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August 24, 2016 / 20 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘talk’

Talk About Art, Change Your Life

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

“I wandered for a time looking for what was always right there” – Astrid Daley

 

Do you notice the things around you?

Do you really see the homes, stores, and buildings that you pass every day?

How well do you truly see?

Art Historian Amy Herman’s new book Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life argues that most of us do not notice the things around us. We do not really see the homes, stores, and buildings we pass every day. And we do not truly see well.

For many years, Herman has been teaching a workshop at the Frick Museum in New York City entitled “The Art of Perception.” The workshop began when she brought a course created by a dermatology professor at Yale University to New York medical schools. This course taught students to analyze works of art in order to improve their patient observation skills. In other words, students looked at works of art and described the “who, what, where, when, and why” of the object. Shockingly, a clinical study found that students who took the “The Art of Perception” course had diagnostic skills that were 56 percent better than students who did not take the course. The presumably unrelated skill of observing art correlated with the skill of diagnosing patient illness.

Herman’s work poses and then answers the questions: “How can looking at Monet’s water lily paintings help save your company millions? How can noticing people’s footwear foil a terrorist attack? How can your choice of adjective win an argument, calm your children, or catch a thief?”

In reality, we all see just fine, but what Herman teaches and refines is visual intelligence – a set of skills that we are born with but do not know how to use effectively. Looking at art and describing what we see, helps sharpen our visual intelligence and communicate more effectively.

Over the last two decades, Herman has trained police officers, business executives, medical professionals, and customer service representatives in the art of perception. Of course, Herman understands the skepticism involved in using works of art to train people to do their jobs in very different fields. “Looking at old painting and sculptures is definitely not the first thing most people think of when I tell them we’re going to get their neurons firing and increase their brain-processing speed. They picture engaging in cutting-edge 3D computerized training or at least wearing Google glasses while walking down a busy street, not strolling through a museum viewing objects that have sat still for hundreds of years. But that’s exactly the point: art doesn’t walk away. If you want to study human behavior, you can park yourself somewhere public and people watch: guess at who they are, why they’re dressed that way, where they’re going…until they leave. And you’ll never know if you’re right or wrong. Or you could analyze words of art that we have the answers to: the who, what, where, when, and why. Art historian David Joselit describes art as ‘exorbitant stockpiles of experience and information.’ It contains everything we need to hone our observation, perception, and communication expertise.”

Looking at art forces us to engage in an entirely new thought process. Research shows that people learn best when they are in a slightly stressful situation (which novel experiences like looking at art can create). Therefore, perhaps the best way to reevaluate and reassess something we always do – the way we parent, the way we interact with others, the way we do our jobs, or the way we view the world around us – is “to step outside of ourselves, and outside of our comfort zone.”

Rifka Schonfeld

Soul Talk With Rabbi David Aaron & Leora Mandel – How To Mourn For A Temple I Never Saw [audio]

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Tisha B’Av, the ninth of Av, is the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. It is a day on which mourn the loss of the temple.

How can I mourn over something of which I have no concept, as I never experienced what it was within my own lifetime?

Join Rabbi David Aaron on Soul Talk to get a deeper understanding of what the Temple was and how its loss affects us today.

Send us an e-mail with your questions: soultalk@israelnewstalkradio.com.

Soul Talk 14Aug – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Soul Talk – Spiritual Principles for Dealing with Difficult People in Our Lives [audio]

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

It seems as thought everyone has a difficult someone (or sometimes more than one) in their life. How are we best to deal with and respond to difficult people in our lives? Are there spiritual principles or a specific mindset we should be in when facing challenging people or situations?

Listen to Rabbi David Aaron on Soul Talk to get greater insight and constructive tools in dealing with the difficult people in your life.

Please send us your comments and questions to soultalk@israelnewstalkradio.com.

Soul Talk 17Jul – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

VH1’s Newest Talk Show Host Supports a Boycott of Israel & Defends Hamas

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Reports indicate that a supporter of BDS – a boycott of Israel – a self-proclaimed radical who has supported numerous anti-American initiatives has been named the host of a new late nite talk show on VH1. Marc Lamont Hill, a CNN commentator will launch VH1 Live which will air weekly on the Viacom-owned cable network on Sunday, July 17 at 10 PM.

Would a supporter of segregation be rewarded with a talk show? How about someone who is fiercely anti-LGBT? It seems that racism is only ok if it is directed at Israel. Hill is a staunch opponent of Israel, a proud BDS supporter – and an outspoken advocate against the so-called “occupation of Palestine.”

Witness, on June 7, 2016, Marc Lamont Hill tweeted: “Israel is very much, by definition, an apartheid state.” An avid supporter of Boycott Divest Sanctions (BDS), he recently criticized New York State Governor Cuomo’s initiative to stop illegal American boycotts of Israel, and simplistically defends the movement insisting it is not seeking Israel’s destruction.  Hill, quite active on social media, says that “Blaming the Palestinian Authority for violence in the region is dishonest and unproductive,” noting that Jerusalem is occupied. Hill advocates the “return” of third- and fourth-generation descendants of Palestinian Arabs who left Israel in 1948 and 1967 – a position which would lead to the demographic destruction of the State of Israel.

Hill believes there is no religious component to the issue of Palestine.  In a remarkable denial of accepted facts, he denies Radical Islamists or religion at all is an issue between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.

During a CNN appearance on August 4, 2014, Lamont-Hill complained that Israel’s defensive Iron Dome weapon ‘Takes Away Hamas’s Military Leverage’ Over Israel.

He said,But what the Iron Dome does is it also takes away all of Hamas’s military leverage which is very different than say, 10 years ago or 15 years ago in other wars like Lebanon, etc. As a result, it not only serves a defensive purpose but de facto serves an offensive purpose. It allows Israel to essentially assault and siege Gaza without any retribution or response on the other side. So again, to some extent, they are not just funding defense, they are funding an offensive war and ultimately an occupation. That for me is the problem.”

Hill appears to object to Iron Dome because it “serves an offensive purpose” by allowing Israel to stop Hamas – which he does not consider a terrorist group – from killing Israeli citizens in “retribution.”(Note to Mr. Hill: There is no moral equivalent between Israel & Hamas).

Hill is so passionate about this issue that he has said the Palestinian issue determines how he votes – and last election he voted for Cynthia McKinney for President, a radical who promotes conspiracy theories, including that ISIS works for Israel.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, Hill’s choice for President “..has a history of using anti-Israel rhetoric, including accusing the pro-Israel lobby of sabotaging her political career and alleging that Israel of committing genocide, apartheid and war crimes.”   In 2009, she “accused Israel of committing genocide”, has met with leaders of Hamas, and has criticized Israel for its military operation against Hamas. She has “…condemned the U.S. for supporting “Israel’s war machine.”

It is not just on Middle East issues that Hill holds radical viewpoints.  In 2009, Hill agreed with the America-hating professor Ward Churchill, who was fired from the University of Colorado at Boulder for an essay he wrote titled “On the Justice of Roosting Chickens” which said that the 9/11 World Trade Center victims deserved what they got.

Churchill’s essay asserted that the victims who died in the World Trade Center were akin to “little Eichmanns” [a reference to Adolf Eichmann, “architect of the Holocaust”] who, as a consequence of their status as faceless cogs in America’s allegedly destructive capitalist economy, had essentially brought the terrorist attacks upon themselves.

Marc Lamont Hill commented on Churchill’s termination:

“This is a really sad day for American academic life and American public life. Ward Churchill should not have been fired. This has been about free speech from the beginning…. A witch hunt began the moment that he made those comments about the 9/11 victims. And regardless of what we think about his comments, he has the right to make them. In fact, he has the responsibility to make them as an academic if he believes them to be true … and if he can empirically substantiate them, and I think he’s done that…. When you look at his ‘Little Eichmann’ comment, he’s explained this. He was referring to Hannah Arendt, on of the great theorists of our time, in which he was saying that often times, the big bad person that you think is this crazy killer is actually an ordinary technocrat, someone in a building who pushes buttons, who does things without any sort of sensibility about how bad they are.

And he is saying that many times the people who were in that building may have been advancing an American global financial empire without any thinking about it. And I don’t necessarily agree that we should be indifferent to their suffering. I happen to be a little more sympathetic to the victims and their families than Ward Churchill is, but he certainly had a valid point…”

When Bill O’Reilly subsequently took issue with what he called Churchill’s “Little Nazis”comment, Hill replied: “He [Churchill] didn’t say Little Nazis … Not Little Nazis, Little Eichmanns…. That’s different than calling them Nazis. He added context and texture to it.”

Hill defended President Obama’s former green jobs czar Van Jones who was forced to resign in September 2009, amid controversy over his self-proclaimed communist activism,  saying:

“[I]t’s so disappointing that the Obama administration didn’t fight for Van Jones. They put him up there. They hired the guy. And then throw him under the bus when it’s politically expedient. It’s very disappointing.”

In this age of political correctness, if one would take such radical public positions against the LGBTQ community or individuals within it, or be openly hostile to the Latino community, that person would hardly be considered for his own talk show on VH1, a source of information and entertainment for the younger generations.  Marc Lamont Hill has the right to his beliefs – yet these radical, extremist positions which are so at odds with the majority of Americans of all political persuasions should not be rewarded with a talk show on VH1.

Ronn Torossian

Soul Talk – Why Can’t I Connect with Formal Prayer? [audio]

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Prayer is a very important way to connect to G-d and connect to ourselves. Yet, it can sometimes feel easier to make that connection when I say my own personal prayers. After all, they are in my own words infused with my own thanks, worries and desires. How can I more effectively connect to formalized prayer from the prayer book?

Join Leora Mandel and Rabbi David Aaron, where you will get a new understanding of what prayer is all about and a new perspective that will likely change and empower your prayers.

Please feel free to send your questions for Rabbi Aaron at soultalk@israelnewstalkradio.com.

Soul Talk 10Jul – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

How to Talk to Jews about Israel

Monday, July 11th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Abu Yehuda}

Quite a few years ago, I went to a meeting in San Francisco about Israel advocacy, sponsored by the ADL (when the ADL was still interested in Israel advocacy). One of the speakers suggested a form of triage: There are those that are strongly against us, those that are strongly with us and those that haven’t decided. Talk to the ones that are undecided, he said.

I decided to take his advice, and in particular I wanted to talk to the Jews in my own community who (I thought) simply didn’t have the information they needed to understand what was happening.

I failed, utterly, both in my personal appeals and via the media.

The media was less than helpful. During one of our wars, a local TV station asked to interview my wife and me, since our children lived in Israel. I talked to the pleasant reporter on camera for at least a half hour. I mentioned how Hamas fires rockets from populated areas, how Arab casualty figures are inflated, how Israel takes great care not to hurt civilians, and how the terrorism never stops. The reporter kept asking me “but aren’t you worried about your kids?” I deflected the question several times, but finally said “Of course I’m worried, who wouldn’t be?” Guess what 10 second sound bite appeared on the news program!

I tried to buy a day sponsorship from the local NPR station “in honor of the 1000 [or whatever the number was at the time] Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism since 2000.” They refused, saying that I couldn’t prove that there were so many victims. I provided names, dates and locations. They said that it was ‘too political.’ I said it wasn’t political, it was factual and asked how it was different from the sponsorship they did accept “in honor of the victims of the Stonewall Uprising.” That’s different, they said. That was a matter of civil rights, not politics. Anyway, you can’t prove that there were so many victims.

The local newspaper sometimes printed my letters, all 200 words of them, and sometimes not. They rarely printed op-eds that I wrote. Meanwhile the ‘news stories’ that ran every day pushed the ‘cycle of violence’ line that presented the attempts to kill us as a squabble between two parties both at fault.

My personal approaches were, if anything, more frustrating. People were polite, but noncommittal. As time went on, I realized that they weren’t uninterested; rather, they sensed that my position wasn’t shared by many Democratic politicians, NPR and the New York Times. They suspected that I was influenced by Republican ideas or even becoming a Republican myself. I realized, in 1960s slang, that they were shining me on. Anything I said was tainted and could be ignored.

As time went by and Barack Obama became president and Israel more and more a partisan issue, it got much worse. Now it wasn’t the ‘cycle of violence’ anymore, it was ‘Netanyahu won’t negotiate and won’t stop building settlements’. The local Reform rabbi refused to allow a film critical of J Street to be shown in his building. The Jewish Federation, of which I was a board member, was increasingly nervous about programs related to Israel.

It soon became clear that there weren’t very many ‘undecideds’. There were those that were pro-Israel, those that were against us, and those that would not listen because being pro-Israel was out of their political comfort zone.

Last night I attended another meeting, also dealing with Israel advocacy, in Jerusalem. One of the speakers was the brilliant Evelyn Gordon, and one of the things she said was that maybe trying to convince the unconvinced – at least by means of logical arguments – didn’t pay, and we should concentrate on providing the facts and the ideological basis to support those who were already emotionally on our side.

Another speaker, young activist Alexandra Markus contrasted her campus experience of pro-Israel people reciting facts with the emotionally effective drama staged by Students for Justice in Palestine.

I immediately realized that they were right. One of the lessons gleaned from Jonathan Haidt’s insightful book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, is that our emotions are in the driver’s seat, and reasoning only comes along as a rider that helps us explain the choices our emotions have already made.

All those years in California, it turns out, I was doing it wrong. That TV reporter understood that in order to make an impact on her viewers, she had to pick out the most emotionally powerful moment in her footage – even if it didn’t help my cause.

The Jewish woman who is emotionally invested in the ‘first black president’, who sees him as a father figure, who comments “I love this man” on a picture of him in Facebook,  is not going to hear me when I list the ways that Obama has damaged Israel and helped her enemies. She is not likely to listen when I bore her to tears by explaining the basis in international law for Jewish settlements across the Green Line. Her President said they were ‘illegitimate’ and if she is anything, she is loyal and patriotic.

What I should have said to her (instead of “armistice lines, 4th Geneva Convention, blah blah”) was something like this:

You are a loyal person, but what are you loyal to? Your ancestors came out of slavery in Egypt, were thrown out of Judea by the Romans, scattered across the world, lived in ghettos, paid jizya to Muslim kings, were burned in the ovens of the Holocaust, and now the Jewish people, your people have finally become sovereign in their historic homeland, and you side with this mediocrity from Kenya instead of them?

And to the Jewish students cowering on their campuses in fear of black and Arab students, I would say this:

You are not ‘privileged white colonizers’, you are an ancient people, the most ancient around. Where is your pride? Nobody has the right or the power to define you. Learn your language and speak it among yourselves, practice your krav maga and deter them from harassing you. Learn the truth about your homeland – and make it your goal to join your people there.

The best thing that pro-Israel American Jews can do is to exemplify Jewish pride, self-respect and self-reliance (like the Jewish state itself). Trying to be ‘Americans of the Mosaic persuasion’ is not a good strategy, as Jewish students are discovering. They should act like Jews, representatives of the people whose roots are in ancient Judea.

They will be accused of ‘dual loyalty’ – a misnomer, because the accusation is that their loyalty to the Jewish people and state is greater than that to America. It can’t be avoided, because they are required to be loyal to their people.

That is the basic contradiction of Diaspora life. If you like living in America, you can decide to live with it. Or you can make aliyah.

Vic Rosenthal

Abbas: If Liberman Supports 2-State Solution We’ll Talk to Him

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday responded for the first time to the appointment of Avigdor Liberman as Israel’s Defense Minister and stated that he does not judge people based on their party affiliation nor even what they say, but only based on their action to promote peace, Israel Radio reported Tuesday evening.

Abbas, who spoke at the Mukataa, the PLO headquarters compound in Ramallah, to Israeli Arab regional council heads from Galilee, added that if Liberman is saying he supports the two-state solution, nothing will stop the Palestinians Authority from opening a dialog with him.

“If Liberman really means it, the Palestinian will forget that he accused them of being terrorist diplomats, and will judge him only based on his future action,” Abbas concluded.

But as JoeSettler reported on JewishPress.com Tuesday, Liberman has always supported a 2-State solution, and would evacuate his home in the settlement of Nokdim for peace, however, Liberman envisions a Palestinian State consisting of all the Arabs on this side of the Jordan River – with no Jews, and an Israeli state on this side of the Jordan River – with a lot less Arabs citizens.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/abbas-if-lieberman-supports-2-state-solution-well-talk-to-him/2016/05/31/

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