new age spirituality

finding purpose in infinite reality

Is 2019: The Beginning of the End?

abracad, · Categories: externally authored, religion

by Rabbi Allen Maller

A May 2, 2012 Reuters Poll reported that “nearly 15 percent of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime. “Whether they think it will come to an end through the hands of God, or a natural disaster or a political event, whatever the reason, one in seven thinks the end of the world is coming,” said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs which conducted the poll for Reuters.

Gottfried also said that people under 35 years old, were more likely to believe in an apocalypse during their lifetime or have anxiety over the prospect. Responses to the international poll of 16,262 people in more than 20 countries varied widely. Only six percent of French and eight percent of British residents believe in an impending Armageddon in their lifetime, compared to 22 percent in Turkey and the United States and slightly less in South Africa and Argentina. (more…)

Share

Sacred Sexuality With A Divine Consort

abracad, · Categories: externally authored, religion, spirituality

by Rabbi Allen S. Maller

Solomon’s Song of Songs begins with: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; for your love is more delightful than wine.” (1:1-2) Who is this bold, assertive female? What does she desire from her lover? How and why is this book of love song poems, so unlike the Book of Psalms, in our Sacred Scriptures? (more…)

Share

Eve at your side

abracad, · Categories: externally authored, religion, spirituality

Eve Is Beside Not A Side Of Adam

by Rabbi Allen S. Maller
   
Most people think erroneously, that the Biblical account of  God creating woman from Adam’s side means from Adam's rib. Since humans have many ribs it seems to be no big deal for men to lose a rib and gain a wife.
But the word mistranslated as rib in the Greek Septuagint, actually means side (for example Ezekiel 41:5,11 or Exodus 26:26, 27, 35).
God took the right side, or the left side, from Adam and built woman (who is well built to this day). Built seems to be a strange term to use, but the Hebrew word for side appears mostly (40 times) in the context of building a structure. A wall with only one side does not exist. A one sided building cannot shelter anyone.

(more…)

Share

The City of Babel and its Tower

abracad, · Categories: externally authored, religion
Rabbi Allen S. Maller
The conventional interpretation of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9) is that humanity arrogantly challenged God's space by building a tower; with its head reaching up to the heavens. Genesis Rabbah (38:6) explains that they planned to do battle with God in His heavenly abode. This idea is also found in the version of the narrative found in the Qur'an, where the Pharaoh mockingly and arrogantly asks his associate Haman to build a lofty tower. Pharaoh said: "O Haman! Fire up (a kiln to bake bricks) of clay, and build me a lofty tower, that I may mount up to the God of Moses: but as far as I am concerned, I think (Moses) is a liar!" (Qur'an 28:38).
However, a careful reading of the Torah text shows that what they built was not just a tower, but an entire city made out of manufactured uniform bricks (Gen. 11:3-4); and the reason they built the city and the tower was not to challenge God or invade the heavens, but to make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the whole earth (Gen. 11:4).
In the aftermath of a catastrophically destructive flood, many generations of humans were fearful and anxiety-ridden. They felt very weak and vulnerable; and they only wanted to huddle together in one place. Humanity did not want curiosity to lead people to explore other locations and thus promote change and development. 

This went against God's blessing to fill up the earth in Genesis 9:7. Similarly, they did not want to expand their knowledge and vocabulary because that promotes nonconformity and diversity. Humans were proud that every single human being spoke the same language, and that their one language had only a few words (11:1, literal translation from the Hebrew).

(more…)

Share

A Remarkable Book For Muslims And Jews

abracad, · Categories: books, externally authored, religion, reviews
Reviewed by Recep Dogan Phd.
A collection of 31 articles by Rabbi Allen S. Maller about Jewish-Muslim connections, previously published on Islamic web sites, has just come out in paperback. Entitled "Judaism and Islam as Synergistic Monotheisms”; it is available for $15 on Amazon.
Rabbi Maller has knowledge of Judaism and Islam. As a Reform Rabbi he tried to understand how the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad established relations with people of the Book and why some practices of Orthodox Jews were criticized in the Qur’an. Rabbi Maller states that Reform Rabbis are closer to Islam today than to Orthodox Rabbis. Indeed he says, “I think of myself as a Reform Rabbi and a Muslim Jew.

(more…)

Share

Will the Real God Please Reveal Himself? Herself? Itself?

abracad, · Categories: externally authored, religion

By Niánn Emerson Chase

PHOTO-WillTheRealGod

As a child brought up in a Christian home where prayer was an ongoing conversation with a loving and personal God, and regular church attendance included a variety of sects—from conservative Baptist to more liberal Methodist services, from simple Mormon meetings to ornate Catholic masses—I have always understood God to have many faces and facets. Not only was God present in various Christian-oriented churches, I experienced His presence in the Native American ceremonies in which I took part. (I grew up on four different Native American reservations in Arizona and returned to the San Carlos Apache Reservation to live and teach for many years after graduating from college.) I knew God was present with me, and within me, at all times, whether I was surrounded by loving family and friends or roaming the desert mesas in solitude, seeing divine pattern in the natural world that seemed so much a part of me. I communed with God who I experienced as my First Father, and I saw a reflection of my First Father in my biological human father who also walked with God and practiced what he felt was Godly living. (more…)

Share

Religious Form: Internal & External Reality

abracad, · Categories: externally authored, religion

By Dr. Stewart Bitkoff

Let your heart be in such a state that the existence or nonexistence of anything is the same. Then sit alone in a quiet place, free of any preoccupation, even the reciting of the Koran or thinking about its meaning. Let nothing besides God enter you. Once you are seated in this manner, say, “Allah, Allah,” keeping your thought on these words.
- al-Ghazzali

*          *

Traveler:  Speak to me of the great religions, and why each states their Path is the only Way.  In the past religious difference has led to wars, killing and fighting.  Why is this?

Master: On an inner level your religion is One Religion. Each religion is an aspect of the Divine. Just as clear light filters through a prism, changing, twisting to fit the demands of time and space; the colors of the prism are beautiful and varied; yet on inner level the light is without color. (more…)

Share

Is The Qur’an Anti-Judaism?

abracad, · Categories: externally authored, religion

Rabbi Allen S Maller

The Qur’an is the only book of revelation that includes within itself a theory of prophethood which includes other religions. There have always been (since the days of Adam) people inspired by Allah who urged their society to avoid destruction by turning away from its corrupt and unjust ways and turning to the One God who created all humans. The Qur’an mentions 25 prophets by name (most of them known to non-Muslims too) and Muslims believe there were one hundred twenty four thousand others, whose names are now unknown.

Of the 25 mentioned by name in the Qur’an only five revealed books of sacred scripture, and only Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad revealed books of sacred scripture that are the bases for three religions that still flourish today. (more…)

Share

An Optimistic View of Pre-Messianic Developments

abracad, · Categories: externally authored, religion, spiritual politics

By Rabbi Allen S. Maller

Human society changed more rapidly, violently and fundamentally in the last century of the second millennium than ever before in history.  Doctors saved the lives of millions.  Dictators sacrificed the lives of millions. Populations exploded and birthrates declined.  Technology produced both worldwide prosperity and pollution at the same time.

Knowing all this, should we look upon the first century of the third millennium with optimistic hope or with fatalistic trepidation?  Are the world and our society heading towards a wonder-filled new age, or toward a doomsday; or are both occurring concurrently because breakdown is always a prelude to breakthrough?  (more…)

Share

Accepting Suffering With Love?

abracad, · Categories: externally authored, religion, spirituality
Rabbi Allen S. Maller

The following discussion comes from the Talmud. It is deeply concerned with making suffering more bearable by making suffering more meaningful. But also teaches us not to be too pious when encountering other people's suffering.

What is the lesson from (the life of) Rabbi Nahum the optimist?  This is his story:
Rabbi Nahum the optimist had bad vision, and arthritis in both his hands and his feet. Once his disciples asked “Rabbi, how can it be that someone as kind hearted and good as you should suffer such misfortunes?” 

(more…)

Share