Magazine article Tikkun

YEARNINGS: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life

Magazine article Tikkun

YEARNINGS: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life

Article excerpt

[BOOKS] Capsule Reviews YEARNINGS: Embracing the Sacred Messinese of Life, by Irwin Kula with Linda Loewenthal. Hyperion, 2006.

JEWS ARE TIRED OF hearing that Judaism is a religion of acts rather than faith.

Admittedly, a Jewish tradition that excused its adherents from belief has stirred the imagination-and the pride-of countless sophisticated urban Jews. The notion that a tradition based solely in a dialogic ethics could stand against fundamentalisms of all stripes has been a source of solace during the 20th century's dark ages of Holocaust, Occupation, and Terror.

Yet, after almost 150 years of enlightened Judaism, Jews want more. Progressive Jewish leader and rabbi Irwin KuIa identifies what we desire in Yearnings. We yearn for truth, meaning, the way, love, the ability to create, happiness, and, perhaps most of all, transcendence. We want to know what we are and why we are, which is our way of asking what God is and why God is.

KuIa does not provide easy answers. Instead, in a book filled with anecdotes ofthe every day, he asks us to embrace "the sacred messinese of life." Instead of imagining a God who can answer all our questions, KuIa marries the Socratic emphasis of ethical Judaism to our newfound desire for faith, asking us to embrace the unknowable, to have faith in the questions rather than the answers. …

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