Eight Questions of Faith: Biblical Challenges That Guide and Ground Our Lives

Eight Questions of Faith: Biblical Challenges That Guide and Ground Our Lives

Eight Questions of Faith: Biblical Challenges That Guide and Ground Our Lives

Eight Questions of Faith: Biblical Challenges That Guide and Ground Our Lives

Synopsis

Eight Questions of Faith is a spiritual exploration of some of life's biggest questions--questions that have been asked by prophets and kings, mystics and sinners--that continue to be asked by every one of us today.

Niles Elliot Goldstein uses eight questions found in the Bible to explore the human journey from cradle to grave, confronting such important existential experiences and themes as mortality, responsibility, forbidden knowledge, sin, and the afterlife. By interweaving texts from the Bible, commentaries, philosophy, psychology, and literature with his own experiences, Goldstein also meditates on midlife. This book will appeal to believers and nonbelievers alike and is aimed at anyone who has ever faced a challenge or wondered what life is all about.

Excerpt

Midway through my life, three pressing questions weighed down my soul.

First, there was the question of my marriage. I just didn’t think I could do it anymore, it felt too dishonest. While I loved my wife, my heart told me that we weren’t working as a couple, that our relationship needed to come to an end. Despite the truth I felt in my heart and my unwillingness or incapacity to fully commit to something I felt was wrong, my brain was torn by the issue: “Why should I leave a situation that had become so … familiar?” I drank alone at night in my basement cave to try to numb my uncertainty and doubts. If my situation didn’t change, and soon, I would continue to damage my body and hide from the difficult reality that I was depressed.

Then there was the synagogue. Although I had been the spiritual leader of my Greenwich Village congregation since its founding, and while we’d weathered the horrors of 9/11, personal tragedies, and a catastrophic recession together—as well as celebrated births, marriages, and other joyous events—if I had to sit through another irritating board meeting or officiate at another idolatrous bar or bat mitzvah, I’d blow my brains out. After a decade of service, it was time for me to move on, and time for them find a new rabbi who wasn’t disenchanted and burned out. But what should I do next?

Finally, after nearly twenty years of living and working there, I felt that I had reached the end of my relationship with New York City. the same frenetic energy that had fed me in my twenties and thirties was now devouring my soul. I’d come to loathe the city’s unapologetic relentless-

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