Irwin Kula
Rabbi; President of CLAL
01:17

Re: What is your outlook?

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Reality, Kula says, is a giant connect-the-dots game.

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
Oh I’m an optimistic person. It’s like . . . I think there’s the . . . There’s a fundamental, spiritual choice. It’s not a fact choice. I think the facts can be . . . It’s like a giant . . . Reality is like a giant connect-the-dot game, you know? And so you know, you connect the dots when you were kids, and you did one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, and then you brought it to your parent. And if it was supposed to be a cat but you didn’t connect it right and somehow it became a duck, you don’t want your parents saying to you, “That’s stupid. It was supposed to be a cat; you made it a duck.” You wanted your parents to say, “Wow! That’s simply unbelievable. I don’t know if you got all the numbers in order, but you created an amazing new picture!” I’m an optimistic . . . Reality can be connected in a lot of different ways. I connect those dots towards optimism, towards hope, towards possibility. I don’t think naively. Life is hard. There is pain in life. There is suffering in life; but we have tremendous resiliency and tremendous capacity to transcend that and to make our lives and other lives better. Recorded on: 8/15/07


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