Rethinking Religion

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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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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US Politics

Taking Back the Bible

Same-sex relationships. Abortion. Contraception. All three are under attack by religious conservatives who say biblical teachings are on their side. The Bible says little, if anything, about the politically charged issues…and what it does say runs counter to their right-wing assumptions.
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Rethinking Religion

Fierceness and Reverence: Building the Religious Counterculture

As religious people, we face our lives head on, knowing that our time is short here. And so we live with a little fire and intensity, fierceness and reverence.
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Judaism

Celebrating the World Reborn

Figuring large in the mystical understanding of Rosh Hashanah is a daring kabbalistic concept—the nesira, the removal of the investment of inner presence in all the worlds on Rosh Hashanah night, to be returned renewed with all the illuminations and energy for the coming year at the time of the shofar blowing the next morning.
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Spiritual Politics

Immigration Reform and Faith Values: The Agenda of the Lamb

Comprehensive immigration reform is about the right thing to do. To really see how the Bible looks at the issue of immigration, and how we should deal with the 11 million undocumented immigrants that reside in our country, one must continue reading Romans 13, which states, “ … owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
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Judaism

Rethinking Prophecy

What defines a prophet? Is it a moral compulsion to speak the truth, no matter the consequences? A look back across history uncovers misguided prophets, prophets of evil, and some true prophetic personalities.
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