Winner of a Rabbi Sacks Book

Mazel Tov - Rabbi Sacks

A big thank you to all who joined us this summer on our adventure with Rabbi Sacks!

Our winner of a complimentary book of Rabbi Sacks is

Robbie Mason ~ Jerusalem, Israel

Mazel Tov Robbie, we appreciate your comments and encouragement to us at His-Israel!

Robbie selected ‘Not in God’s Name’ as her prize book.

NOT IN GOD’S NAME – Letting Go of Hate

 

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness.

So said Martin Luther King, Jnr. Rabbi Sacks agrees and says: “To be free you have to let go of hate.”  Then you can: “Be clear. Be focused. Be visionary.”

Moses had learned this lesson and could teach God’s command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev.19:18).  Abrahamic monotheism was the first moral system to be based not just on justice and reciprocity – do for others what you would like them to do for you – but on love.  What is really unexpected is what he says about hate:

“Do not hate an Egyptian, because you were a stranger in his land” (Deut. 23:7).

The former slaves would remain enslaved if they harbored hate in their hearts The way to true freedom was to let go of hate, the root of which is self-pity and pride.

 

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Letting Go of Hate – 14.31 minutes

 

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You can purchase Not in God’s Name from Amazon.com
Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence

NOT IN GOD’S NAME – Wrestling with the Angel

Examining the story of Jacob and Esau, Rabbi Sacks presents an arresting, almost breathtaking, hypothesis that refutes the problem of sibling rivalry. He writes:

Its significance, set at the very center of Genesis, is unmistakable. Once we have decoded the mystery of Jacob, our understanding of covenant and identity will be changed forever.

The narrative of the two brothers seems to indicate that their fate is to clash, their destiny to conflict but, on closer reading Rabbi Sacks finds that something is amiss, it doesn’t quite ‘gel,’ and following that instinct he uncovers a succession of surprises! 

 

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Wrestling with the Angel – 14.30 minutes

 

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You can purchase Not in God’s Name from Amazon.com
Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence

NOT IN GOD’S NAME – Sibling Rivalry

Rabbi Sacks poses the question: “What is it that brought Jews, Christians and Muslims, spiritual children of a common father [Abraham] to such animosity for so long?”

This book is a rebuke to all those wo kill in the name of the God of life, wage war in the name of the God of peace, hate in the name of the God of love, and practice cruelty in the name of the God of compassion.

In this chapter, Sibling Rivalry, Sacks explores one of the root causes of religious violence and animosity. 

 

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Sibling Rivalry – 6.20 minutes

 

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You can purchase Not in God’s Name from Amazon.com
Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence

THE GREAT PARTNERSHIP – In Two Minds

“Science investigates, religion interprets… Religion and Science are two hemispheres of human thought.”                          ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean. Neither is dispensable. Both, together, constitute a full expression of our humanity. They are as different and as necessary as the twin hemispheres of the brain.

Greece and Israel in antiquity offer us the sharpest possible contrast between a strongly left-brain [whose script reads from left to right] and a strongly right-brain culture [whose script reads from right to left]. Their cognitive styles were different, just as their alphabets were written in opposite directions. The Greeks worshipped human reason, the Jews Divine revelation. The Greeks gave the West its philosophy and science. The Jews, obliquely, gave it its prophets and religious faith.

No value judgment is implied. Ultimately, it is the difference between impersonal and personal knowledge, between understanding things and understanding people.

 

the Great Partnership

In Two Minds –  15.25 minutes

 

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You can purchase The Great Partnership from Amazon.com
The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning

 

THE GREAT PARTNERSHIP – When Religion Goes Wrong

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction”  ~ Blaise Pascal 

“I think we must fully face the fact that when Christianity does not make a man very much better, it makes him very much worse.”  ~ C.S. Lewis

Religion has power. It bonds people as a group. It moves people to act. It changes lives. And whatever power it has can be used, misused, or abused. Religion is like fire: it warms, but it also burns. And we are the guardians of the flame.

the Great Partnership

When Religion Goes Wrong –  14.09 minutes

 

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You can purchase The Great Partnership from Amazon.com
The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning

 

THE GREAT PARTNERSHIP – The Meaning Seeking Animal

 

To know an answer to the question, “What is the meaning of human life?” means to be religious.  ~ Albert Einstein

To believe in God means to see that the facts of the world are not the end of the matter. To believe in God means to see that life has meaning.   ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

The spiritual view of life is that…”the universe was called into being by One outside the universe… with that desire-to-bring-things-into-being that we call love.” It says that…”every human being has within him or her a trace of the One who created the universe. Like the One, human beings could speak, think, and communicate.”

To be human is to ask the question, “why?”

 

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The Meaning Seeking Animal – 11.46 minutes

 

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You can purchase The Great Partnership from Amazon.com
The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning

 

CELEBRATING LIFE – Where They Know My Name

People have psycological as well as physical needs. The deepest psychological need is to be recognized – to be known and valued for what [or who] we uniquely are. 

Ideas can be found in books, but a sense of value and recognition can only be had from other people, and it matters. A sense of worth, affirmed by others, is a source of moral energy, perhaps the most potent there is.

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Where They Know My Name –  4.35 minutes

 

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You can purchase Celebrating Life from Amazon.com
Celebrating Life: Finding Happiness in Unexpected Places

CELEBRATING LIFE – Listening

We need to learn to listen; and listening is an art, one of the greatest there is.

Conversation … serves to establish bonds of personal union between people brought together by the mere need of companionship. It joins. It creates relationship.

We call communication “staying in touch” as if it were a kind of embrace, which it is.

 

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Listening – 7 minutes

 

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You can purchase Celebrating Life from Amazon.com
Celebrating Life: Finding Happiness in Unexpected Places

CELEBRATING LIFE – Not Taking Life For Granted

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“Every question asked in reverence is the start of a journey towards God.
When faith suppresses questions, it dies.
When it accepts superficial answers, it begins to wither.
Faith is not opposed to doubt. What it is opposed to is the shallow certainty that what we understand is all there is.”

~Jonathan Sacks

Rabbi Sacks asks questions and explores depths of meaning in the simple day-to-day happenings and interchanges of life.

Please Note: Add your comment and you stand a chance to win your choice of a copy of one of Rabbi Sacks’ books featured this Summer.

Not Taking Life For Granted – 7.20 minutes

 

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You can purchase Celebrating Life from Amazon.com
Click here. Celebrating Life: Finding Happiness in Unexpected Places

SUMMER with RABBI SACKS

Shalom and welcome to a summer adventure of exploring the writings and thinking of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

Starting 15th June, 2016

A Summer with Sacks

Rabbi Johnathan Sacks was the Chief Rabbi of the UK from 1991 to 2013. He is recognized as a global religious leader, philosopher and teacher by Jews and non-Jews, whether secular or religious. The Daily Telegraph called him, “Britain’s most authentically prophetic voice.” He is a leading and challenging ethical voice of our time.

 Sacks is the author of more than 25 books. We will be sharing excerpts from 3 of them.

  1. Celebrating Life.

The subtitle is “Finding Happiness in Unexpected Places.” This is a relatively short book, a collection of articles submitted to The Times of England that Rabbi Sacks reworked for publication. It is a good introduction to his work as he shares insights from personal experiences. Following his own near death by drowning, and the painful loss of his father, Rabbi Sacks began to learn how to celebrate life in a new way. 

“Happiness isn’t somewhere else, it’s where we are. It isn’t fantasy, it’s reality experienced in a certain way. Happiness is a close relative of faith.”

He addresses topics such as:  Staying Sane in Troubled Times; Humor and Humanity;  The Mirror of God; Love in a Loveless World; The Moral Maze; and Surviving Change.  

   2.  The Great Partnership – God, Science and the Search for Meaning

“Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean.”

The current battle between science and history is based on a false dichotomy. Rabbi Sacks draws comparisons from different cultures and delves into the history of language and Western civilization to show that faith plays a vital and relevant role in the meaning of the human condition. History clearly teaches that when a society loses its soul, it will soon lose its future. He stresses that the civilization of the West is built on highly specific religious foundations, and if we lose them we will lose much that makes life gracious, free, and humane.

Andrew Marr calls this book: “The most persuasive argument for religious belief I have ever read.”

Subjects discussed are: God and the Search for Meaning; Human Dignity; The Politics of Freedom; The Problem of Evil, and Why God?

   3.   Not in God’s Name – Confronting Religious Violence 

In recent decades we have seen violence unleashed in the world on an unprecedented scale, with terror and war being waged in the name of “God”.

“When religion turns men into murderers, God weeps.”

“To invoke God to justify violnce against the innocent is not an act of sanctity but of sacrilege. It is blasphemy. It is to take God’s name in vain.”

This book is a rebuke to all those who kill in the name of the God of life, wage war in the name of the God of peace, hate in the name of the God of love, and practice cruelty in the name of the God of compassion. One of the questions we are left with is,  “Which God is, in fact, being served?”

Important issues covered are: Violence and Identity; Sibling Rivalry; The Rejection of Rejection; The Universality of Justice, the Paricularity of Love; The Will to Power or the Will to Life.

I hope you will make time to join Cindy and me as we savor the teachings of Rabbi Sacks this summer! Join the discussion, add your comment and stand a chance to win a free copy of the Jonathan Sacks book of your choice.

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~ Keren Hannah