Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors


News From World’s Biggest Multi-Faith Festival

posted by Brad Hirschfield

As you read this post, it is already tomorrow morning in Melbourne Australia (still freaks me out), where I am attending the Parliament of the World’s Religions - the world’s largest multi-religious meeting, bringing together 12,000 participants from as many as 200 different faith traditions around the world.
For Beliefnet readers, writers and community members, it’s like going to Disneyland! And I will be posting regular updates the entire time I am here, so stay tuned. Until then, a few basics about the Parliament and a link to their website where you learn a ton about who is there and what is planned:
The first Parliament was held in 1896 in Chicago as part of the World’s Fair. Like now, people had a sense of entering a new phase of globalization, and wanted religion and spirituality to be a part of that move. But the idea that Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus (that was the full range back then!) could share a stage was so unnerving, that it didn’t happen again for 100 years! Then, in 1996, in honor of its 100th anniversary, people organized an event in Chicago to which about 1,000 people came.
Now held every four years, kind of the Olympics of faith, the Parliament has grown to 12,000 and I am honored to be speaking at four major events, including one about media and new ways of connecting spiritually. Clearly, Beliefnet and Windows & Doors will be top of mind.
Feel free to comment here on how they work in your own spiritual life, and I will read some of your responses to those in attendance. Even if you can’t make the trip physically, you too can be a presenter at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, so start telling your story right here!



  • Pittsburgher Jew

    Without new technologies, I wouldn’t have a spiritual life, nor would I feel the need for one. After spending my teenage years using the Internet for all the wrong reasons, it eventually left me feeling so empty and bereft I felt the need for something else in my life, so where else would I turn?
    That was in summer 2005. Since then, I have spent hundreds of hours learning anything I can about Judaism and have become observant and happier in life than anything I thought possible. I started out on the more right-wing sites, as they are most visible, but, in time, after the theology I found there started to become stifling and disturbing (not to mention intellectually problematic), I turned to the Internet once again to see if a more open, more modern, yet still meaningful and Torah-centric Judaism was possible, and thank God, I found the answer was a resounding YES!. As a teenager then and in my early-twenties now, I have never had the means to go study in any yeshiva, so nearly everything I know about God and Torah, I have learned online, from sites ranging the gamut from torah.org to jewcy.com and all in between-from videos, to lectures, to speeches, to dvars, to manifestos, to books. to blogs, I have done it all online. I am now at least as knowledgeable in Jewish anything as almost any of my friends who come from religious backgrounds and/or went to day school and/or went to yeshiva, yet my unique background, and perspectives- having learned everything from everybody-I would not exchange for a more traditional way of becoming religious and learning Torah. Technology ruined and saved my soul, I don’t know who I would be without it. My college major, my job, my future plans (I’ll go to a place with more of those ‘book’ things eventually, they’re better for Shabbat), my worldview, everything owes to the width and breadth of Jewish content online. Thank God.

  • bill holston

    Obviously, the new technologies enhance dialog. I love the fact that me, an evangelical non denominational Christian, has a conversation with you, an Orthodox Rabbi, about the Sh’ma and Jesus’ use of the Sh’ma in his teaching. We connect on a blog, and you even send my prayers in MP3. How could this happen without technology. Its a wonder

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jordan

    Thanks for sharing. When I thought about ottawa windows and doors I had no idea it would bring me here. This is really interesting. Where are you all located?

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