Spirituality & Faith


We Are More Than the Sum of Our Stories

TWD contributor, Amy Shouse wrote a recent post about how we rush to judgment and that “until we know a person’s whole story and take a moment to think what it might be like to ‘climb into their skin,’ we’ll miss out on discovering the empathy we have within ourselves…” She was right on. This insight is taken radically and unnervingly further on Yom Kippur, the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar, which begins tomorrow evening. Repeatedly, during this daylong practice of Reality Therapy devoted to forgiveness, we are reminded that......

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Repair and Reconciliation: Coming Back From a Broken Place

Two weeks ago, I wrote about an upcoming trip to Cuba and promised to report back. While I could not have known it before I went, my return, like this report, coming just before Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement – is so well timed. Synchronicity is a beautiful thing! Yom Kippur promises that there is no sin from which we cannot recover, and no rupture that cannot be repaired. But do we really believe that? Do we really treat ourselves, let alone others, as if that were true? It turns......

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Video: Rosh Hashanah and Hope for the Future

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: As Jews around the world celebrate Rosh Hashanah in the midst of global strife, we remember that Rosh Hashanah is a profound chance to look forward and dare to hope when others say hope makes no sense. Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better. Their stories explore a wise range of issues including peace, tolerance, social justice and the environment. To view more of Brad’s Faith on the Record discussions, please click here....

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Waking Up Is Hard to Do

Waking up in the morning is a definite challenge for me. I hit the snooze button more often than I should. At least three times I say to myself, “Okay, time to get up.” I need real motivation to get out of my comfortable bed. That’s why I could really use the product known as Clocky. According to its description: “Clocky is the alarm clock on wheels that runs away beeping! You can snooze one time, but if you don’t get up, Clocky will jump off of your nightstand up to three......

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Widen Your View and Pay Hope Forward

When you look at the image above, what do you see? What does it make you think? How does it make you feel? When you look in the mirror, what do you see? In each case, what we see, and how we think about these images, can create remarkable opportunities and possibilities for us – if we dare to let it be so. I’m thinking a lot about that as I, along with family, friends and millions of others (not all of them Jewish, by the way) celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish......

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Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

Sam Harris, one of America’s greatest skeptics and critics of religion, has just written a fascinating book – Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. Are you one of the growing number of Americans (as I am if I am really honest) who increasingly finds organized religion unsatisfying, yet at the same time, you want to seriously talk about questions of meaning and existential hopes and fears? Are you a person who knows that the transformative experiences of self-transcendence, oneness, surrender, bliss, grace, unconditional love, are not only real but critical......

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9/11: How We Feel Today

As we observe the 13th anniversary of 9/11, we feel a range of emotions. We feel sad and heartbroken for those who lost loved ones. We are grateful, if not surprised that there have been no terrorist attacks on our soil. We feel betrayed that after all the lives and treasure sacrificed to fight Islamic terrorists, there seems to be more terrorists, terrorizing more people, doing more terrifying things. We are confused about what we should do, politically, militarily, and morally as historical fault lines unravel and failed states become sites of......

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The End of the Gratitude Discount

Do you pray before meals? Do you take a moment before eating to be grateful for the food you are about to enjoy? A restaurant in North Carolina is in trouble for offering customers a 15% discount if they pray before their meal. Obviously, this is perfect culture war material with some people praising the promotion of prayer and others criticizing the deal. Here is the story. For the past four years, Mary’s Gourmet Restaurant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, had been surprising customers with a 15% discount if they prayed or meditated......

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The Spirit's Irrepressible Impulse

In the words of Bob Dylan, “It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” English philosopher Roger Scruton’s wise and beautifully written The Soul of the World makes the case that, despite the brashness of the New Atheists and the increase of “Nones” (those with no religious affiliation) there is a “fundamentally religious impulse” – what we call “the sacred” – that is irrepressible. Scruton explains faith as an “attitude of openness to meanings” (experienced in love, art, nature and morality) that......

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How a Fashion Photo Inspired Hope in the Jewish and Muslim Communities

Meet sisters-in-law Mimi Hecht and Mushky Notik. Struggling to find clothes that were stylish but still as modest as Orthodox custom requires “they took matters into their own hands and set out to create the ultimate pieces they needed for their wardrobe” and founded a small clothing line Mimu Maxi in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. (Interestingly, they let their “com-MIMU-nity” of women help vote on designs – not exactly what one expects from traditionalists!) Now meet Summer Albarcha, a popular Muslim fashion blogger who goes by the name “Hipster Hijabis“. She promotes trendy......

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