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The God Squad: Stuck in my grief work

Religion / God Squad /

Q: My husband passed away Aug. 14, 2023, the day of our 52nd anniversary. It is now almost one year. Therapy helps me talk (mostly) cry and my “good friends” check on me constantly. Many acquaintances keep me busy and I do have clubs I belong to. My sons and their families (grandkids are the best medicine) keep me in the ...Read more

The God Squad: Eat what grows best where you live

Religion / God Squad /

Sometimes readers get exactly what I was trying to say.

I want to say that I absolutely love your answer to R of Pennsylvania, who was stuck with the Bible verse of John 14:1-6. I believe God loves all His children, even when sad or angry about our behavior. That love is endless, and it is not limited to one group over another. But I have ...Read more

The God Squad: A letter to Zeke

Religion / God Squad /

“Hi, Poppa. I just wanted to call and tell you that I am angry and scared. The demonstrations on my campus are pretty mild compared to Columbia or UCLA. Nobody has taken over a building or attacked anybody but when I am walking to class, I hear the protesters yelling about killing Israel or ...Read more

The God Squad: What did Jesus mean in John 14:6?

Religion / God Squad /

Periodically when I refer to my favorite metaphor about interfaith harmony, which is the idea that there are many paths up the mountain to God, I receive comments like this one from R in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

I know you are familiar with the story. Jesus was addressing his disciples, and he said, “Let not your hearts be troubled, ...Read more

The God Squad: Happy Passover from Father Tom

Religion / God Squad /

When Father Tom was alive we had a custom where I would offer Easter greetings from a rabbi and Tommy would offer Passover greetings from a priest. Now that this is no longer possible, I must rely on my memories of Tom’s Passover commentaries over the years.

This year, I remember as if he was still with us Tom’...Read more

The God Squad: How many gates to God?

Religion / God Squad /

In this springtime of sacred days (Easter, Ramadan, Holi, Passover) when I try with extra effort to support my belief (and the belief of my dear departed friend Father Tom) that there are many paths up the same mountain to God, I still receive blowback from readers who cling to the belief that there is only one path...Read more

The God Squad: Ramadan Mubarak

Religion / God Squad /

Spring is by far the most spiritually significant time of the year. All the major faiths of East and West religions celebrate their holiest days during the springtime — usually near the first full moon after the vernal equinox. I always put aside your wonderful questions until I can do some justice to the springtime holy days. I have talked ...Read more

The God Squad: Happy Easter, Happy Holi

Religion / God Squad /

Happy springtime! The formation of religious holy days is a mixture of history and myth. The celebration of new life in the spring is the most ancient cause of religious celebration. The dry and barren months of winter provoke a natural despair just as the birth of new flocks and crops provokes the birth of new joy.

What was added to the cycle ...Read more

The God Squad: Kalo Pascha

Religion / God Squad /

Q: As a Greek Orthodox Christian, it seems I’ve been explaining all of my life to other Christians why Orthodox Christians celebrate what we commonly refer to as Pascha, oftentimes much later than “Western” Christians.

The Orthodox only celebrate the first Sunday following the completion of the Jewish Passover....Read more

The God Squad: I am in love with an atheist

Religion / God Squad /

Q: I was raised Catholic, but now I am having a crisis of faith. I don't really know what I believe anymore. I recently started dating a wonderful man, who I believe is the answer to many years of prayer. But I'm struggling with the fact that God sent me an atheist.

He has made me think of things that have shaken my faith. How ...Read more

The God Squad: Protestants versus Catholics on the Eucharist

Religion / God Squad /

Q: Dear Rabbi Gellman, although I don't always agree with your theology, I do find you extremely sincere, as well as charmingly entertaining and patient with the questions people expect you to answer.

I had the pleasure of meeting you and Monsignor Hartman at the Governor's Prayer Breakfast a few years back while escorting a young ...Read more

The God Squad: Why don’t Jews accept Jesus as the Messiah?

Religion / God Squad /

Q: Dear Rabbi Gellman, I read your weekly column in Newsday “faithfully”. I learn so much from you. I am a practicing Roman Catholic and I have many wonderful Jewish friends. My DNA shows that I am 2 percent Ashkenazi (European) Jewish. I am proud of that, especially since I have traveled to Dachau, Prague, Amsterdam, and Budapest. I ...Read more

The God Squad: What does God promise us?

Religion / God Squad /

Q: My friend's husband died in a single-engine plane that crashed into the ocean three years ago. His body was found and she "viewed" it three weeks later. She blames the plane manufacturer for his death. She also does not seem to be making any progress in the grief process.

She seemed to have had the "perfect" marriage (I've only ...Read more

The God Squad: Father Tom on the eight-year anniversary of his death

Religion / God Squad /

Q: I love your column and read it every Sunday. I also clip a lot of them and have some in a folder and some on the desk. Today, I sat at the desk in my office at home. I was going through stuff on my desk when I came across an article from March 2006 with you and Father Tom in it. You were discussing why bad things happen to good...Read more

The God Squad: Genesis 1 and 2

Religion / God Squad /

Q: The "God Squad" column has meant so much to me through the years. The way you clearly address the thorniest questions is so helpful! I would appreciate your insight on a few questions that I have about the creation story. In Genesis 1 and 2 of the Bible there are two different versions of the story. Chapter 1 seems to say that God created...Read more

The God Squad: How do you keep the Sabbath?

Religion / God Squad /

When I asked you, dear readers, in a recent column to share with me the ways you honor the Sabbath Day I was anticipating a flood of responses from orthodox Jewish readers. I was therefore surprised and delighted to receive this extraordinary story of Christian family piety on the Sabbath. What this reveals is that there are many of you who take...Read more

The God Squad: Many paths up the same mountain

Religion / God Squad /

Q: I am a little confused about different religions. I am a Christian, I believe there is one God, and his name is Jesus Christ. (I don't believe in the trinity). Jesus is that one God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob wrapped in flesh. You are a Jew, you believe in one God and his title is Yahweh, or Jehovah, or the I Am. Muslims believe his name...Read more

 

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