“How are we seen” is a big question. One that undoubtedly creates an inclusive and productive space to dialogue about the killing of Michael Brown and subsequent protest. My hope though, is that beyond how one may be seen or want to be seen, we get to asking ourselves, How am I Michael Brown? How could I never be Michael Brown? And how am I Officer Wilson?
I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids -- and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass.
In her piece on Tisha B’av and communal mourning, “Out of Isolation,” Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg explores the relationship between ritual, sacred space, and conversation. She talks about how ritual can be a “container that can help us hold some of the complexity of our feelings” — in this particular case, grief. She then describes another possible vessel for our experience: conversation.
We are delighed to be featured in the newspaper of record! David Bornstein wrote an wonderful article on our work. Here's an excerpt:
“If you start a student discussion with a hard question, like ‘How can we bring peace to the Middle East?,’” Feigelson says, “the two students who think they know the most are going to debate and protest, while everyone else watches and thinks they have nothing to contribute. It doesn’t build trust or capacity for solving problems. It creates an adversarial environment.”
Ask Big Questions is a methodology and a set of tools that can help your campus build community, develop habits and skills of listening, and foster learning that leverages diversity. Campuses have used Ask Big Questions in a wide variety of ways, from convening conversations in residence halls, to campus-wide campaigns around major speakers and events, to using Ask Big Questions conversations in service-learning.
If you think Ask Big Questions could be valuable for you, we encourage you to attend Basic Training!
What is it?
This post originally appeared on the Ritualwell blog. Ritualwell.org is our partner on the Tisha B'Av guide.
"Take solace in the fact that she's in a better place now."
"Don't sit around moping after the breakup—you need to get out!"
"Cheer up! It'll get better from here."
It will be unknown to most, as my legacy is the quiet conversation in my heart between the Holy One and me.
And it will be the tens of thousands of footsteps I took at 10pm between Hillel and 30th St. Station.
It will be the parties I hosted and all the toasts I made to friends.
And it will be all the creative projects began though never brought to fruition.
It will be my old brown belt.
And it will be the handful students who accepted my invitation and headed off to Jerusalem.
We are delighted to share the closing d'var Torah (sermon) that Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg gave at Hillel International's inagural Changemakers event in New York City on June 9th.
If you had to guess, what do you think the greatest sages in the Jewish tradition would pick as the most important moment in the Torah?
We are delighted to share the talk that Eboo Patel gave at Hillel International's inagural Changemakers event in New York City on June 9th.