Health & Spirit

The Bible's stance on eating meat may surprise you

Religion / God Squad /

Q: I have an ongoing problem because I'm living as a hypocrite. I'm an animal lover but I eat meat. I don't eat veal or lamb because they are from young animals, but I eat meat, fish, fowl and eggs. Is there anything in the Bible that refers to this or to Christ's personal practice? Did Jesus eat meat? I'm aware that I'm looking for absolution ...Read more

Tight-knit communities could be key to suicide prevention

Religion / God Squad /

We are here to be saved by God. Knowing that we are saved gives us hope to endure the burdens of life and give thanks for our blessings. Knowing that we are saved gives us compassion for the struggles of our neighbors. Knowing that we are saved gives us courage to struggle for justice in a broken world. We do not all share the same beliefs of ...Read more

When does a soul become a soul?

Religion / God Squad /

Q: Christian orthodoxy (small "o") leaves one to assume that the human soul somehow comes into being at either conception or birth, depending on one's viewpoint, and doesn't seem to have much to say about the how, when and where of the soul's origin. What else might Jewish tradition be able to tell me about the origins and manifestations of the ...Read more

Signs won't be interpreted the same way by all of us

Religion / God Squad /

Thanks you to all my dear readers for deluging me with your signs from Heaven. I am deeply touched by all of them. However, I think this will be the end of signs from dead people for a while.

There are several reasons for this hiatus.

I can't keep saying that talking to dead people and receiving signs from dead people violates the spiritual ...Read more

Readers share their stories of signs

Religion / God Squad /

I recently asked you, dear readers, to send in some stories about signs from family and friends who have died. Thank you for swamping me with your signs of love and hope.



I am a widow of three years. When I was coming out of the funeral luncheon, it just came into my head that my husband would send me signs of peacocks. I know...Read more

Marx missed the mark on much -- but especially religion

Religion / God Squad /

Karl Marx was born 200 years ago on May 5, 1818. His ideology is subscribed to by almost half the people on the planet, and his philosophy has led to communism, which has led to the death of a hundred million-plus people.

I don't have time here to fully recount the economic failure of Marxism, which is massive and obvious. ...Read more

Are coincidences ever signs from our departed loved ones?

Religion / God Squad /

A famous author and physician (who for some odd reason is a regular reader of The God Squad column) recently sent this loving/spooky/moving note:

Q: "My wife died in January. When my mother died decades ago I found several dozen pennies everywhere and I knew it was no coincidence when you would walk to the mailbox and not see any pennies but ...Read more

At 80, what Superman can teach about our struggle against evil

Religion / God Squad /

I love comic books. I was born in 1947 and they were my chosen form of fantasy escape. I still marvel (sorry for the pun) at the infinitely greater power of computer-generated imagery to affect me sitting in the movies compared to the meager colored drawings on pulpy paper that had to fulfill my imaginations sitting at the counter of the Rexall ...Read more

Four lessons to take away from Barbara Bush's time on Earth

Religion / God Squad /

Dear readers,

We wrongly imagine that the lives of the famous have nothing to teach us, which is profoundly mistaken. We learn that from the lessons of Barbara Bush's great and inspiring life. May God receive her soul.


-- Lesson 1: You do not need to color your hair.

I have nothing against the chemical and surgical ways we employ to ...Read more

An old to-do list to get you closer to God

Religion / God Squad /

Q: Q: What, as a disciple of God, should be my main priority (Examples: forgiveness, feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, comfort the sick, etc.)? Thank you. -- from M

A: My favorite short list of the things God most wants us to do is the famous list from the prophet Micah in Micah 6:8, "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and...Read more

God is present all around us

Religion / God Squad /

Q: Hello, I am a junior at Mercy High School in Middletown, Conn. I haven't really thought about this before, but was God a real person? I understand that His son, Jesus, was, which got me to wonder if God ever stepped into His own creation? Thank you for your time! -- from K

A: The question as to whether Jesus was a person or was God who ...Read more

Spare your soul purgatory and make the right choices now

Religion / God Squad /

Will the 11th grade theology class at Mercy High School in Middletown, Conn., ever run out of questions for me? Not likely ...


Q: Hi, I am from Mercy High School, and it was amazing to see you answered my classmate Isabella. One question I'd like to ask you is, how do you know purgatory is real? -- from M

A: Judaism, Christianity and ...Read more

Similarities in Passover and Easter that I love

Religion / God Squad /

One cannot understand Judaism at all without understanding Passover, and one cannot understand Christianity at all without understanding Easter. I am in awe of Passover and Easter -- one as a participant and one as an observer. In the springtime I discover more spiritual reasons to love Passover and ...Read more

God hears you -- but are you listening to God

Religion / God Squad /

But wait! There are more questions from the amazing Mercy High School teenage theologians ...


Q: Dear Rabbi Gellman, I'm a junior at Mercy High School in Middletown, Conn., and my theology class reads and reflects on your articles. I have a question myself -- how do you know if God is listening to you when you pray? Thank you. -- from M...Read more

Rest assured you're not alone in trying to make a difference

Religion / God Squad /

More questions from the teenage theologians at Mercy High School in Middletown, Conn.

God these kids are good!


Q: How do we find the strength to keep working to end social injustices when we know that they will never be fully eliminated? Thank you for taking the time to thoughtfully answer the questions people send you; as a reader I ...Read more

Strive to be a good person because it's the right thing to do

Religion / God Squad /

Welcome to more questions from the theology class at Mercy High School in Middletown, Conn. I invited them to ask me questions and they did! Recently I began to try to provide answers as profound and curious and loving as their questions. This week I chug on.


Q: Hi, I am a junior at Mercy High School in Middletown, Conn. I wanted to say...Read more

A rabbi's eulogy for Billy Graham

Religion / God Squad /

I interviewed Billy Graham. I spoke with him privately. I listened to many of his televised sermons. I admired him and learned from him. Had I known him more closely, I think I could have loved him. This is why.

I admired his humility. The first consequence of national fame is the death of humility. Fame is like rocket fuel for the ego, and ...Read more


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