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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Holy Rascal

holyrascaledie

A few months ago, I was invited to be part of a growing movement, as it were. It meant claiming a part of my identity that I had kept under wraps for far too long and honoring aspects of myself that felt grandiose, over the top…too much.  Holy Rascal is what it is named and by definition it is “One who does justly, acts kindly and walks humbly with their God” I was introduced to the concept by my long time friend Rabbi Rami Shapiro. I had met Rami in the early 1990’s when I was living in South Florida. It was one of those serendipitous experiences, or perhaps ‘beshert’ which is Yiddish for ‘meant to be’. I had been in a local book store, perusing the psychology and self help section, when a book literally jumped off the shelf into my waiting hands. I looked at it and saw that it was a 12 step recovery book geared to those of the Jewish faith…something like This Too Is The Path; since often the languaging of the sobriety community has a Christian feel to it. I turned it over and saw that the author was a rabbi whose congregation was nearby. Beth Or was located in Kendall, Florida which is a suburb of Miami. That Friday, we attended a Shabbos service and I was mesmerized by the stories he told and one of my first impressions was that he missed his calling as a stand-up comedian. For the next two years, most of my Friday nights were spent in that sanctuary and I felt a sense of homecoming, since I had become disillusioned with the aspects of Judaism as presented by the most recent rabbi in the synagogue of my childhood, that had felt archaic and not only sexist, but misogynistic.  At Temple Beth Or, I felt like an equal member, valued as the unique individual that I was, regardless of my ‘plumbing’.

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Fast forward and I left South Florida following the whirlwind that was Hurricane Andrew (we lived in Homestead) in 1992. I kept up with Rami’s activities via his writings and was delighted with the ways that his work took on a more interfaith flavor, while maintaining the soup stock that was Judaism. The same is true for this nice Jewish girl who became an interfaith minister, via The New Seminary in 1999. Rami proudly claims the title of Holy Rascal and the site has featured notables such as Rabbi Zalman Schacter Shalomi (who is Rami’s mentor), Joan Borysenko, Matthew Fox, Sister Jose Hobday, Andrew Harvey and John Cleese. I am honored to be in such esteemed company.

One of the attributes of Holy Rascality is humor. I find it easy to laugh at the absurdities of life and see it as a healing balm. On June 18th, I will be presenting a webinar and will be speaking on the topic How To Have A Ridiculously Amazing Life. Tune in and join us and if you feel so moved, discover what it would mean to you to claim the not so super secret identity as your own.

www.holyrascals.com

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Dick Amos

    Very interesting. I met Rami here at our Temple in Humble (if you can believe it) Texas.Micah 6:8 has been my stock Scvripture for many years. At last I had met the one who could speak a language that I understand. I am 84 years old and had grown tired of and disolusioned with Corporate Judaism and seriously wondered if Institional Judaism was even relevent for today. I have taught Hebrew and Mussar classes at our Temple. I am also married to a Christian for 57 years and I am alkso involved in interfaith work teaching clases in various churches. Let me hear more from you. Shabbat Shalom.

  • http://www.liveinjoy.org Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW

    Good Morning and Good Shabbos(:

    Thank you for taking the time to read the blog entry. Walking humbly means many different things. To some, it indicates head down, unworthiness and to others- gratitude to be able to go out into the world and use our God-given gifts. I prefer the second.

    You sound as if you have a full, rich life and have been of service to so many people.

    Yes, Rami has the ability to translate concepts that people really get. He did that for me as well, since I had taken a step away from the Judaism of my upbringing when the last rabbi at our Conservative synagogue presented a sexist view of the religion. He didn’t believe that girls should be confirmed, so he found a way to keep those of us in the Confirmation class who had studied as diligently as the boys from completing the program. When he met my lovely mother for the first time, she reminded him “My eyes are up here.” (meaning he was looking a few inches lower at two other body parts:) He didn’t believe women should be counted in the minyan.

    As a result, the last time I went to services back then was in college.
    When I met Rami in 1990 or so, I felt the door opening again that beckoned me back in.

    Please continue reading the Bliss Blog and share it with your mishpacha!

    Shalom, Edie

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