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Rabbi_David_J_Wolpe

Faithbook Rabbi_David_J_Wolpe

David J. Wolpe is a senior rabbi at the Sinai Temple of Los Angeles and a teacher at UCLA.Rabbi Wolpe writes for many publications, including New York Jewish Week, Jerusalem Post, Los Angeles Times, and Beliefnet.com. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN and CBS This Morning, and has been featured on the History Channel’s Mysteries of the Bible. He is the author Why Faith Matters and the national bestseller Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times. Rabbi Wolpe lives in Los Angeles.

How Do You Imagine God?
God in America and USA WEEKEND Magazine are partnering to explore Americans' images of God.

How do you imagine God? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I imagine God to be something that I cannot begin to imagine. 2 people liked this

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I would replace this with the traditional Hebrew word, bitachon – trust. My faith is a trust. The universe is not indifferent; there is meaning and ultimate beauty and purpose.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My most powerful moment of belief was seeing my father cry standing at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Centuries, sages, love and faith joined at that moment.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Rabbi Nahman of Bratzlav said he was a ‘moon man’ – his faith waxed and waned. I doubt each day, and go to bed with faith.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My spiritual life is not separate from everything else in my life. 1 person liked this
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator That it is rooted only in the past. Survival is not stagnation. Everything that lives grows and changes. My faith lives in the future too.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator some combination of The Kotzker Rebbe and Ralph Waldo Emerson – honesty, insight, pessimism and optimism, self-reliance and community, imperishable legacies.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator its room for individuality and insistence on community. 1 person liked this

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator life was uninterrupted joy and God would ensure it.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator jagged; filled with sickness, doubts, expectations, death, deep joy, laughter, song, sadness, silence, talking, wondrous, a source of unending gratitude.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a Conservative Jew
Are your beliefs or practices different from your parents? If so, how and why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I have come to a place close to theirs but my life is more God centered.
If you have children, did becoming a parent change your relationship to faith? If so, how? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My daughter is the spark of God I have seen from inception, giving me the tiniest, most precious glimpse of the real meaning of our brief stay on this earth.

How I Practice My Faith

Where and when do you practice your faith? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Each time I rise to what I might be, practice a ritual, remember that I – and everyone I know – is a child of God. 1 person liked this
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It is neither easy nor difficult, exactly. It is the journey, with all its attendant supple ease and inexplicable pain.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is either the Torah or my father’s prayer shawl – tallit.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator is a combination of Heschel’s “God in Search of Man” and Buber’s “I and Thou.”

Religion & the Public Square

What should be the role of religion in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator We bring our beliefs to everything we do, but have to defend them in non-religious terms all can share. 1 person liked this
Should courses about religion be taught in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Absolutely. It is formative in the world. Not to know the history of faiths is to be ignorant about the shaping forces of all history. 1 person liked this
Should the Bible, Torah, Quran or other religious texts be taught as works of literature in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Ideally yes, but I’m afraid we have not reached a sufficient level of acceptance to do so.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Knowing the other, accepting that others will believe differently and are not therefore evil and doomed is a first step to spiritual maturity. 1 person liked this
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes, it is what I do for my life’s work.
Do you feel that you have a duty, because of your faith, to put your beliefs into action? What are some of those actions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Ritual and moral actions: to care for those who are bereaved, bereft, alone; to worship and preach and teach and seek to be better than I was yesterday
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Everything is compromised by the attempt to bring it into this world. That is a bad thing and a very good thing. We cannot be too idealistic. As poet William Stafford so beautifully said, “Purify the pond and the water lilies die.” 1 person liked this
Has 9/11 had any impact on your thoughts about religion? Are you more/less interested in learning about other religions? Do you feel more/less comfortable expressing your religious beliefs? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It reemphasized that the world is excruciatingly close. We have to learn to deal with one another because distances have been obliterated by technology. The terrible, murderous crime of 9/11 was a reminder that hate can now destroy more than the tribe next door; it can destroy us all. When God told Noah He would never again destroy the world, God did not promise that we wouldn’t. 1 person liked this

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Published October 11, 2010

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