Just to keep Darfur in our minds, here's a story about the international conference yesterday. If people of faith forget about this humanitarian disaster, who will remember?
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THE ENLIGHTENING GRAMMAR OF FAITH
I'm always intrigued by the ways in which members of one faith open themselves up to learning about other faiths. Often, I think, this doesn't happen because of fear of being theologically led astray or in some way contaminated.
I read about a wonderful example of what I mean recently in a publication called Issues, which the American Council for Judaism puts out.
The article in question was called "Redeeming Grammar Lessons," and it was a sermon preached by a rabbi at a Baptist church in Louisville, Ky.
Imagining a rabbi preaching to Baptists may be a bit of a stretch for some folks, but Rabbi Nadia Siritsky took the opportunity (it was Transfiguration Sunday) to give folks a wonderful lesson in Hebrew grammar and then tied it to that special day.
What I learned that I did not know (and you can read the whole sermon for yourself at the link I've given you) is that the Hebrew letter Vav looks like a straight line (with a handle) and means "and." The letter is also the central letter in what Siritsky called "God's ineffable name that is made up of the letters Yud, Hay, Vav and Hay." When the letter is placed next to a verb, it transforms the verb from past tense to future tense or from future to past.
". . .I submit to you," the rabbi said, "that this letter, which dwells at the heart of God's name, is the essence of transfiguration."
Well, have a look at the sermon and see if you don't see in it a good example of how a voice from one faith can speak respectfully to people from another faith.
To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.