Passover begins tonight at sundown, and Jews — and non-Jewish family and friends — will gather around seder tables to share maztoh and recount the Exodus story.
One of the things I love most about Passover — also called Pesach — is the tradition of keeping the story of freedom alive and making it relevant to us today. We can see the liberation of the Hebrews in Egypt reflected in the democratic movement sweeping North African and Middle Eastern countries, and we can lament the continued modern-day slavery of sweat-shop workers, women and children caught in the sex trade and [...]
In addition to my work as a writer/journalist I am a seminary-trained interfaith minister and religious diversity teacher.
Naturally, I was outraged when I heard about a Florida pastor calling for a “Burn a Qur’an Day” on September 11 of this year. The Dove World Outreach Center plans to host a bonfire on the evening of 9/11 to burn copies of the Qur’an.
In an attempt to counteract prejudice and hatred, I contacted some of the people I know in Portland’s Muslim community about hosting a “Read a Qur’an Day” instead. These friends improved upon the idea by [...]
I live in one of the most bike friendly cities in the world: Portland, Oregon. I could look up the numbers, but suffice it to say that there’s a sizable population here that relies on two wheels as their primary — sometimes their exclusive — form of travel. Even Mike bikes to work every so often: 16 miles each way, with lots of hills.
I’ve been paying a good amount of lip service to biking, but haven’t too often pedaled my own talk, for a variety of reasons. That changed on Sunday, when I made two round trips — up [...]
An interfaith gathering in the United Kingdom on May 15 helped dedicate the country’s largest woodland burial park.
Green burials — ranging from simply foregoing embalming to home funerals, woodland burials and sea reef memorials — are becoming increasingly popular, with good reason. To start with, embalming uses chemicals that pose health risks to morticians and which can seep into ground water, and the casket industry uses a tremendous amount of lumber, copper and other metals every year.
Much as many of us struggle against it, death is a natural part of life. No amount of body preservation, concrete [...]