None of us are islands, separate from the river of life and love that makes us who we are. Instead, as Judaism reminds us, we are the shared effort of many who supported and loved us, and they remain with us in each breathe.
The genius of Judaism has linked two separate phases of turning: a spiritual return to our truest selves, and a physical return into our bodies, our world, and as Jews, to Israel. This double teshuvah, spiritual and physical, personal and centered on Zion, invites us home on every level.
This week I participated in a Conservative Leadership Delegation to Israel to confer with Israel’s new President, cabinet ministers in the new coalition government, members of the Knesset from multiple political parties, and leadership of the Jewish Agency. I also spoke on two panels (with JTS’ chancellor and the CEO of the Rabbinical Assembly) on Tuesday evening and again on Wednesday night.
As published in the Jewish Journal: https://jewishjournal.com/commentary/opinion/312306/jewish-wisdom-for-a-time-of-pandemic/
The Coronavirus is now officially a world-wide pandemic. As I write these words, there are about 130,000 confirmed cases, of whom some 5,000 have died, another 6,000 are considered serious, and about 70,000 people have recovered. 116 countries have been infected (out of a global total of 195). By the time you read these words, it is probably that the numbers will have risen...
Let’s rethink the assumptions of religion, taking seriously what we learn about the world from science (including relativity theory, quantum, cognitive neurology, evolution) and bring that back to a biblical/rabbinic understanding of how God and world create meaning through dynamic relationship and self-determined choice.