Spirituality & Health Magazine

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Why I'm Not A [Blank]

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Fri, February 17 2012

Why I'm Not A [Blank]

By:
Rabbi Rami Shapiro

A couple of weeks ago during a Q&A session after a talk I gave I was asked, “Why aren’t you a Christian?” I was intrigued by the question and its corollaries: Why I’m not a Muslim, Hindu, etc. Here are some thoughts on each of these.

Why I’m Not a Christian

Rabbi Rami Shapiro's picture
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," appears bimonthly in Spirituality & Health magazine. His newest book is "Rabbi Rami Guides: God"

Trust the Ball

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Sat, January 14 2012

Trust the Ball

By:
Rabbi Rami Shapiro
Now that we have two GOP contests under our belt I turned to my trustworthy Magic 8-Ball to determine the future. Here is what I learned:
 
-Will Mitt Romney be the next President of the United States? Yes.
Rabbi Rami Shapiro's picture
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," appears bimonthly in Spirituality & Health magazine. His newest book is "Rabbi Rami Guides: God"

Hosting an Interfaith Harmony Breakfast

Fri, January 13 2012

Hosting an Interfaith Harmony Breakfast

By:
Rabbi Rami Shapiro
The first week in February is World Interfaith Harmony Week. The week was proposed by the Jordanian delegation to the United Nations and established by the UN General Assembly in 2011. In response Rev. Tim Miner and I (Rev. Tim is the creator of the Big I conference we are hosting in Nashville on February 4-5) began to promote World Interfaith Harmony Week Breakfasts around the globe.
 
Last year there were numerous breakfasts on every continent, some large some small. This year we are hoping to see the numbers increase. To help with that let me provide a simple outline for hosting such a breakfast.
 
First, think small and local. If you have a church, mosque, synagogue or other institution to work with that might lend itself to a larger breakfast, but even if you a few friends get together it is worth it. You can meet in a home or a restaurant if that better suits your situation.
 
Second, set a fixed time to gather. We run our breakfast from 8 to 10 in the morning.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro's picture
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," appears bimonthly in Spirituality & Health magazine. His newest book is "Rabbi Rami Guides: God"

Great Jews

Wed, January 11 2012

Great Jews

By:
Rabbi Rami Shapiro
Rabbi David Wolpe, citing Rav Abraham Isaac Kook, asks a great question in his 12/29/11 blog post: When will Jews who are great also be great Jews? This questions begs another: What makes a great Jew? Is it observance of Jewish tradition? And, if so, how observant? Is it contributing to Jewish causes? And if so, how much?
 
Rabbi Wolpe notes that the kind of mind rabbinic Judaism requires—a mind devoted to critical thinking, reason, analysis, argument, and doubt; a mind at home with paradox and aflame with possibility and imagination—explains why so many non-observant Jews rise to the top of their respective fields: they still have that kind of mind.
 
Maybe. There is something in the training of a Jewish mind that, while not unique in the world of parenting may be quintessentially Jewish. That is to say that while nonJewish parents may raise their kids to be iconoclasts, Judaism elevates this kind of childrearing to the status of divine command. Jews are Yisrael, God wrestlers. We are trained to struggle with “God and humans and to survive,” (Genesis 22:24). We may not be the only people that do this, but we may be the only people that do it on purpose as a matter of cultural norm.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro's picture
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," appears bimonthly in Spirituality & Health magazine. His newest book is "Rabbi Rami Guides: God"

Concerning Christmas

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Concerning Christmas
Fri, December 23 2011

Concerning Christmas

By:
Rabbi Rami Shapiro

ChristmasTwo people emailed me this morning with questions about Ch

Rabbi Rami Shapiro's picture
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," appears bimonthly in Spirituality & Health magazine. His newest book is "Rabbi Rami Guides: God"

I Smell Millenial Spirit

Fri, December 09 2011

I Smell Millenial Spirit

By:
Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Over the past few months I have visited a variety of synagogues and churches across the country. Each of them had one thing in common: a dearth of young people in attendance.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro's picture
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," appears bimonthly in Spirituality & Health magazine. His newest book is "Rabbi Rami Guides: God"

Email is Great

Fri, December 02 2011

Email is Great

By:
Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Email is so great.

Just this morning I opened my mail and found 85 messages waiting for me. Scanning the subject headings I learned that Michelle Obama wants to meet me. Seriously! She sent me two emails saying, and I quote, “Rami, I want to meet you.”

Rabbi Rami Shapiro's picture
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," appears bimonthly in Spirituality & Health magazine. His newest book is "Rabbi Rami Guides: God"

Would The World Be Better Off Without Religion?

Mon, November 28 2011

Would The World Be Better Off Without Religion?

By:
Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Would the world be better off without religion? This was the question debated on NPR’s Intelligence Squared the other day, and, like most debates, left me annoyed.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro's picture
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," appears bimonthly in Spirituality & Health magazine. His newest book is "Rabbi Rami Guides: God"

You Say You Want a Revolution

Fri, November 18 2011

You Say You Want a Revolution

By:
Rabbi Rami Shapiro

[This morning while sitting in the Nashville International Airport reading the newspaper a mustachioed Frenchman sitting next to me starts up a conversation. In the interest of space and clarity I’m skipping my part of the conversation.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro's picture
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," appears bimonthly in Spirituality & Health magazine. His newest book is "Rabbi Rami Guides: God"

The Promise of Interfaith

Thu, November 10 2011

The Promise of Interfaith

By:
Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Where can interfaith dialogue take us? I was asked this recently, and want to share my answer with you here.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro's picture
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," appears bimonthly in Spirituality & Health magazine. His newest book is "Rabbi Rami Guides: God"

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