Foundation of Teaching
Judaism, Oneness, Inner Peace
Example of Teaching
“All my adult life I have attempted to live with attention to the moment and to respond with my whole self to whatever life presents.”
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Rabbi Rami Shapiro
Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro is widely recognized as one of the most creative figures in contemporary American Judaism. A graduate of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, he also holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Union Graduate School. An award-winning poet, liturgist, and essayist, his prayers are included in worship services across the denominational spectrum of American congregations.
Shapiro was the founding rabbi of Temple Beth Or in Miami, Florida and senior rabbi of Metivta, a center for contemplative Judaism in Los Angeles, CA. He currently directs the One River Foundation, and is an adjunct professor of religious studies at Middle Tennessee State University. In addition he pursues his first love, writing, through books and a new column, Roadside Assistance for Your Spiritual Journey, in Spirituality & Health magazine.
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- “If you want love, act lovingly; if you want justice, do justly. This is the wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi: be the change you want to see, not the New Age nonsense of Rhonda Byrne: see the change you want to be.”
- “Organized religion is sane and not silly when read as myth and poetry rather than science and law. Religion speaks nonsense when taken literally, but reveals some of the deepest truths of humankind when understood mythically, poetically, and even allegorically—that is when it is read with an active and creative imagination.”
- “I understand hell in two ways. First, there is the this-worldly hell I make for myself and others when I fail to act justly and with compassion. Second, there is the other-worldly hell invented by bullies who delight in sadistic fantasies of endless torture and use these fantasies to frighten others into yielding to their will. I take both hells very seriously.
- “Religion at its best is holy play.”
- “All my adult life I have attempted to live with attention to the moment and to respond with my whole self to whatever life presents.”
- “Spiritual practice is conspiratorial rather than inspirational; it conspires to strip away everything you use to maintain the illusion of certainty, security, and self-identity. Where spiritual writing seeks to bind you all the more tightly to the self you imagine yourself to be, writing as a spiritual practice intends to free you”
- “There are three rules for writing as a spiritual practice: (1) don’t write what you know; (2) you can’t write what you don’t know; and, (3) you must write.”