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DISCOVERING THE OTHER…UNDERSTANDING OURSELVES

Larchmont Temple Adult Learning, 5780/2019-20
 

“Just as every candle casts its own shadow, only when you place a second candle next to the first do the shadows disappear—illuminated by the other’s light. The beginning of dialogue is the knowledge that we can do this for one another.”
                                                                                                                                                             WITNESS…Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom, R’ Ariel Burger

Our aim is to explore the many pathways to faith & practice that are not our own in order to gain greater insight into the other— approaches and attitudes that differ from ours across the religious and secular spectrum—thus bringing us a better understanding of ourselves: our place and Jewish purpose in this world.

WHY?
From The Dignity of Difference, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

“We need to search—each faith in its own way—for a way of living with, and acknowledging the integrity of those who are not of our faith. Can we make space for difference? 
Can we hear the voice of God in a language, a sensibility, a culture not our own? 
Do we speak to and within the narrow loyalties of our faith, or does our faith itself give rise to a generosity of spirit capable of recognizing the integrity—yes, even the sanctity—of worlds outside our faith? 
…The prophets of ancient Israel were the first to think globally, to conceive of God transcending national boundaries and of humanity as a single moral community linked by a covenant of mutual responsibility…
Can we find in the human other a trace of the Divine?
Can I recognize God’s Image in one who is not in my image?

…The glory of the created world is its astonishing multiplicity: the thousands of languages, the hundreds of faiths, the proliferation of cultures, the sheer variety of the human spirit…in most of which, if we listen carefully, we will hear the voice of God telling us something we need to know…We must learn the art of conversation from which truth emerges not as in Socratic dialogues, by the refutation of falsehood, but from the process of letting our world be enlarged by the presence of others who think, act, and interpret reality in ways radically different from our own…We will make peace only when we learn that God loves difference and so, at last, must we.”

Mon, October 14 2019 15 Tishrei 5780