Heated Opinions

June 13, 2008 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

There is an upcoming lecture at the Y that is sure to elicit noise from its audience members, who, even when they’re in agreement, tend to be, um, let’s just say passionate and vocal.

Brad Hirschfield understands what it means to be a fanatic—he was one, himself. A former gun-carrying settler on the West Bank of Israel, Hirschfield will speak on “Religion: is it the problem or part of the solution?” on Tuesday, June 17, at 1:30 p.m., at the Central Queens YM&YWHA in Forest Hills. As a young man, Brad Hirschfield joined a group of settlers in the West Bank city of Hebron, committed to rebuilding the Jewish state of Israel within its biblical borders. He not only carried a gun, but used it. Now an Orthodox rabbi, he is devoted to building bridges among people of different faiths.

Many people have begun to question whether religion, itself, isn’t the problem. Can we make room, Hirschfield asks, for other beliefs without denying our own? In his new book, You Don’t Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right, Hirschfield tells of his own journey from fanaticism to a deep commitment to religious tolerance and respect for other ways of seeing the world.

An outstanding speaker, Rabbi Hirschfield is a frequent guest on national television and was named one of the top 50 American Rabbis by Newsweek. Today Brad Hirschfield is president of CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.

Central Queens YM & YWHA, at 67-09 108 Street in Forest Hills. Open to the general public, with a $4 donation requested. For more information, call 718-268-5011, ext. 151, or email pkurtz@cqyjcc.org.

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Entry filed under: Forest Hills.

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