As part of Sinai and Synapses’ series “More Light, Less Heat,” Rev. Dr. Ruth Shaver and Bill Richards discuss what inspires them to create and educate.
While hard work is the way ideas get actualized, rest is an effective way for us to evaluate our ideas.
Too often, preparing students to become bar or bat mitzvah feels like “studying for the test.” And as anyone who has ever “studied for the test” knows, the day after the test, all the information goes in one ear and out the other. Instead, becoming bar or bat mitzvah should truly be about making a transition — namely, from being a child in the Jewish community to becoming an adult. And so as our 13-year-olds grow and develop, and as we celebrate their entrance into the Jewish community, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to teach them skills for life-long learning.
While an ethic of “do what you feel” would obviously be disastrous, there may be a way to transform this “moral individualism” into “moral ownership.”
Awareness, intentionality and self-knowledge have become rich sources of scientific inquiry. Interestingly, these ideas also have deep resonance with teachings found within Jewish tradition.
While some people think of science and religion as being inherently in conflict, I think it’s because they tend to define “religion” as “blind acceptance and complete certainty about silly, superstitious fantasies.” Quite honestly, if that’s what religion really was, I wouldn’t be religious! In fact, it’s not “religion” in general, but that particular definition of religion that is so often in conflict with science. Instead, my experience with Judaism has been that it embraces science quite easily. So why is that?
What makes a moment truly special isn’t the moment itself — it’s how that moment changes the future. Holiness is about marking a transition,but the crucial thing to remember is that the implications of a holy moment can’t end at that moment.
Is “intelligence” the same thing as “wisdom”? Or, to phrase it another way, if computers can become “intelligent,” is there any way they could become “wise”?
If we have to think about who we are — a most basic and fundamental question — in new and inventive ways, then we’ll be that much more likely to start thinking of programs, products, and situations in new and inventive ways, as well.
Today, “Jewish identity” is no longer fixed, and it is no longer a given — it has to be created and nurtured in order to be chosen and embraced. And in fact, that has the potential to be a great boon for the Jewish community.