One For The Road

Rabbi Rami One For The Road

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His spiritual advice column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," addresses reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more.

In each issue his column signs off with "One For The Road," welcoming you to share your comments on a final question. 

2018 July/August

Which God should I fear most?

I’m a Hindu but my parents sent me to a Catholic school. We have many idols in our home, but I was taught that idolatry is forbidden. In a pique of rage, I smashed my mother’s favorite statue of Ganesha. I bought her another, and she forgave me. But I’m not sure about Lord Ganesha whose image I smashed, or about God who applauds my smashing of idols. Which God should I fear most? 

2018 May/June

In the past three years both my sons committed suicide.

In the past three years both my sons committed suicide, and now I constantly hover over my young adult daughter for fear she’s plotting to do the same. I’m angry with God, worrying that He may have killed my boys to test me the way He killed Job’s children to test him. What did I do to drive my boys to take their own lives? What can I do to keep my daughter from taking hers?

2018 March/April

We told my niece that her mom died in a car crash. She isn't dead.

My niece is dying from a rare blood disorder. She takes comfort in believing she will soon be with her mother in heaven. I know otherwise: My sister isn’t dead. We told my niece that her mom died in a car crash shortly after giving birth to her, to spare her from the truth that her mother abandoned her and her father and ran off with another man. I stayed in touch with my sister (barely) and told her that her daughter is dying. She wants to see her before she does. What should I do?

2018 January/February

My Husband Encountered God

On a trek in the desert Southwest, my husband encountered God, who told my husband that he was God’s prophet. He now wants to sell all we have, and start a global ministry promoting him as God’s messenger. I believe in God, but not in my husband. I don’t want to leave him, but I fear if I don’t follow him, he will leave me. What should I do?   

2017 November/December

Recovering from a Double Mastectomy

I'm recovering at my mother's house from a double mastectomy. Alone in the house the other day, I went into my mother's room, stood before this huge crucifix she has hanging on the wall facing her bed, ripped open my blouse, exposed my scarred chest to the Crucified Christ, and angrily screamed, "Why, why, why, why?" over and over again. Now I'm petrified He's going to bring the cancer back. What should I do?