A different perspective on compassion

Having shared with you Shai Held’s thoughts on chesed and compassion, we’d like to draw your attention to Brené Brown’s TEDxHouston talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” from December 2010.  In it, she talks about the need for compassion to start within by embracing vulnerability and our own imperfection and nonetheless affirming that we are worthy of love and connection.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the two talks as companion pieces. Continue reading

Call and Response – The Jewish Wisdom behind Compassion

“Cultivating compassion and empathy is at the very heart of Judaism’s vision of a spiritual life. To take Judaism seriously is to commit to growing kinder, to showing up, and being present with people during moments of pain and suffering.”

The world is and has always been a place of great beauty and painful, dark, troubling events. Looking back at this past year, in particular, the flow of suffering seems to be a rising tide. We see and feel deeply the magnitude of crisis and tragedy and pain, both global and intensely personal – the thousands dead of Ebola, the protests of Ferguson and beyond, the victims of Har Nof. And now Paris.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed, to protect yourself from deep fear by distancing yourself, to go numb. Continue reading