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The God Squad: Happy Vesak Day!

Religion / God Squad /

In my attempt to make good on the promise of the God Squad, which is to honor all the different spiritual paths up the same mountain, I ask you to join me in wishing the Buddha a very happy birthday! This year Vesak, Buddha’s birthday, fell on May 8 for Buddhists in China, Vietnam and in the Philippines; May 15 in...Read more

The God Squad: Marriage in the twilight years

Religion / God Squad /

Q: In 2019, I became a widower after almost 43 years of marriage. I reconnected in 2020 with a friend from the early '80s. Due to her devout faith in Christianity, we have yet to be intimate. We are both in our 70s and want to spend the rest of our lives together. We are fortunately financially independent so there really is no valid reason ...Read more

The God Squad: Why do we pray?

Religion / God Squad /

I was raised and attended Catholic schools in my early days, we were taught to pray and that God could do anything. I truly believed that then. Today, 70 years later, I am not so sure. I believe God can change the script, but I am not sure God will do that, so why do we pray? – From M

People who are religious pray for the same reason that we ...Read more

The God Squad: Still more on coping with grief…

Religion / God Squad /

You mean well, but!

My daughter fosters. For six months, she fostered a baby who came from druggy parents. It looked like his parents didn’t want him, so my daughter started talking like maybe she would adopt him when it was possible. We all loved him, and he was a sweety. Then after six months, crib death. It’s been 11 months and my ...Read more

The God Squad: More on grief

Religion / God Squad /

So many emails on my article about how long grief should last. They all touched my heart. Thank you and may God comfort you among the mourners.

My very best friend in the whole world just handed me your article on Grief. You are spot-on, rabbi! I lost my only son on 11/14/13. I will never not miss him. I can’t answer folks who ask how I "...Read more

The God Squad: Happy Easter and Happy Passover

Religion / God Squad /

Every year, Passover and Easter fall in close proximity because both are calculated on a modified lunar calendar (modified so that they always fall during the springtime). This year, they overlap. Good Friday, on April 15, is also the first night of Passover and the night of the seder ...Read more

The God Squad: Happy Passover

Religion / God Squad /

Time to return from our interfaith journey of the past two weeks as we learned about the Hindu holiday of Holi and the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. What is ahead of us is a holy week for Jews and Christians here on planet earth. Passover begins Friday, April 15 at sundown, which is also the end of <...Read more

The God Squad: Ramadan Mubarack

Religion / God Squad /

This is a holy time of the year for all the major religions of the world. We are in the time of Lent leading up to Easter for Christians. On April 15 Jews will celebrate Passover (which is also Good Friday). Last week, Hindus celebrated Holi, the second holiest holiday of Hinduism (after Diwali), and ...Read more

The God Squad: How long should grief last?

Religion / God Squad /

In a fascinating and well-written article for the New York Times on March 18, 2022, Ellen Barry reports on the decision of the American psychiatric community to add “prolonged grief disorder” to the DSM-5 (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), which is their manual of human brokenness. Basically, they ...Read more

The God Squad: Big News: The God Squad podcast with Rabbi Marc Gellman has now launched

Religion / God Squad /

In all these years of writing The God Squad column with Father Tom Hartman and now alone, one thing has been missing and that one thing is the sound of my voice. There is only so much you can learn and I can teach without my voice. You can read my words but you cannot hear their inflection and the way I want you to hear them, but now technology ...Read more

The God Squad: Do something

Religion / God Squad /

First let us pray: Dear God, shelter them in the cover of your wings. Bring them to safe harbor in the storm and protect them from the evil that is suffocating them. Give them hope that it is your will to see all evil Pharaohs defeated and freedom become the legacy of all your children.

Amen

Then … give.

Father Tom Hartman and I spent long ...Read more

The God Squad: Racism and the Bible

Religion / God Squad /

Q: Dear Rabbi Marc Gellman: I am an avid reader of your column on faith in Newsday, N.Y., and thank you for the teaching and unbiased clarification on many biblical subjects. My question today is: Is there a word in Hebrew for "Race" or equivalent. If yes, is this word used in the Hebrew or Old Testament bible? Thank you. (From L)

A: There is ...Read more

The God Squad: More Tommy stories

Religion / God Squad /

Thanks to all you faithful readers for appreciating my column on the sixth anniversary of Father Tom Hartman’s death. Here are a couple that touched my heart.

Dear Rabbi Gellman, I enjoy reading your column. Having moved from Long Island to Florida a few years ago, I was happy to see that the Palm Beach Post carried your words of wisdom. Your...Read more

The God Squad: Tommy

Religion / God Squad /

On February 16, my best friend, Father Tom Hartman, will have been dead for six years.

There are less stark ways to speak about a person’s death. We often speak about a person passing on, or we say that he or she is gone but they did not pass and they are not gone. They are dead and death is the truth of human finitude and the ...Read more

The God Squad: The love holiday

Religion / God Squad /

Valentine’s Day, like Halloween, is a holiday with religious roots that has now become completely secular. It has become the big selling day for chocolates, flowers and such, but I still love it because it is the only holiday dedicated to the best thing we can feel. I am an incurable romantic and so I am attentive to the ways ...Read more

The God Squad: Moon years

Religion / God Squad /

Civilization in all its forms began when people first learned how to measure time, and the only way they had to do it was to measure the cycles of the moon.

From one new moon when the moon was a sliver of light in the dark sky to another new moon was one month. Twelve cycles of the moon were one year — well not exactly one year. The lunar ...Read more

The God Squad: ‘Thay’ has died and he has not died

Religion / God Squad /

I try and mostly I fail to cast a large enough net over the God Squad. Sadly, I fear that one could read the God Squad every week and come to the mistaken belief that the world of religious folks is populated mainly by Jews and Catholics. That is my fault. I studied Buddhism deeply and learned from Hindu and Muslim teachers. Despite real ...Read more

The God Squad: Are blessings fair?

Religion / God Squad /

Let me ask you to join me in prayers of thankfulness that no hostages lost their lives in the attack on The Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. This was not the case in 2018 when 11 Jews were murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. It was not the case when one woman was murdered and several worshipers injured at the Chabad...Read more

 

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