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Author Rabbi Rami Shapiro

While sitting in the Nashville International Airport reading the newspaper recently, a mustachioed Frenchman sitting next to me started up a conversation. In the interest of space and clarity, I’m skipping my part of the conversation: “Occupy Wall Street is a paper tiger. All drums and no message. If you want to change the system […] Read More

We Jews are in the early weeks of our fall holy day period. There are three parts to this season that are of spiritual interest: Selichot, Yamim Noraim and Sukkot. The month of Elul is the final month of the Jewish liturgical calendar and is devoted to the practice of selichot, seeking forgiveness. While Jews […] Read More

I was asked recently to articulate why Judaism matters. Here is my reply:   Now HaShem said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. [As a consequence of your going] I will make of you a people vital to life, and […] Read More

I watched President Obama commit us to endless war Monday night, and it made me sick.   Speaking of the obligation of America to intervene in Libya, Obama said, “To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and, more profoundly, our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal […] Read More

Is President Obama opposed to American exceptionalism? Many Republicans, including many running for his job in 2012, are suggesting he is.   The term was first used in the 1920s by the American Communist Party. It referred to class mobility within American society, and to the resources (both natural and human) that America contains. These […] Read More

I am a lover of God and a student of religion. I do my best to understand the nature of religion, and how it justifies the worst of which we are capable as well as calls us to the best.   There are people of faith on all sides of an issue. Religion is what […] Read More

I feel a lot thinner today. Not that I’ve lost any weight, but I read in the newspaper that Tennessee is tied with Alabama for the second fattest nation in the country. Whoo-hoo!   Mississippians are still fatter, but not by much. The cool thing about being a citizen of Tennessee-how-much-you-can-eat is that you have […] Read More

I was invited to speak at a community worship service in Nashville recently. The goal was to bring the community together after the devastating flood that took so many lives and caused over a billion dollars in damages. This is what I said:   There is only one religious response to the tragedy of the […] Read More

“How should Jews treat their Arab neighbors?”   That was the question posed in the Ask the Rabbis section in the May/June issue of Moment Magazine.   Beloved Chabad Rabbi Manis Friedman gave this answer: “I don’t believe in Western morality, i.e., don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday […] Read More

In September 2008, Synagogue 3000, an organization focused on revitalizing synagogue life, commissioned a survey to measure Jewish spirituality among American Jews. The fact that they couldn’t define “spirituality” didn’t seem to faze them. What they found was that Jews are less spiritually inclined than the general population. Not surprisingly, the survey also found that […] Read More