Rethinking Religion

Judaism

The Color of Judaism: A Cultural Reflection and Plea for the New Year

No matter what I am wearing, what is covering my head, or what color my skin is, I am Jewish. But being Jewish does not take away the fact that I am a person of color either.
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Judaism

High Holiday Repentance Workbook 2014 / 5775

To acknowledge our own screw-ups is an important first step. But the High Holidays are not about getting ourselves to feel guilty, but rather engaging in a process of change. If we don’t make those changes internally and in our communities and in our society, all the breast-beating and self-criticism become an empty ritual.
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Judaism

The Joy of Yom Kippur: A Conversation Between Dovid Gottlieb and Michael Lerner

Yom Kippur engages in honest, wrenching self-evaluation. Read Rabbis Dovid Gottlieb and Michael Lerner’s discussion of the twenty-five hour fast.
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Rethinking Religion

Names of God

Fourteenth-century mystic and activist Meister Eckhart says “all the names we give to God come from an understanding of ourselves.” If he is correct, then as humanity’s self-understanding and understanding of the cosmos evolve, then clearly our God-names will evolve …
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Spirituality

Embracing and/or Refusing God-Talk

The most mature faith is not all “sweetness and light”—it is a grappling with holiness that also addresses the abrasiveness of the biblical God.
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Spirituality

What Takes the Place of What Used to Be Called God?

We often mean different things when we say “God.” Distinguishing between theistic, pantheistic, and panentheistic notions can clarify our discussions.
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Film

Rabbi Zalman and the Making of Seeking the 36

In 2007 the two of us—novelist Stephen Billias and filmmaker Dennis Lanson—completed our collaboration on a screenplay entitled The 36 about the Lamed Vov, the Thirty-Six Just Men of Jewish folklore. While trying to sell the screenplay, we decided to make a separate documentary film called Seeking the 36 in which we would look for the Lamed Vov living in the world today.
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Judaism

Shavuot’s Revelation of Self

Shavuot provides an opportunity to peer deeply into the open self, a process embodied in the receiving of Torah at Sinai. The question is: will you choose to go up?
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Judaism

The Tikkun Passover Supplement

The Jewish liberation holiday, Passover, has messages for anyone seeking to heal the world. This supplement expands on the Haggadah (Seder guide).
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Interfaith

The Tao of Torah

More than a decade ago I was invited to join a monthly Torah study group in the San Francisco Bay Area that met at the homes of the group members. All of the members were currently or had once been …
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Judaism

Jacob, Joseph, and His Brothers: A Story of Child Abuse?

Almost no one wants to talk about the abuse of children, so it is understandable that almost no one wants to address Jacob’s abuse of Joseph–yet the text itself supports this reading.
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Judaism

Responses to the Pew Report on American Jewry

Are Jews in existential free-fall? According to the latest Pew Research Center report, 22 percent of Jews have abandoned Judaism and only 15 percent identify Judaism as essential to being Jewish. Rabbi Michael Lerner shares some stirring responses and invites others to join the discussion as well.
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Judaism

Jigsaw Pieces Toward the Puzzle of a Jewish Future

Are Jews in existential free-fall? According to the latest Pew Research Center report, 22 percent of Jews have abandoned Judaism and only 15 percent identify Judaism as essential to being Jewish. Rabbi Arthur Waskow offers an insightful response.
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Judaism

My Response to “A Portrait of Jewish Americans”

Are Jews in existential free-fall? According to the latest Pew Research Center report, 22 percent of Jews have abandoned Judaism and only 15 percent identify Judaism as essential to being Jewish. Rabbi Rami Shapiro delivers a stirring response.
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Spiritual Politics

Sikh Ethics and Political Engagement

Built into Sikh tradition is a firm ethic of adhering to a truthful and just process—the idea that the ends do not justify the means. As a result, simply stating that attacks upon Sikhs in a post-9/11 context are “mistaken” or “misdirected” because they should be directed toward another group, Muslims, is an untenable deflection. Instead, American Sikhs walk a thin rhetorical line between declaring what we are—a group that aims to elevate the consciousness of all people to appreciate our common divinity—and declaring what we are not in order to avoid the short-term consequences of popular confusion.
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