Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest. “Shabbat is the most important Jewish holiday,” said Hal Marcus, “and it happens 52 times a year [every Friday night]. It teaches you to chill out and reflect.”
Since I can remember my father, Hal Marcus, has incorporated interfaith philosophies into his and his children’s lives. My mother, being raised Christian, always decorated an artistic Christmas tree which was usually a branch or a household plant decorated with silver tinsel. My father was raised Jewish and he celebrated the eight nights of Chanukah, as well as all the Jewish holidays, but it went further than that. My parents set up a Buddhist prayer area in our attic and frequently our house would ring with chanting “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” (The Nichiren Buddhism Lotus Sutra. This mantra that is chanted to attain perfect and complete awakening). On occasion, the whole family would join Native American Ceremonies. My father even woke us three children up one morning to go to Church. “But we are Jewish,” I said. He agreed but still insisted we attend the church for the experience. All three of his children were raised Jewish and had our Bar/Bat Mitzvah and our Confirmation (Jewish coming of age rituals), I was married by a Humanistic Rabbi, and we all hold our Judaism close to our hearts, as does my father.
In the past years it has been humbling and inspiring to watch my father build his spirituality and community in Temple Mt. Sinai. He has been on the board of directors for 4 years and recently became one of the vice presidents. He has had the privilege of being a strong voice for social justice and interfaith dialogue. This year the congregation has been a major monetary donor for helping to feed the hungry on a continuing basis. The congregation is one of 20 who are part of Border Interfaith, a broad-based community organization that develops leadership through education and interfaith relationships for effective democratic practices and meaningful community service. They support Las Americas, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the legal needs of low income immigrants, including refugees and battered women.
that we want to see in the world.
for hunger, poverty or violence. We know there are enough
resources/enough food/ enough energy/land and water for
everyone. We need to evolve together once and for all to fulfill
the prophecy of peace.
and we are all brothers and sisters.
three important things in life:
I think God cares about how we treat each other, how we respect
the planet, and how we live our lives.
continue this dream and invite other tribes into your temples,
churches and sacred spaces to break bread and discuss our
similarities and differences.”