Spirituality & Faith


Celebrate Ideas that Break the Mold

So there I was last Friday morning on stage, about to smash a glass in front of hundreds of people. But this was no wedding. It was part of an opening ceremony at the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, which are sort of like MTV’s VMAs, but with a red hammer instead of a moon man. The awards celebrate “those whose ideas have broken the mold to create significant impact.”? Winners present that morning included Shane Smith of Vice Media, Bill Simmons of Grantland, Brad Katsuyama of IEX, Reshma Saujani of Girls Who......

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When We Self-Sacrifice, What Really Motivates Us?

Last week, I had to write a rather large check to the United States Treasury, and since my wife and I would really like to redo our house in the next few years, giving up all that money was very painful. But I doubt that I’m alone in that feeling. Every American taxpayer has just determined exactly how much of their hard-earned income has gone to the U.S. government, and whatever amount it was, we probably felt like that number was way too high. Having just gone through tax time, many of......

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The Blessing of Being a Child of Holocaust Survivors

On Thursday, Jews across the world commemorate Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). For survivors, it is a time to pause and recollect. For Jews everywhere, it is a time to affirm that we will never forget. For me, Yom Hashoah is only an accentuation. I am the son of two Holocaust survivors, the grandchild of another survivor and of three grandparents who did not survive. I commemorate the Holocaust every day. Children of survivors live in dual and occasionally dueling realities. On one hand, we did not ourselves witness the horrors of......

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Gratitude for 'Good Enough'

In the film Whiplash, Terrence Fletcher – the monomaniacal drum teacher played by J.K. Simmons – fervently attests that “the two most dangerous words in the English language are ‘good job.'” Someone hears these words of approval and loses the edge that spurs them to practice harder and go beyond expectations. No longer afraid of failing, their switch is turned off, and the world loses its next great accomplishment. Simmons’ performance is disturbing, and his behavior is never far from the line between discipline and abuse. Yet it’s hard to shake his......

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Why We Should Be Talking About Religious Freedom

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series:?Lawmakers in Indiana and Alabama are facing a firestorm after they enacted new legislation around religious freedoms, which critics say is designed to discriminate against LGBT citizens. In contentious debates, there has got to be for all of our sakes, a way to combine passionate advocacy with spiritual and intellectual humility. Not paralysis, not silence, but genuine humility that recognizes the dignity of those on the other side. For more on why it’s important to talk about this issue, watch my video discussion ?below: Odyssey......

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How Free Are We? The Job of Passover

What makes this night different from all other nights? More people experience Passover Seder across more backgrounds than any other Jewish practice. On this night people all over the world engage in an evening long meditation on freedom… a dramatic mix of story telling and singing, drinking and eating, all designed to get one job done: Help us become genuinely free. How free are we? The Seder is a three-step meditation on the journey inviting us to realize: Wherever we are, we are in Egypt… in some way. There is always a......

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At Your Service: The Heart of Passover

Passover 2015 begins Friday, April 3, at sundown. It’s the most widely celebrated Jewish holiday in America and is often called the Festival of Freedom, as it celebrates the biblical Israelites’ exodus (hence the English name of the second book of the Hebrew Bible) from slavery in Egypt.?But what does freedom mean, and what sort of freedom does Passover actually celebrate? Well, here’s one way to find out. Try answering this question: What’s a three-word phrase that celebrates freedom? How about this: At your service. The ability and willingness to serve lies......

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Is Focusing on Martyrdom Really the Way to Go?

Palm Sunday opened Holy Week on Sunday, as did heavy duty pre-Passover preparation for many of us, as Easter Sunday and the second day of Passover coincide this year, but more on that in another post. For now I want to focus on Pope Francis’ Palm Sunday address — specifically his tribute to contemporary Christian martyrs. “We think too of the humiliation endured by all those who, for their lives of fidelity to the Gospel, encounter discrimination and pay a personal price,” Pope Francis said, speaking in Italian. “We think too of......

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Prayer on the Go, at Drive-Thru Churches

We have drive-thru restaurants and drive-thru banks. And now, popping up around the country – from the red state of Florida, to the purple state of Arizona, to the blue state of Massachusetts – are drive-thru prayer services.?”This is an attempt to reach folks in our fast-paced culture…It can be spontaneous,” said a Minnesota pastor who recently experimented with this convenience, created to appeal to locals and commuters driving by. You heard this right. On-the-spot spiritual guidance, comfort to worshippers in a hurry – a real drive-thru ministry. Drivers can warm their......

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Church in Non-Traditional Spaces... Even Bars

Have you heard of pub churches? Craft beer, God, and community. Welcome to one of many new venues and ways in which people are doing religion. Under the banner of “Pub Theology” – a name taken from the title of a popular 2012 book by pastor Bryan Berghoef – an informal movement has spawned hundreds of meetings in dives and bars in dozens of states. People have gathered for “Beer and Hymns” in Portland, “Church-in-a-Pub” in Fort Worth, “What Would Jesus Brew?” in Michigan and the “Bar Church” in D.C.? Check out......

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