Religion

This is an extract laboriously typed up from “We Have Reason to Believe” by Rabbi Louis Jacobs. I have always found it to articulate the evidence for the existence of God far better than anything I have written.

“In the nature of the case, the evidence of the senses cannot
demonstrate the existence of that which is not the senses, nor can the
effort of the human intellect demonstrate the existence of that which
is more than the human intellect. To say this is not to surrender
reason – this would be suicidal, for unreliable as the human reason
may be, it is the only instrument we have for testing truth – but a
recognition, in the name of reason itself, that we must look beyond it
for the apprehension of certain truths. In other words a distinction
must be drawn between proof and conviction – proof is
one of the ways to conviction but there are other ways too. So that
the real question is not whether the existence of God can be proven
but whether belief In His existence is overwhelmingly convincing. [click to continue…]

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800px Forgiveness 7 Making Amends for all that Crap You Pulled this Year

As some of you know, it was Yom Kippur recently, the holiest day of the year in Judaism.  It’s a day you spend sitting in synagogue at one of the five continuous services reflecting on your actions over the past year and trying to ignore the desire to go eat something, or go do anything that isn’t spending eight straight hours  recalling all the times you were just a dick to someone. Yom Kippur is a time when you stop thinking about what people have done to you to justify your behaviour, or who was right or wrong, but what you, and you alone, did.

Religion gets  a bad rep, but I wanted to post what I always found to be the most powerful (and guilt-inducing) prayer recited in my synagogue on Yom Kippur, one that I tend to think of throughout the year when I’ve messed up. By the time you reach Yom Kippur, you’re supposed to have  already gone and tried to make up with people, and the day is just the forgiving bit. But I hope that some of you might find Al Cheyt, as it’s known, a useful reminder to consider the impact that you may have had on the lives of others, and and a pointed prompt to go make amends. [click to continue…]

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List of Hebrew Bible Books by Length

July 30, 2012

Perhaps incredibly, a sortable list does not exist of books of the Hebrew Bible, so I have created one. You can sort by title, number of chapters, or number of verses. Related Posts:How does Judaism impose structure on the liturgical year?

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When It’s OK to Oppose Same Sex Marriage

July 9, 2012

Orthodox Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks found himself on the front page of the Jewish Chronicle this week for, unsurprisingly, being against gay marriage. Or actually, having put his name to a response to the government consultation on same sex marriage by the London Beth Din, the Orthodox religious law court. In response, the Jewish Chronicle […]

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Is there a War on Christmas?

December 25, 2011

Ho. Ho. No. Ho. Ho. Ho. Now stop being silly and get on with making your day beautiful, wherever you are. Subscribe to SarahMcCulloch.com via Email! (or via RSS!) Related Posts:No Related Posts

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Singing Garden: Spirituality and Naming Your Blog

September 19, 2011

A friend of mine runs a blog call Singing Garden. Below, she explains why she chose that name. Something magical and seminal happened while I was living in Israel. Something I had to work for years to understand, myself, and which I have tried to describe to others many times with gnawing dissatisfaction. My words, […]

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Being Grateful for what Everyone Else Does for You

June 20, 2011

“A friend of mine, Rabbi Leibel Benjaminson, described a self-improvement (“mussar”) group in which he participated. In order to improve their sense of gratitude, everyone in the group was to select one thing that they do frequently – and then think for 10 minutes about its ramifications. My friend drank one cup of coffee every […]

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A Joke to Delete For?: Religious Humour and Hypocrisy on Facebook

May 24, 2011

So, Harold Camping, a small-time Christian preacher told us that the end of the world was coming last Saturday, when 200 million Christians would rise up off the ground and go to heaven while the rest of us mooched around murdering each other until Judgment Day in October sometime. Pretty much everyone who doesn’t listen […]

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A failed Messiah? A Review of The Life and Afterlife of Rebbe Mendel Menachem Schneerson

March 28, 2011

The Rebbe: The Life and Afterlife of Mendel Menachem Schneerson by Samuel Heilman and Menachem Friedman is the first non-hagiographic biography of the final leader of the Jewish Chabad Lubavitch sect. Over the course of forty years of leadership, he turned the tiny Russian sect into a global order whose trademark services, such as Chabad […]

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An Interview on Baha’i and Homosexuality Part 3: Ultimately We Will Find a Place

July 7, 2010

Sean is a gay third generation Baha’i who has been with his partner for ten years. He kindly agreed to give an interview about his experiences to God Made the Rainbow. This is the third part of a three part interview. Read the first part here and the second part here. What do it mean […]

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