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Old 06-15-2019, 07:22 PM
 
Location: New York Area
15,853 posts, read 6,242,907 times
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I held this post till tonight after sundown out of respect for my fellow Jews. I am posting it here rather than in the "Judaism" sub-forum since I believe it is of general applicability. However I am Jewish and the setting is a Reform Jewish service.

I just returned from Friday night services at my synagogue. The service was incredibly beautiful. The beauty of the service had little to do with whether or not G-d exists. The subject of the service was memorialization of the life of a young woman who was confirmed after suffering from a rare bone cancer for five and a half years. She barely made it down the aisle, and passed away nine days after confirmation. I had the privilege of talking with the stepfather of the deceased young woman. He and the woman's mother come up from Florida every year for this service. After service, an award is given to a deserving young man or woman of confirmation age that demonstrates many of the traits and qualities that made this young woman special.

The service also honors graduating high school students, all of whom are going on to college. The service emphasizes the transitions and growth in the life cycle.

What made this service especially meaningful for me was my deep roots in the community. I was Bar Mitzvahed in 1970. My father's death was mourned in the synagogue in 1973. The Rabbi married my mother and stepfather in 1974. The same Rabbi married my wife and I in 1991.

Aside from religion, what is created by religious worship is a deep sense of civil community. I believe that it is possible to believe in G-d or not to believe in G-d; either way, the collective experience is one for the ages.

Last edited by jbgusa; 06-15-2019 at 07:44 PM..
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:37 PM
Status: "We The North" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
25,757 posts, read 13,399,507 times
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I am happy you are having a nice life.

I am as well, although I ascribe to no religion or creed. I believe all life is connected and that some aspect(s) of that connection may continue beyond this earthly go-round.
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
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Some religious organizations do an excellent job at creating community. I am glad that your does so in a positive manner. Unfortunately many do not use the community they create for such good results.
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:22 PM
 
Location: New York Area
15,853 posts, read 6,242,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutDude View Post
I am happy you are having a nice life.

I am as well, although I ascribe to no religion or creed. I believe all life is connected and that some aspect(s) of that connection may continue beyond this earthly go-round.
Most Jews take the position, not that there is or is not an existence "beyond this earthly go-round" the correct emphasis is what you do on the earth. It is, I believe, through those deeds that you continue onward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
Some religious organizations do an excellent job at creating community. I am glad that your does so in a positive manner. Unfortunately many do not use the community they create for such good results.
Ours is extremely good in that respect. And on drawing on the talents of both Rabbis and Cantors beyond their normal duties, so in effect the line is blurred. A good thing when you have a Rabbi that plays the guitar and sings, and a Cantor who delivers a powerful sermon.
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Old 06-16-2019, 03:00 PM
 
669 posts, read 144,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
Some religious organizations do an excellent job at creating community. I am glad that your does so in a positive manner. Unfortunately many do not use the community they create for such good results.
Indeed. I bet Scientology creates a lot of community. I'm sure human sacrifices often brought societies together.

Similarly, youth organizations create community. The Boy Scouts. The Girl Scouts. The Little Lebowski Urban Achievers. The Komsomol. The Hitler Youth.

Trade unions. The Cosa Nostra. The Jaycees. White supremacy. Community theater. The PLO. Like religion, all can be very conducive to creating community. And like religion, none of them are necessary for community. Furthermore, it remains terribly silly to cling to silliness because some (perceived or even) benefit - a benefit which is invariably also available from many non-silly sources - happens to derive from that silliness.
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:10 PM
 
Location: New York Area
15,853 posts, read 6,242,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
Indeed. I bet Scientology creates a lot of community. I'm sure human sacrifices often brought societies together.

Similarly, youth organizations create community. The Boy Scouts. The Girl Scouts. The Little Lebowski Urban Achievers. The Komsomol. The Hitler Youth.

Trade unions. The Cosa Nostra. The Jaycees. White supremacy. Community theater. The PLO. Like religion, all can be very conducive to creating community. And like religion, none of them are necessary for community. Furthermore, it remains terribly silly to cling to silliness because some (perceived or even) benefit - a benefit which is invariably also available from many non-silly sources - happens to derive from that silliness.
Maybe the groups you mentioned do generate community. Maybe they don't. But the following groups are positively harmful:
  1. White supremacy (not really a group);
  2. Komsomol;
  3. Hitler Youth;
  4. Cosa Nostra;
  5. The PLO;
The following groups are "it depends":
  1. Trade unions;
  2. youth organizations
Last I checked, Reform Judaism never hurt anybody. Your petty disparagement adds nothing to the discussion. The person of whom the award was in honor is an uplifting example for all people, especially young ones. There is simply no worthwhile comparison, other than a Dickensian "bah humbug" to constructive people and activities. Hitler Youth was preparatory to a career in mass murder. Your analogy is sick.
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
15,352 posts, read 12,114,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
Aside from religion, what is created by religious worship is a deep sense of civil community.
I believe that it is possible to believe in G-d or not to believe in G-d;
either way, the collective experience is one for the ages.
Communities such as the one that you have is ...well... so beautiful, indeed.
I personally don't need to compare the 'importance'.
If I were G-d, acknowledging Me would mean everything!

So this community is imp and lovely to you...
but, do 'you' count as much as loving, knowing, serving, recognizing and having faith in G-d?

If you were in a prison with no community...sure it would be nice to have one...but, you know what would be 'nice' to G-d?
You thinking about him...talking to him...relying on Him, trusting Him...opening your heart
to Him to allow Him to love you.

If I had to choose ..and I do ...I take an intimate relationship with G-d over people
any day of the week.


That's my input.
Shalom

I appreciated your heartfelt words, btw. You are very sweet.
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:50 PM
 
Location: New York Area
15,853 posts, read 6,242,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Hepburn View Post
If I had to choose ..and I do ...I take an intimate relationship with G-d over people
any day of the week.
The trouble with that is the incorporeal nature of G-d.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Hepburn View Post
That's my input.
Shalom

I appreciated your heartfelt words, btw. You are very sweet.
Thanks for your compliment. I try on occasion to write from the heart.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
15,352 posts, read 12,114,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
The trouble with that is the incorporeal nature of G-d.
And ya know what...I get that for most people,Ha, like 99% of the population.

I will tell you a secret between you and me.
You can develop a relationship with the Divine that so so far surpasses any relationship
with another human being.
I get that that seems impossible and even unreal for most people...
Why? Because , well, they never try, hahaha...never make the effort...and maybe never thought
of it, that it was possible.
I could talk about this all day...but, i have learned most people aren't really interested in
knowing G-d, directly...being filled with so much love that it is almost amazing you
can contain it.
So, that's all I'll say.
Me? I pick my relationship with Him over people any day.
Your community is warm and wonderful, it's a sweet part of the human experience...
I'm into what was there before and will always be and never disappoint. (That's just 'me'...
I know that's weird...except in the religious circles of monastics, mystics and saints.)


Oh...here..perfect....someone else thinks that also, by Hafiz, um, maybe in the 14th c? maybe the 16th c.
'Let thought become your beautiful woman.
Cultivate your mind and heart to that depth
That it can give you everything a
Warm body can.
Why just keep making love with God's child - Form
When the Friend Himself is standing before us
So opened armed?
My dear,
Let prayer become your beautiful Lover
And become free,
Become free of this whole world
Like Hafiz.'
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:04 AM
 
13,460 posts, read 4,982,321 times
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you can develop that relationship because the divine is exactly what you want it to be.

My wife and kids?
not so much.
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