MY BROTHER’S (AND SISTER’S) KEEPER: WHY THE STORY OF JUDAH IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE STORIES

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MY BROTHER’S (AND SISTER’S) KEEPER: WHY THE STORY OF JUDAH IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE STORIES

One of the most interesting stories in Genesis is about Judah. You probably remember the story of how Jacob’s older sons decided to get rid of their spoiled little brother, Joseph. One day when Jacob sent the boy out to see how his brothers were doing with their flocks, they ripped off his ‘coat of…
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My Ordination

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My Ordination

Today, after lots of classes (led or organized by Jon Mundy), lots of reading, and writing lots of papers, a thesis, and a final exam, all culminating in a four-day retreat at Ananda Ashram, I am in New York City being ordained by All Faiths Seminary (founded by Rabbi Joseph Gelberman) as an Interfaith Minister….
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A Different Way to Think About Religion

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A Different Way to Think About Religion

Maybe it’s not about questionable history, smarmy moralism, killing in the name of the Lord, or blind faith in an ‘invisible friend in the sky’. Maybe it’s not even about sentimental ‘love’ or ‘do-gooding’. [See Video below:] *** To hear more stories from the Bible and to explore their hidden inner meaning, I invite you…
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SINGING, DANCING, AND LAUGHING

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SINGING, DANCING, AND LAUGHING

I was raised in Reform Judaism, and mostly I’ve attended reform services. They are really not very different from the many Protestant Services I’ve also attended: the Rabbi or Minister stands in front emceeing the activities, there are readings from scripture, various rote prayers, responsive readings, perhaps a few moments of silent prayer, lots of…
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Fight the Flow (don’t “go with” it)

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Fight the Flow (don’t “go with” it)

“Thus it can be seen that mental health is based on a certain tension, the tension between what one has already achieved and what one still ought to accomplish, or between what one is and what one should become…. I consider it a dangerous misconception of mental hygiene to assume that what man needs in…
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Solomon, Asmodeus, the Shamir, and Silence in the Temple

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Solomon, Asmodeus, the Shamir, and Silence in the Temple

Solomon’s Temple, the permanent ‘home for God’ where the Ark of the Covenant would rest and the Shechinah would dwell, was built on the same pattern as the original ‘Tabernacle in the Wilderness’ that was built by Moses, though it was far more grand and elaborate.    The Bible tells us that “no hammer or…
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The God of Wine and Ecstasy

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The God of Wine and Ecstasy

Since bread and wine are traditionally bound together as symbols of life-giving nourishment from the gods, it is not surprising that Demeter, the goddess of the grain, was often worshipped together with Bacchus, the god of wine. Like other gods of vegetation Bacchus was believed to have died a violent death, but to have been…
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Pentecost

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Pentecost

All across the world, Christians will celebrate Pentecost on June 8th, exactly 50 days (7 weeks) after Easter. Not all Christians recognize the holiday, but many do. Pentecost (which comes from the Greek word for ’50’) commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit to early followers of Jesus (for this reason it is often thought…
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The Year of the Elephant

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The Year of the Elephant

In the year 570, Yemen was ruled by an Abyssinian regent named Abrahah. Abrahah built a Christian Cathedral in the city of San’a, and he had hopes that it would replace Mecca as a center of pilgrimage. He used marble taken from the ruins of the Queen of Sheba’s palace, he built crosses of gold…
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VISIT TO A TIBETAN MONASTERY

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VISIT TO A TIBETAN  MONASTERY

Recently I visited a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Woodstock, “Karma Triyana Dharmachakra” (KTD), for part of their celebration of the Tibetan New Year (“Losar”). I had to be in Poughkeepsie in the morning and missed the 6 AM “Green Tara Puja “to pray for the world, asking that all outer and inner obstacles are pacified…
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EMERSON: “TRUST THYSELF”

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EMERSON: “TRUST THYSELF”

At some point in our lives, most people come to the realization that envy is a worthless, foolish emotion. Living our lives in envy or imitation of someone else means that we have effectively given up our own life – Emerson calls this psychological suicide. For better or worse, one has only oneself. This is…
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