Irwin Kula
Rabbi; President of CLAL
01:52

Re What is your counsel?

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People need to be honored for doing their part.

Irwin Kula

Known as both a provocative religious leader and a respected spiritual iconoclast, Irwin Kula has inspired thousands nationwide using Jewish wisdom in ways that speak to modern life.  He is the author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life (Hyperion, Sept. 2006), which won a “Books for a Better Life Award,” and was selected as one of “10 Best Spiritual Books of 2006.” Featured in the public TV special, “The Hidden Wisdom of Our Yearnings,” and the acclaimed film, Time for a New God, he ranked No. 8 in the “Top 50 Rabbis in America,” listed in Newsweek, and was named by Fast Company magazine and “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly” (PBS) as one of the new leaders shaping the American spiritual landscape. A regular on The Today Show, he is the co-host of Hirschfield and Kula: Intelligent Talk Radio (KXL, Portland, OR), and hosted his own public TV series, Simple Wisdom with Irwin Kula. Rabbi Kula is the President of CLAL, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.

Transcript
We as humankind. Again, at the question . . . At the macro level, it’s always the similar kind of answer. Here’s what we should do. We should be taking care of other people a little bit better; taking care of ourselves a little better; and the full dimensions of taking care – our physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual lives. We should be taking care of them and deepening them for ourselves, for other people around us, and for the world in which we live. And it is concentric circles. I think that we do have to take . . . We do have to take care of our own children before we take care of someone else’s children, but it’s not a zero sum again. Which means if I don’t take care of my own children, but I’m taking care of everybody else, something’s off. So how do I build concentric levels of obligation, and responsibility, and ever-increasing . . . knowing sometimes that I’m gonna have to rest right here ‘cause either I have scarce resources, or I don’t have enough energy; but that wherever I stop is a resting point, and ‘til really the whole world is improved. So that’s the people side, and the other side is the environment side. Many of us are not gonna be able to deal with the large environmental crises. If you were CEO of WalMart actually, and you go green, you’ve done an incredible thing in the midst of what ________ problems with WalMart. And people need to be honored for the parts they do and not simply be criticized for the parts they don’t; but each of us can do our own piece of that. It’s again like that scale. So just tip it a little bit towards taking care on all four levels one’s self; the other people immediately around you, widening that circle; and then the earth itself. Recorded on: 8/15/07


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