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Are We Our Brothers’ Keepers?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

With constant talk of bailouts, and the bitter arguments generated by them, it seems like a reasonable question to ask. I suppose it’s also on my mind as Purim is only 36 hours away and one of it’s central practices […]

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Proposed Budget Devalues Charity When We Need It Most

posted by Brad Hirschfield

President Obama’s newly released budget is a bold and massive affair. Is it the best thing for the country? No one can be sure. Is there wasteful spending, about equally divided between Republicans and Democrats? Yes. Did it make a […]

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US and Israeli Courts Supremely Wrong On Religious Rights

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Anyone concerned about the coercive use of religion should find these two stories interesting – upsetting but interesting. And anyone not concerned about the coercive use of religion in the world today, should read a paper. Both the United States […]

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Jews, Iran and American Foreign Policy

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The Obama administration has repeatedly commented on its desire to engage Iran more constructively. And while the possibility of success can be debated, it seems that failing to try would only guarantee the current unacceptable status quo. The New York […]

Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin and Gay Marriage

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Yesterday was the 200th birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. The parallels in their lives provide valuable insight for the Presbyterian Church USA, which embarks this week on a major process of inquiry into the place of gay […]

Abortion and Cherry Picking for God

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Among the most interesting responses to yesterday’s post about the Bible and Jewish views on abortion was Leah’s, who commented: Rabbi Brad, Everyone cherry picks through the Bible. We have to, because it says so many things that we could […]

Abortion, the Bible and Religious Arrogance

posted by Brad Hirschfield

You have to love a Pagan blog which purports to explain authoritatively and absolutely what the Bible means! Don’t get me wrong, I believe that scripture is there for all to read and interpret. I even believe that approach should […]

Millard Fuller, Founder of Habitat, Dies

posted by Brad Hirschfield

“Faith must be incarnated,” said the man who spent most of his life putting his faith to work for others, primarily through the organization he founded, Habitat For Humanity. “Faith must become more than a verbal proclamation or an intellectual […]

In Venezuela, Anti-Semitism and Opposition to Israel Are One

posted by Brad Hirschfield

I do not believe that all opposition to the policies of the Sate of Israel is inherently Anti-Semitic, as is too often claimed by many in the Jewish community. But continuing attacks on synagogues around the world, most recently in […]

Evolution War Rages On – What Say You?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

As we approach the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, the battle over evolution continues. And it continues around the world. This morning’s edition of the Guardian reports that Britons, like Americans, are evenly divided between those who believe in […]

Obama Too Soft On Some Muslims and Too Hard On Many

posted by Brad Hirschfield

While applauding his efforts both at the inauguration and in his Al Arabiyah interview, President Obama’s words often missed the mark. With the best of intentions and in pursuit of an important goal, I think that he was too hard […]

Chief Rabbi Says Vatican Needs to Examine Its Conscience

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Is the Pope right? Is the Pope wrong? Could he be both? My comments to follow… IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 25, 2009 Upon learning of Pope Benedict XVI’s lifting the excommunication of Holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin said […]

Rabbi Lookstein Rebuked for Praying

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The Rabbinic Council of America chastised one of America’s most prominent rabbis and long-time member, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein for his participation in this week’s inaugural festivities. Lookstein participated in a prayer service held at the Washington National Cathedral during which […]

Rick Warren’s Invocation Redefined Inclusiveness

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Pastor Rick Warren’s invocation, along with President Obama’s inaugural address about which I already wrote, set the stage for a new kind of public religion in this country. It is both more inclusive and simultaneously proud of particularity than anything […]

President Obama’s Very Jewish Speech

posted by Brad Hirschfield

President Obama’s inaugural address moved me for many reasons, including how Jewish it was. There was no Hebrew (had to listen to Rick Warren for that), nothing about Israel, and no pleas on behalf of the Jewish people. There was […]

Rabbis To Pray at Inauguration: A Good Idea?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Three rabbis are slated to offer prayers at a January 21st National Cathedral service to be held as part of Barack Obama’s inauguration. Is this a good thing, or not? Is it more complicated for the Reform participant, Rabbi David […]

Gene Robinson Rejects Bible

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Bishop Gene Robinson, recently added to the list of inaugural prayer-sayers, has promised that he will neither bring nor read from the Bible when he addresses Sunday’s crowds at the Lincoln Memorial. His choice is as regrettable as his inclusion […]

Catholics Call Gaza a Concentration Camp

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Pontifications blogger, David Gibson, writes about Catholic leaders making grotesque and inaccurate analogies about the situation is Gaza. The most disturbing of which is Cardinal Renato Martino’s analogizing Gaza and a concentration camp. Having already posted about the death of […]

Neither Progressive nor Reviving When Commenting on Gaza

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Requests were made that I respond to Omid Safi’s Gaza post on Progressive Revival. Frankly, I hesitate to do so. I have no doubt about either his integrity or the pain that moves him to write. But, engaging people filled […]

Ground War in Gaza, No Holocaust

posted by Brad Hirschfield

No matter how often that charge is made, it will never be true. But it is a tragedy. No matter how much energy each side expends on justifying its actions and no matter if one side really is more justified […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

One Dead Rabbi Not the Issue

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivki were murdered, along with three other hostages, at the Chabad community center which they ran in Mumbai. And as much as I am hurting over their deaths, I am more devastated by the […]

Rabbi Held Hostage in Mumbai

posted by Brad Hirschfield

With most of the Hostages freed this morning at the Taj Hotel and over 100 dead following the terror attacks begun yesterday in Mumbai, Rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg, his wife Rivki, and six others remain hostages in their community center. Upon […]

Holy Land 5 Successfully Prosecuted, Not Persecuted

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Today is a good day for Justice in America. Five leaders of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development were convicted on 108 criminal counts of supporting terrorism, money laundering and tax fraud. They funneled millions of dollars to […]

Note from Beliefnet About Commenting

posted by admin

Dear Windows and Doors Readers, Last week at Beliefnet we implemented a small change to our blog commenting system – you now have to confirm that you are a real person, and not a spammer, by typing in a few […]

Muslim Anti-Semitism and the Muslim Next Door

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Muslim Anti-Semitism is a very real, but whether or not hatred of Jews is either typical among contemporary Muslims, at least in America, or reflective of traditional Islam, is another story. That appraisal probably disturbs people on each side, with […]

Influential Jews or Jewishly Influential

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Who are the nation’s 50 most influential Jews? The Forward has published this year’s list — they call it the Forward 50. But what does it mean? What is an “influential Jew”? Is it the same as someone who wields […]

Thanksgiving & Prayer Definitely, But Not to God Perhaps

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Thanksgiving is only a week away. And while we all appreciate the time off, it’s worth remembering how this holiday came to be and thinking together about whether of not it’s really a good idea. I think that Presidents Washington […]

Saudi King Abdullah, Villain or Valiant?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Saudi King, Abdullah Abdul Aziz al Saud, spoke this week at the UN. His remarks about the dignity of religious difference sparked global controversy. Is this part of a new world in which the custodian of Islam’s holy places advocates […]

Mormon Arrogance Meets Jewish Victimhood in Conversion Dispute

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The long-simmering dispute between Jewish leaders, particularly the children of Holocaust survivors, and the Church of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) is boiling over. And as is often the case, the issue at hand is not really the problem. It’s […]

The Pro-Obama, Anti-Gay, Black Electorate

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Proposition 8, the California initiative defining marriage as being only between a man and a woman was voted into law by a 52% majority and black voters favored that outcome by a margin of 70%. In fact, Evangelical Christians were […]

Paul Broun, Barack Obama and the Republican Future

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Yesterday’s obscene comments about President-Elect Obama by Georgia Republican Paul Broun were only less disturbing than his attempted apology for them. The Congressman stated that he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist […]

Barack Obama is Not the Messiah

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The religious left may be losing its mind. Perhaps it’s just a momentary lapse of judgment in light of the Obama victory. After all, there is much to celebrate about this election. Not least of which is that it indicates […]

Obama Wins, Jews Got Over Obamaphobia

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Jewish voters went with their consciences and not with their fears in selecting Barack Obama as the next President of the United States. Exit polling indicates that about 77% of the Jewish vote went to Obama, which is a wonderful […]

Exit Polling With Soul: Explain Yourself

posted by Brad Hirschfield

There may be only two candidates with a real shot at winning the Presidency, but there are as many religious/spiritual reasons for choosing them as their are believers. What is yours? Let me know who you voted for and share […]

Ohio Police in Riot Gear

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Officers of the Toledo, Ohio Police Department took the streets in riot gear today, having been instructed to do so in a memo which you can read for yourselves. Make of it what you will, but I find it deplorable. […]

Many Votes, No Mandate – It’s a Mitzvah

posted by Brad Hirschfield

In this closely contested election, I am almost more concerned about how we come together on November 5th than I am about the results of the 4th. The challenges we face are bigger than either candidate or the agendas which […]

God’s Candidate

posted by Brad Hirschfield

I was asked by the folks over at the Newsweek-Washington Post On Faith project if there were religious reasons to vote for or against Barack Obama or John McCain. My response: there is always a religious reason to pick a […]

Dems and Reps Terrorize Opponents

posted by Brad Hirschfield

When I received the following link to hard right Israeli broadcaster Arutz 7, being circulated by pro-McCain people, I was tempted to ignore it. Claiming that Hamas is supporting Obama in the presidential election, they suggest that supporting Obama is […]

Who’s a Good Jew? Fla. Court Can’t Decide

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Edith Rapp tried to sue her stepson, a member of Jews for Jesus, for defamation, over an article he wrote which claimed that she was a bad Jew who had denounced her faith. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that […]

Is Barack Obama Hitler?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Sadly, scarily, and with great disrespect for America (which I am sure they don’t intend), more than a few American Jews – including my own mother and leaders of the Pennsylvania Jewish community, are claiming that Barack Obama is the […]

Can Jews Support Roe v. Wade?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The answer, at least for most Jews in America, is yes. But the purpose of this article by Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein is to explore one halakhic (Jewish legal) model for reaching that conclusion. Or at least to refrain from […]

American Prayer, Featuring Barack Obama as God

posted by Brad Hirschfield

I happen to love the new music video of American Prayer – the song is stirring, the imagery is powerful, the many stars it features, including Whoopi Goldberg, Forest Whitaker, Joss Stone, and Herbie Hancock, are warm and engaging. Even […]

Powell: Right and Wrong on Fear of Muslims

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Colin Powell’s answer about Barack Obama not being a Muslim and whether or not it should even matter was both right and wrong. He was correct and actually quite moving when he said: Is there something wrong with being a […]

When Abortion Becomes Murder

posted by Brad Hirschfield

When does human life begin? It depends on where you live. While I don’t like what that means for some states, the debate itself could be good for the future of reproductive rights and the sanctity of human life in […]

Are You Anti-American? Ask Michele Bachmann

posted by Brad Hirschfield

According to Minnesota congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, you may be if your views run contrary to hers. And far from the staunch conservatism and Christian faith which she claims, these kinds of remarks are actually a form of New Age idolatry […]

36 Jews Who Have Shaped the Election

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Popping up under the headline, Members of the Tribe, this article offers a bi-partisan list of Jews who have influenced the presidential election. But it begs the question, is this what we mean by Jewish influence? Or is this just […]

Obama and McCain as Panderers-in-Chief

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The star of last night’s debate was clearly Joe Wurzelbacher, otherwise known as Joe the Plumber. The winner is up for debate. But Americans were certainly the losers as both candidates competed not for the role of Commander-in-Chief, but for […]

Wright, Keating and Muthee: With Friends Like These, Do Candidates Need Enemies?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Obama and Jeremiah Wright, McCain and Charles Keating, Palin and Pastor Muthee. Should we judge these candidates by the company that they keep? Is that unfair guilt by asscociation? I think that candidates should be judged by both the company […]

Who You Callin’ a Maverick? Why the NY Times Should Apologize

posted by Brad Hirschfield

There’s that word again: maverick. Used in Thursday’s Vice-Presidential debate, by Gov. Sarah Palin six times to describe herself and her running mate, Senator John McCain, who she described as “the consummate maverick.” But where does the term come from […]

Who Stands With Israel, Republicans or Democrats?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The answer is, yes. And the real issue is how supporters of Israel understand what it means to “support Israel”. Is it a function of pressuring the State of Israel to do what it “should do” from the perspective of […]

What Do Biden and Palin REALLY Believe? Questions for Tonight’s Debate

posted by Brad Hirschfield

How can a candidate proclaim a faith which teaches about all aspects of life but tell us that those teachings will not shape their approach to governing the rest of us, who may not share that faith? If they genuinely […]

Jewish Terrorists Celebrate the Jewish New Year with a Bang

posted by Brad Hirschfield

As the Jewish people spend Tuesday and Wednesday celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, we ask ourselves the most important questions about the year ahead and what we hope to make of it – questions including who shall live and […]

Israelis for Obama and Lessons for McCain

posted by Brad Hirschfield

This You Tube video, entitled Israelis for Obama is amazing. It does not provide a great deal of new information about his policies, which are not all that different from McCain’s when it comes to Israel. It does something far […]

John McCain, Sarah Palin and Overturning Roe v. Wade

posted by Brad Hirschfield

I was asked by John Meacham of Newsweek, what I thought about John McCain and Sarah Palin’s desire to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion. Here is my response. If John McCain and Sarah […]

Ahmadinejad is Not Hitler, But He’s Not George Bush Either

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Yesterday’s rally at the UN, sponsored by organizations including the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and UJA Federation of New York was striking for many reasons, not least of which was the number of signs, and the nature […]

Jews Voting Obama Because Of Anti-Christian Bias

posted by Brad Hirschfield

We all know that Florida is a critical swing state in the coming election. According to Sam Stein of The Huffington Post, it’s more in play than ever and the Obama campaign knows it. That’s all fine. But the idea […]

Did The Jews Kill Jesus? Ask the Republican Jewish Coalition.

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Under the pretense of trying to better understand how Jewish voters feel about Barack Obama, the Republican Jewish Coalition is conducting a poll that resembles an approach used for years, by Anti-Semites who sought to make Jew hatred acceptable in […]

Barack Obama’s Rabbi

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The New York Times report on “Barack Obama’s Rabbi”, Capers Funnye Jr., suggests that Obama has been hiding this connection and neither assertion is true. Having known Rabbi Funnye for years, I thought that a few things should be clarified. […]

Sarah Palin, God’s Will, and Jews

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Steven Waldman’s recent Beliefnet post on Republican VP nominee, Sarah Palin indicates that significant numbers of Jews find the governor “scary.” But she doesn’t scare me, at least not as a Jew. She does, however, make comments about God and […]

Lipstick On A Pig, A View From Israel

posted by Brad Hirschfield

John McCain needs to speak out immediately against anyone exploiting Barack Obama’s “lipstick on a pig” comment. We all know that the comment wasn’t directed at Governor Palin and we all deserve a campaign that lives up to the best […]

Greetings From Israel

posted by Brad Hirschfield

I just touched down and even though this is trip number…..actually too many to count, I still feel a certain thrill as the plane banks over the coast and comes in to Ben Gurion airport. It’s a mixture of joy, […]

A Woman In The White House, But Not In God’s House

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Many conservative religious groups bar women from becoming clergy. And even in those denominations in which women do serve as clergy, they often face barriers in their careers because they are women. I was asked this week, if I think […]

Sarah Palin, Jews for Jesus, Steven Waldman and the Jewish Vote

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Take a deep breath everybody, because this one is a mess. And much like the responses to yesterday’s post about Hezbollah’s Death Shrine, in which the genuinely Islamophobic responses (really hateful stuff) are running neck and neck with dangerously apologetic […]

A Rabbi’s Ramadan Prayer: Say No To Hezbollah Death Shrine

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Asalaam Aleikum My Muslim Brothers and Sisters, I am writing you today with both a blessing and a request. The blessing is that the month of Ramadan should bring you opportunities for meaningful reflection, deeper spiritual connection, and greater peace. […]

When Presidents Wear Yarmulkes

posted by Brad Hirschfield

This gallery of US Presidents and those seeking the office, wearing kippot, also known as yarmulkes and skullcaps, is quite amazing. What does it mean that a garment designed to publicly mark its wearer as a Jew, can be found […]

Obama’s Acceptance Speech and The Islamophobic Smear Campaign

posted by Brad Hirschfield

If Barack Obama were a doctor, he would get an A for diagnostic skill and a C for his ability to prescribe treatment. His acceptance speech last night was no different — a grand expression of each of those traits. […]

To Senators Obama and McCain, Re: God and the Election

posted by Brad Hirschfield

I was asked by Sally Quinn and John Meacham of the Washington Post and Newsweek, what advice I would offer to Barack Obama and John McCain on the use of religion in their presidential campaigns. This was my response: Dear […]

John McCain’s Brother, Israel and the Jews

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Suddenly, a speech by John McCain’s brother, Joe, is making the rounds on the internet. I have received it over twenty times in as many hours. And although it’s not new (it was given as an address to a synagogue […]

McCain, Obama, and God on NPR

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Today’s edition of Tell Me More on NPR features a conversation about faith, God, and presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama. Hosted by Lynn Neary, the discussion included Beliefnet’s Dan Gilgoff and yours truly. And it was fascinating. Not […]

Rick Warren, Abortion and the Holocaust

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Rick Warren’s beleifnet.com interview is a must read, both because of the wisdom it contains and a rather horrific analogy made by him in which he compares any position on abortion other than his own, to holocaust denial. I assume […]

The Limits of Forgiveness

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Recent events with John Edwards’s affair have gotten lots of people saying lots of things about betrayal, the nature of forgiveness, who deserves to be forgiven and under what circumstances. Most of it has been pretty angry stuff, which won’t […]

Jerusalem – A House Divided Against Itself?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

While the Jewish world (not to mention so many others) debates the future of Jerusalem, and presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McMcain regularly speak about this nation’s commitment to Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel (even though the former […]

With John McCain at the Aspen Institute

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Having returned from listening to John McCain at the Aspen Institute, I am filled with more hope about the future than I thought I would be. Not so much because of what Senator McCain had to say. Though to be […]

Kirk Cameron, Israel, and God’s Plan for the World

posted by Brad Hirschfield

There is so much to respond to in Kirk Cameron’s Beliefnet interview, it’s hard to know where to begin. Not least is the notion that we need to ask ourselves why we care so much about what a former sit-com […]

Condoleezza Rice’s Aspen Performance Helps Barack Obama

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Yesterday evening’s musical performance by Condoleezza Rice at the Aspen Institute and Aspen Music Festival should have been called, Shanda (Yiddish for travesty) and Schubert. But Boosha (Hebrew for shame) and Brahms would be just as appropriate. What else to […]

Can You Be Both Religious and Racist?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

That’s the question I was asked this week by the Newsweek and Washington Post editors of the On Faith section, in light of the fact that 33% of Americans admit to racial prejudice and 90% of us claim to believe […]

Jews, News, and Head Coverings

posted by Brad Hirschfield

What do you think about wearing an “Obamica”? How about covering your head with a “McCippah”? Well, now you can. A recent post at Seattlepi.com describes Shmuel Tennenhaus’ new business, VanityKippah.com and it newest products. Take your pick, but you […]

Obama Drama At Western Wall Continues

posted by Brad Hirschfield

My recent post about Barack Obama’s Western Wall prayer drew the attention of American Spectator contributing editor Jay Homnick, who was mentioned in it. His comment: How could I be said to be abusing a religious tradition for partisan ends? […]

ACLU (and ADL) vs. U.S. Naval Academy, Regarding Prayer

posted by Brad Hirschfield

The following question was posed by the editors of the Newsweek/Washington Post blog, On Faith: The ACLU, joined by the ADL, has asked the U.S. Naval Academy to end prayers at mandatory meals, and yet all branches of the service […]

Stealing Meaning from Obama’s Western Wall Prayer

posted by Brad Hirschfield

American Spectator contributing editor, Jay Homnick wins the award for the pot calling the kettle black. He charges Barack Obama with inappropriately “politicizing” the Western Wall and somehow violating its sanctity: “The Jewish tradition invests it (Western Wall) with a […]

Obama’s Prayer and Western Wall Etiquette

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Steven Waldman concludes his post on the publication of Barack Obama’s Western Wall prayer note, with a request for responses to the candidate’s prayer. So here is mine: It’s a perfectly appropriate spiritual offering which even reflects many poetic formatics […]

Obama Hits The Wall As He Departs the Middle East

posted by Brad Hirschfield

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama made a surprise pre-dawn visit to Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Thursday, at the end of a trip aimed at showing his strong support for Israel. Hoping that something truly interesting would […]

Mass Murderer Rodovan Karadzic Snared By Ego

posted by Brad Hirschfield

It appears that the apprehension of former Bosnian Serb leader, Rodovan Karadzic, who was arrested for war crimes yesterday, was due more to ego and the love of costumes than to great police work. Years of searching for the architect […]

Bulldozer Terror in Jerusalem

posted by Brad Hirschfield

With 24 civilians wounded, one of whom lingers near death, and the terrorist himself dead (no, I don’t think they are morally equivalent, and I don’t mourn his loss. But like all of us, he had parents who will, and […]

A Mysterious Gift In Madrid

posted by Brad Hirschfield

I leave the Madrid Conference for Global Religious Dialogue this morning with many things, including a mysterious gift, many questions, and genuine hope for the future. But the gift comes with the best story, so let’s start there. The phone […]

King Abdullah’s Tear

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Two hundred Muslims, Christians, Jews, and the followers of more eastern traditions than I can list, set out in four buses this morning from the Auditorium Hotel in Madrid, on our way to the Palace. Yes, it sounds like the […]

A Funny Day To Meet The King

posted by Brad Hirschfield

I landed in Madrid this morning at the invitation of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. He is convening a meeting of religious leaders from around the world as he enters the global conversation between people of faith about how their […]

Lies and Lessons From The New Yorker

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Rod Dreher is spot on about the cover of the new New Yorker. The New Yorker is Nuts. But it may be even worse than he says. By the way, Steven Waldman’s observation about the Obamas needing thicker skin, misses […]

Hagee Haters Delight

posted by Brad Hirschfield

I don’t hate Pastor John Hagee, nor do I fear him – but many other people seem to and I wonder if their attitude is justified. You Tube has removed eighty videos featuring Pastor John Hagee from its site at […]

Obama Unnerves Liberals and Conservatives with Faith-Based Plan

posted by Brad Hirschfield

How do you get a single item to both shrink and grow at the same time? Ask Barack Obama, who did exactly that when he suggested that the Bush initiatives didn’t go far enough. The expansion comes in his commitment […]

Who’s A Terrorist

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Something is really off when everyone from CNN (look down to the World section) to the news on the AOL homepage (see the Top News) describe the attack on public bus in Jerusalem as the work of a “terrorist”, using […]

Get Intelligent!

posted by Brad Hirschfield

That’s the challenge to the listeners, and to myself, on my weekly radio show. Hirschfield and Kula is carried on Portland’s KXL Newsradio 750, and finds the spiritual perspective on everything from how we raise our kids, to politics, to […]

How Many Israels: Empathy As A Path To Peace

posted by Brad Hirschfield

It’s taken me a few days to figure out why The Two Israels, Nicholas Kristof’s piece in this past Sunday’s New York Times is so disturbing. It’s not because he focuses so much critical attention on the Jewish settlers in […]

I’ll Meet You Here Tomorrow

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Why does an author and talk-show host who was once a settler in the west bank city of Hebron, who grew up in a largely secular, Jewish home in Chicago, where he returned to study religion at the University of […]

What James Dobson Has Against Fruitcake and Barack Obama

posted by Brad Hirschfield

When he accused Presidential candidate Barack Obama of taking a “fruitcake interpretation” of the Constitution, it was clearly no compliment and neither was his accusation that Obama was “dragging biblical understanding through the gutter.” So for starters, what does Reverend […]

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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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