Monday, April 30, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Is it okay to eat legumes during Passover?
How can we learn from the model of Jackie Robinson, 65 years after he broke baseball's color barrier?
Should syngogues/churches conduct themselves like the Apple store?
Who's your favorite guitarist?
Why DO fools fall in love?
These and a whole host of other questions have been brought up, and seriously addressed, in conversations I've had just over the last week or so. As interesting as these discussions have been - I am reminded of one vital idea: the response to these questions (and whether or not anyone offers a "right" or "wrong" answer) is no where near as important as the fact that they are asked, considered, and debated with respect, integrity, and compassion. A friend (Rabbi Eric Stark, to be exact) reminded me earlier today that asking the right questions, engendering thoughtful discussion, is the key not only to figuring out life's mysteries...more so how we might yet create meaningful and uplifting experiences along life's path...
It's not the "answer" we seek that remains with us; rather, it's the process of engaging with one another that really counts....keep asking great questions, and don't worry so much about the reply...
Friday, April 6, 2012
Tonight is also the beginning of Passover, the celebration of Israelite freedom from Egyptian slavery and the perpetual Jewish hope to bring redemption to all who are oppressed, wherever they may be. For this reason, we refer to this season as z’man chereteynu – the “time of our freedom.”
There have always been parallels drawn between the experience of the ancient Israelites at the hands of Pharaoh and that of the African slaves here in the
This Passover, the compelling analogies have taken on an even greater significance: during this past week while in Cincinnati, I visited the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (www.freedomcenter.org); this fascinating museum chronicles the history of the Underground Railroad and teaches once again how the effort to abolish slavery in this country was among the greatest accomplishments ever undertaken by our forebears, and yet its challenges still saddle our society today. This visit was so powerful as I went with my children – who have reached the point of being able to understand and appreciate the profound meaning of our past, as well as to personalize its questions. As the Haggadah demands: “in each generation a person must consider himself as if personally freed from
Driving home from the
Bernard Malamud said that the purpose of freedom is to create it for others. In this season of renewal, may the stories of freedom’s struggle inspire us to bring emancipation to all, no matter what their chains.