More than the commentaries, we learn from listening to each other. It is a fundamental understanding of the group that everyone has something to learn and something to teach. Truth is sought through dialogue.
I hope that every religious tradition will teach tolerance and spiritual literacy of other traditions. That's a given. But I also think that there is more. Tolerance may be our supreme civic virtue, but it is not the most important virtue for using religion to its fullest.
Reconciliation is possible only when the person who did the wrong accepts the forgiveness being offered and repents for what they have done. This can be done on a personal basis but also on a national level. Jamaicans should look to South Africa as a model of national reconciliation.
For some in the Jewish world, the Kiddush has become an elaborate feast at which sumptuous food and fine wines and liquors are offered to those, both members and guests, who come to pray. This new phenomenon is healthy in some ways and deeply unsettling in others.
For us longevity focused boomers, a return to a spiritual or worship community could represent an opportunity for renewed connection with others in a shared environment, as well as potential discernment and insight into the importance of belonging.
A decade ago, when my kids were young, I would hand them each a roll of quarters when we were visiting New York City, instructing them to give to anyone who asked. Of course, I know very well the potential problems with such an approach.
Their role should be to help people to separate the truth of the candidates they see from the stories that carry us. If anything can convince another to follow the straight line, it is the power of God's word. I say we apply it.
What happened to Michael Salman -- armed police raids of his property, repeated warnings against holding any form of Bible study at his home, and a court-ordered probation banning him from having any gatherings of more than 12 people at his home -- should never have happened in America.
Families with kids aged 2 to 20-something were encouraged by the rabbis to walk around when they needed to, bring their snacks back to their seats, dance to the music or do none of the above if they didn't want to. What didn't I hear? The words "SSSHHHHH!" or "Sit down!"
Yes, many novels have religious content that dominates a book or at least adds a small thread to its tapestry. Some of these novels take a jaundiced view of religion, while others treat it more kindly.