May 2018
Wisdom from Our Teachers
I am coming up on the conclusion of seven years as the director of IJS - a full cycle, like the fullness of creation or the cycle of the fields. I am so proud of the work of IJS and how we have grown, offering spiritual seekers opportunities to deepen their practice, and reaching out to connect with new people who may not have even thought of themselves as spiritual seekers. I have learned so much about so many things. But one of the most meaningful "perks" of the job has been getting to know my predecessor, Rabbi Rachel Cowan.

Rachel is rightly known as a visionary pioneer in the Jewish world. Her own life experience revealed places where the Jewish community needed to grow and Rachel is the kind of activist who recognizes that if something is true for her, it must be true for others. She consistently connects her own needs to those of the larger community and helps make things better not just for her, but for everyone. You might even say for the sake of the Shechinah.

Practices in this Letter
Krista Tippett with Frances Kipping
Rabbi Nancy Flam
Linda Thal, PhD
Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
The Good in the Other, the Doubt in Ourselves
Krista Tippett with Frances Kipping

Becoming Wise is podcast initiative that has evolved as an inquiry into the mystery and art of living. In this podcast, award-winning journalist Krista Tippett interviews scholar and activist Frances Kipping on the wisdom of goodwill and understanding, rather than agreement or victory, as bridges between difference.

"You've got to be willing to risk in order to make change. You've got to approach differences with the notion that there is good in the other."

Wiser: A Poem
Rabbi Nancy Flam

Being young is no picnic.
There you are, a giant soul in a small body
Beset by the overwhelming task of
Learning how to become a person
Use a toilet eat with utensils speak a language convey your needs
Dress right look attractive relate to television have something to say

Wisdom on Wisdom: Webinar
Linda Thal, PhD, co-author of Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit

Although wisdom is not something that can be taught, it can be cultivated. We need to think more deeply about the nature of wisdom and the ways in which we can cultivate the growth of wisdom both in ourselves and for those with whom we work.

Wisdom has generally been the subject of philosophers, but scholars of psychology and neuro-psychology are beginning to ask about both the nature of wisdom and its correlation to life experience. In this webinar, Linda Thal will introduce some of the ideas and questions these researchers are exploring and we will relate their preliminary answers to the IJS Wise Aging program curriculum.

Chochmah: Meditation on Wisdom
Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell

"Marbeh yeshivah, marbeh chochmah" - "The more sitting, the more wisdom." (Pirkei Avot 2:7)

This teaching from Rabban Gamliel in Pirke Avot points the way to a Jewish mindfulness approach for developing greater wisdom. The more we sit, and the more we train in our capacity to just be with whatever is present right now, the more we are able to be clear and grow in wisdom.

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