Wednesday, August 14, 2013

#blogElul 8: believe

Reposted from 2012

It's one of those weird words that often gives people the willies.
"You've gotta have faith."
But many of us are worried.
What does it mean to have faith?
Do I have to give up my belief that my actions can impact what happens to me?
Is it entirely in Someone Else's hand?
Can I be a "person of faith" without become what others might consider a fanatic?

To have faith is simply to believe.
I often remark that "people of faith" can share an understanding of what it means to live a life guided by religious belief. Even if our faith differs, we can understand how those religious traditions and ideals can be so beneficial and influencing.

So often we worry what that faith is. We want, we need, to name it.

But faith is, I think, broader than that. An inherent ideal that belief, in and of itself, has an incredible power. It's often misused. It's often taken too far.

How can we get to the very ideal of faith - in ourselves and each other, and in our religious traditions - without judgment or recrimination? An acceptance that it is the very act of belief itself that makes us so much more alike than we are different...

You've gotta have faith.

Read this wonderful words from Rabbi Eric Yoffie from a few years ago about what it means to be a liberal person of faith.

The Jewish month of Elul, which precedes the High Holy Days, is traditionally a time of renewal and reflection. It offers a chance for spiritual preparation for the Days of Awe. It is traditional to begin one’s preparation for the High Holy Days during this month with the Selichot, the prayers of forgiveness. We look to begin the year with a clean slate, starting anew, refreshed. All month, along with others, I'll be blogging a thought or two for each day to help with the month of preparation... I will be blogging here, and sharing #Elulgram photos on the same themes at Follow me on twitter @imabima for all the #BlogElul posts, not only mine but others' as well! This year, I'm not doing a linky or anything like that -- I'm conserving energy! So be sure to tag your posts on Twitter and Facebook so I can catch them with my alerts....

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