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A Word from Rabbi Schulman - 1/8/21

During the midst of the riot in DC on Wednesday afternoon, I had a conversation with a young woman who wanted to learn more about Judaism. Because it took us several days via email to find an agreeable time to talk, despite the riveting and heartbreaking scenes broadcasting from the Capitol building, I did not want to reschedule our call.

This young woman is not Jewish and has been interested in learning more about different faith traditions. She posed to me a number of thoughtful questions. She asked about Judaism’s belief in God. She inquired whether human beings have free will? She wanted to know whether Judaism believes in absolute standards for good and evil or whether they are subjective?

At one point in our conversation, I spoke about how Judaism believes that human beings are called upon to be God’s partners in Creation. How when we choose good, establishing justice, protecting the vulnerable and loving our neighbors, we are activating the divine spark within each of us and bringing forth a more holy world.

She had never encountered this idea and was deeply impressed to hear this.

My conversation with this young woman offers a window into how to view the mob violence in our capital. We must choose law rather than violence; good rather than evil; hope rather than fear. We can be enablers of destruction or we can be God’s partners in building a world founded on justice, truth, and peace. (Pirkei Avot 1.18)

My conversation with a young woman on Wednesday was an opportunity to explore dimensions of Jewish faith. I invite you to join me next Tuesday evening at 7:30pm, as we explore Judaism in an adult education course entitled Seeking God. The Zoom link is

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