Sen. Harry Reid has become our newest national scapegoat. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Despite the bad rap it gets, scapegoating, when done properly, is actually a brilliant spiritual technology. Consider the Hebrew Bible’s […]

Mourning Miep Gies, Who Saved Anne Frank Twice

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Miep Gies, then office secretary who risked her life by hiding Anne Frank and her family for two years, died yesterday at the age of 100. This heroic woman saved Anne and her family not once, but twice. First she […]

Defining Chutzpah and the Spirit of Tzedakah/Charity

posted by Brad Hirschfield

A friend shared the following definition of chutzpah with me, and it came with an accompanying image and story, both of which drive home that definition. That story also teaches a profound insight about caring for people in need, why […]

Angry At God? Good For You…Maybe

posted by Brad Hirschfield

A new Beliefnet.com gallery asks whether it’s “blasphemous” to be angry at God. Three rabbis respond in very different ways, but they all agree that anger at God is acceptable. They also address the issue as if it’s actually a […]

Happy Birthday Elvis! Were you Jewish?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Elvis Presley would have turned 75 today, and people are still asking if he was Jewish. Well, perhaps he was, at least according to Jewish law, if not in his own mind. According to some Elvis historians, his mother’s maternal […]

New Irish Blasphemy Law Threatens Religious Freedom and Democracy

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Atheists are leading the protests against a new law in Ireland, according to a person will be found guilty of blasphemy if they “publish or utter matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by […]

Tiger Woods Needs Jesus

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Brit Hume, commentator on Fox News, told America that Tiger Woods needs Jesus in order to turn his life around, and that has got lots of folks pretty steamed. Hume told viewers of Fox News Sunday that, “The extent to […]

How Many Names Does God Have?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Without even getting into a debate between monotheists and polytheists, and willing to avoid the very serious conversation about whether there is really any difference between the two, I am simply wondering about the names of God. And so too, […]

An Israeli Taboo Which Ought Not To Be So

posted by Brad Hirschfield

This line from a Jerusalem Post Opinion piece by Larry Derfner raises important questions, even if (precisely because?) it will ruffle many feathers: There’s a question we Israelis won’t ask ourselves about the Palestinians, especially not about Gaza. The question […]

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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

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