Posts Tagged ‘Speaking of Faith’

Here’s the secret of achieving happiness, according to the wisdom of the ages

November 18, 2010

We now know the three great determinants of happiness, thanks to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth. They are:

· doing good to others
· a network of strong supportive relationships, and
· a sense that one’s life is worthwhile.

Rabbi Sacks told Krista Tippett, on her PBS program, On Being (formerly called Speaking of Faith), that this idea has been part of the “great tradition of wisdom for 3000-4000 years,” and we now know, thanks to modern science, that it is true.

One of the issues continually raised by students of ethics is, does ethics pay? That is, does ethical behavior lead to happiness? Rabbi Sacks’s formulation strengthens the argument that it does.

Listening to American Muslims talk about Ramadan on “Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippet”

August 13, 2010

Keeping in shape has gotten easier for me since I got an iPhone and discovered a PBS program, Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippet. I listen to this on a podcast on my iPhone, and it makes the hour at the gym go by much faster.

This week’s program is called Revealing Ramadan, and Krista describes it this way:

“14 Muslims, in their own words, speak about the delights and gravity of Islam’s holiest month. Through vivid memories and light-hearted musings, they reveal the richness of Ramadan — as a period of intimacy, and of parties; of getting up when the world is quiet for breakfast and prayers with one’s family; of breaking the fast every day after nightfall in celebration and prayers with friends and strangers.”

I found this a fascinating window into Islam, American style. It’s a little foreign to a non-observant Jew like me, but what was so striking to me was not its foreignness but its sameness—nothing about the people speaking seemed any different from the family next door—to any one. I wish the people railing about mosques at Ground Zero, in Murfreesboro, or Temecula, could listen to the stories these Americans—and one Brit—tell.

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