"A good deed produces another good deed."
In the spirit of gratitude for acts of spontaneous kindness, I brought to you recently the story of the man who tore open his package of toilet paper in the checkout line of a store in order to give half of it to a woman in front of him who had missed out on buying toilet paper for her family because ...Read more
My love for Psalm 23:4 at this time of walking through the valley of the shadow of death has inspired many dear readers to spiritually weigh in on the hope delivered to their broken souls by their favorite Psalms. Share your favorite Psalm of hope in a time of fear and I will share it with everyone.
This week, M, from Wilmington, North Carolina...Read more
Q: Last Tuesday was Israel's Independence Day. Why do you love Israel? -- E from Encino, Calif.
A: I love the whole damn place! However, there are stories that are forever embedded in my memories of certain people and places in Israel.
Let me begin by explaining what Israel means to Jews and to Christians. Father Tom Hartman ...Read more
Q: What does the Dalai Lama have to say about the coronavirus? -- Fish from Colorado
A: Thank you Fish. We in the West often slip into thinking that the only resources for healing and hope we can access are those from Judaism and Christianity. As this plague continues, I hope periodically to include spiritual messages from Eastern traditions, ...Read more
Oprah Winfrey and Tim Shriver and a host of other fine folks have organized a worldwide gathering of religious leaders, musicians and sensitive souls to teach and sing and remind us all that, though we are separated, we are not alone. I was asked to participate, and I think my segment will air at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April ...Read more
I have sent to you, my dear readers, along with my prayers for your safety and for the safety of those you love a four-part spiritual vaccine against the most corrosive symptom of the plague and that is despair. The vaccine introduces hope into our spiritual systems. Thank you so much for those of you who wrote to me to tell me that it was of ...Read more
I firmly believe that there is a spiritual vaccine against this pandemic that is available to us right now. It has four components, each one rooted in the Bible.
The first is the belief, rooted in the first verse of Psalm 23 "The Lord is my shepherd I shall not lack anything" (my translation) that even now, because God is with us, we lack ...Read more
In this time of fear and uncertainty, I have turned the focus of my column to the one thing that is certain. We need to sustain hope and reduce panic. As in all things, my first resource for hope is the revealed word of God in the Bible. What we need to know and what we need to believe and what we need to heal is always there waiting for our ...Read more
Q: In a recent column, you responded to a question about why God would allow the corona virus. Your initial response was that you are a rabbi, not a prophet, and that you are in sales, not management. That was an excellent response, and you should have stuck with it. Instead, you went on to say that the coronavirus has spiritual implications, is...Read more
Q: Why would God design a universe where such destructive events as the coronavirus can happen? -- S
A: I was ordained to be a rabbi not a prophet so when it comes to explaining God's ways with the world, I always begin with the disclaimer that I am in sales not management. Even so this pandemic has clear spiritual implications that are at ...Read more
Q: I am in a study group at my Church and this week we were studying Job. I am a faithful reader of your column and am curious how the Jewish faith interprets this story. Is it a story of just how great suffering can be? God is still there even when He takes everything away from you? I'd appreciate your thoughts. -- V
A: I will periodically ...Read more
Q: I'm writing this letter with a tired and heavy heart. I am confused as to why I cannot even pretend to agree politically with my Republican family members anymore. Over the decades, I have always reviled what tasted unpalatable in their views of the world -- B
A: I do not write about politics in this column for several obvious and important ...Read more
Tommy died four years ago last week. As a memorial to his memory, I include my very favorite story from our almost three decades together. The story I have told before is funny and tender and a tribute to the most kind and loving man I have ever known. God bless you, Tommy!
It was early in my friendship with Tommy Hartman, the priest. My wife ...Read more
We discuss in this column mysteries not problems. Mysteries cannot be solved the way problems can be solved. We lay siege to problems but mysteries envelope us and implicate us. One of the mysteries we have confronted recently is the mystery of pain and death. Is there a point at which pain is so intractable that we ought to acknowledge the ...Read more
Of all the second-rank holidays that follow the big three of Passover, Easter and Christmas my favorite is Valentine's Day. I know it is a Christian holiday at root but so is Halloween and I love Halloween too. The combined joy of candy and trick or treating around your neighborhood ...Read more
My request for readers to send their spiritually worthy New Year's resolutions to me brought in some lovely thoughts.
Here was my favorite:
Q: My New Year's resolution is to try to remember to take my cloth reusable bags into Walmart and to take my own reusable container ...Read more