• I have two best bits of advice, the first I read on a poster: “Don’t regret growing older. It’s a privilege denied to many.” I also find deep wisdom in the words of Pablo Cassals: “As long as one can admire and […]

  • The first obligation of a Jewish community is not to build a synagogue. It is to establish a burial society to care for the deceased with dignity and respect. A cemetery in Hebrew is actually referred to as a […]

  • “Religion is a crutch, but since we are all the walking wounded, be sure and get yourself some good crutches!”

    — Rabbi Howard R. Greenstein

  • The thought of cutting off utilities when it is darkest and coldest for the members of our community who are hurting most should make us all shiver. I propose that MLGW inform the faith community which residences […]

  • “The core of every great city rots,” a friend once said, “and the core of every great city regenerates.”  AutoZone Park and FedExForum are not just community assets; they have been – and will continue to be – keys […]

  • When Nelson Mandela toured the National Civil Rights Museum, I walked quietly in the back of our board entourage. Rev. Billy Kyles, flanked by Dr. Benjamin Hooks and Beverly Robertson, recounted Dr. King’s last […]

  • On Christmas Day, most Jews can usually be found in two places – at movie theaters and in Chinese restaurants (but not necessarily in that order).  My father the rabbi added a third tradition – covering for […]

  • Nelson Mandela was right when he said that education is the most powerful weapon in the world. We must urge everyone to vote and pass this referendum. The faith community must continue to be the eyes of the vision […]

  • The success of some folks in my faith community masks the struggles, pain and despair I hear weekly in the lives of the thousands I serve. TheHanukkah/Christmas season broadcasts joy as some plan vacations to warm […]

  • Fear drives gun sales. Love drives religion. Americans don’t NEED guns. We WANT guns and use “freedom” as cover to buy more weapons than any nation in the history of the world. The avalanche of guns in our homes, on our streets, and by our beds is not a political issue; it is a societal [...]

  • The biblical word for hope, “Tikvah”, is derived from the word for a thread (kav). Hope is always there for those who seek it, even if it literally hangs from a thread. This season teaches that no matter how dark it is outside, it is always possible to find light. We don’t need God, though, [...]

  • Sanguinity (hopefulness, cheerfulness, confidence, optimism) with our model faith community as the focal point — and not just because of our great gospel music or sizeable Southern Baptist presence. Our mosques are beautiful, the Hindu Temple is magnificent, the renewed Roman Catholic Cathedral is breathtaking, the Greek Orthodox Church is…[Read more]

  • Which Memphis-area house of worship do you find most beautiful, spiritual, sacred? And why? Our region’s faith community is warm and welcoming, mirroring a close and immanent relationship to God. Rare are worship spaces, however, which also remind us of God’s transcendence. The word “awesome,” for instance, rarely carries with it deep meaning…[Read more]

  • What should we – individually and collectively – be doing differently about hunger issues in our community? How can any religious person in Shelby County sleep soundly when over 250,000 Memphians need food stamps in order to eat? People of faith are all well-intentioned but the hand doesn’t always follow the heart. East Memphis grocery stores [...]

  • How do you define dying well? As I see it, the most any of us can hope for when we leave this world is to die peacefully and surrounded by loved ones. The mitigation of pain is paramount in Judaism as I learned from my experience working in Jewish Hospice. In truth, there is very little [...]

  • What is your favorite verse of holy scripture and why? “God is close to the brokenhearted, and helps those crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:19). I love this verse because it teaches that God is as close as the air we breathe, the One whose mercy and compassion never end, the God whom Scripture calls the “Hope.” [...]

  • Memphis is the second most generous city in the country, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. According to the publication: “Religion plays a major role in how much money Americans give to charity. The parts of the country that tend to be more religious are also more generous.” Why is this true? [...]

  • What is your reaction to the Freedom from Religion Foundation suing the Memphis City Council? Does the theological diversity of the faith community preclude any possibility of formulating a collective prayer that will be acceptable to all and offensive to none? It’s possible but hard to do. I pray often yet still believe that when people [...]

  • Are you concerned about new voter ID laws? Are we doing enough to prevent fraud and other problems? How can we make voting as accessible as possible while still safeguarding the democratic process? It is undeniable that new voter ID laws will make it harder for hundreds of thousands of poor Americans to vote. Many citizens [...]

  • The ethics of anonymous online commenting: The purpose behind the Bill of Rights and of the First Amendment in particular is to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation at the hand of an intolerant society. But what if the people hiding behind the First Amendment are not only the intolerant ones, but also individuals whose words incite [...]

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