Shabbat Shalom, y’all!

Growing up in the American South, I did not experience other religions first hand.

Southern Baptist churches dominated the landscape with a few other Protestant faiths and a sprinkling of Episcopal, Catholic and Luthern churches.  There were also the “holy rollers” and “going to meeting” revival groups but they were not part of the mainstream.

There were no Hasidic Jews in black hats, Buddhists in long robes, or Muslims with prayer mats.

We did have a kid named “Martinez” who transferred into our school.

We pronounced his name “Martin nez”.  He entertained us with stories about Mexico, the day of the dead, and exotic tidbits from his Catholic upbringing.

I was curious to know and learn about other world religions.

So,  I read about them in books from the library and later studied them in college.

At the international students club, I talked late into the night with exchange students from other countries.  I had many questions!

In my adult years, I have enjoyed friendships with Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, aetheists, agnostics as well as  Christians.

I found goodness in my friends of all faiths (or lack thereof).

Although I did not embrace their religions, I often found beauty and meaning in their teachings.

I was treated respectfully and kindly when visiting their countries and their homes.

I am a card-carrying Episcopalian.  I find comfort, strength, meaning and purpose in my faith.

Yet, sometimes I attend shabbat services at Congregation Beth Israel in Portland, Oregon.  I believe my faith  is enriched by sharing in the Friday night service.

It was there that I found these lovely words.  I leave them with you and your loved ones.

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May these hours of rest and renewal

open our hearts to joy and our minds to truth.

May all who struggle find rest on this day.

May all who suffer find solace.

May all who hurt find healing on this day.

May all who despair find purpose.

May all who hunger find fulfillment on this day.

And may this day fulfill its promise.

Baruch atah, Adonai, m’kadeish HaShabbat.

Shabbat Shalom!

See also Mi Shebeirach

19 thoughts on “Shabbat Shalom, y’all!

    1. You hit the key word…goodness. I believe it is the highest calling to be care about others whether in our household, down the street or across the globe. I hope your week is going well. It is raining in Portland but Ginny (my Golden doodle) and I are snug in our little house.

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  1. Love. I’m happy that growing up in East Los Angeles I experienced living with many different cultures. I love my Mexican, Jewish, Russian, Armenian, Japanese and good ole Heinz 57 Americans!

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    1. I love LA because of the diversity especially when it comes to food choices. Lucky you to grown up in East LA. It is good to be exposed to other cultures even if it happens when we are older. I do thank my Mother as she tried to teach me to see a bigger world. Most people want the same things: a good and decent life for themselves and their families and, let’s hope, for others.

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  2. What a beautiful blessing! I grew up Unitarian and now I’m either Aetheist or Agnostic or, perhaps, a nothingist (I guess it isn’t important enough to me to figure it out 🙂 ), but I am always interested to learn about other religions and beliefs. I’m currently reading Joseph Campbell’s books on religions and myths, which are fascinating. I think it’s great that you are reaching out to learn more, we could all do more of that.

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    1. Hi, I have often felt a kinship with Unitarians on many issues. Some of the kindest and most loving people I know (really practicing the Golden Rule) are people of no established faith. I believe that we are all on a journey and it is my job to be as loving and caring to my fellow beings as possible. I am anxious to read Joseph Campbell. I remember something about his writings but have not devoted a lot of time to them.

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  3. Glad that I grew up knowing absolutely that Religions and Christian denominations were two entirely different concepts and understanding. Everyone who followed Christ and believed He alone was and is SAVIOUR have Jewish roots as our inheritance because of Jesus. Hindus, Islamists, everyone one else are good people each in their own way. Morality and goodness is in all even atheistic philosophes. People are loved by our God…..all people but there is only ONE saviour and He died and rose again for ALL. Loving all is the way of Christ but knowing absolutely who our God is ………that is the other. Anything or anyone who denies us that right does not understand our faith. We do not kill for our faith. iN FACT, we are forbidden to do so. However we should be prepared to die rather than deny that Christ alone is SAVIOUR! Love the Jewish quotation. Thanks. (IE cultures are not religions either). Apologies for the passion but in 2017 many have to take a stand particularly those dying in the middle east.

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    1. Faye, Thank you for your passionate response. I feel lucky to have my faith and yet to be able to allow others to choose their own path. In my life, the people who kept me in the church were the loving people of action who reached out and connected to all people. On the other hand, when I was very upset last year, a wonderful Jewish lady reached out and comforted me. She saw beyond our theological differences and realized what my heart needed which meant a lot to me. I count my blessings to have friends like you with whom I can connect. Have a wonderful week, Lori

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    1. You have stated it beautifully “the holiness of everyone”. Thank you! When people of diversity join together in a room, meeting or across the internet, we are honoring each other and building bonds. I want to be loved, respected and valued as the person I am. I can not accept that or expect that from others without giving it to others. Take care and enjoy your week! Lori

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  4. What beautiful words – and I’m with you. Each of us grows up in our own part of the world surrounded by our own version of God with our own laws and religious strictures. All the main world religions demonstrate and demand a respect for life, for God and our fellow human beings unless they are being twisted in some way to further peoples’ agendas. And these few lines vividly attest to that.

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  5. I was baptized Catholic – when I was a young teen my dad wisely thought that my spirituality should be my decision so he spent a year taking me to visit a variety of denominations so I could learn about them first hand. Ultimately I found peace in the Unitarian/Universalist church and within that I have been a practicing solitary wiccan for over 20 years. We each need to walk the walk (not just talk the talk) of our own spirituality whatever that may be. The important thing is that we as a people are kind, compassionate, caring and inclusive of others and towards our planet. And, yes, may we all in our own way pray fervently for peace.

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  6. My dad was an Episcopal priest, but my mum was Missouri Synod Lutheran. Talk about schizophrenia! The Episcopal church is so wide, and my mum’s is so narrow! I was confirmed in the Anglican tradition only a few years after I graduated from high school, and she acted as if I’d gone over to Rome.
    The Squire and I hosted an exchange student from Morocco for a year, and learned so much from him. It has led us to greater understanding and appreciation of the world’s religions.

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