The second “Texts & Tasting” event of 2014-2015 took place last night in Long Beach. Combining learning through texts from the Talmud to the Shulhan Arukh and beyond with an Irish whiskey-tasting, more than fifteen people attended this enjoyable event. I was glad to be able to facilitate the learning, which centered on how many candles we light and how we light the candles of Hanukah, which was appropriate for the current festival of Hanukah.
Today, I signed onto the following statement:
ORANGE COUNTY RELIGIOUS LEADERS UNITE TO CONDEMN VIOLENCE IN HOUSES OF WORSHIP
We, religious leaders and teachers from various faith communities, offer our condolences to the families and friends of worshippers around the world killed in the name of God or religion. We are especially dismayed that, more and more often, these killings occur in their houses of worship. We wish a speedy recovery to those injured in vicious attacks while they prayed and studied. The murder of innocent worshippers in a sacred place of prayer and reflection is an affront to all humanity.
We affirm the following as a universal Statement of Principles and encourage all people of faith to adopt it.
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
Houses of worship are sacred spaces. They should not be desecrated by acts of aggression, violence or terror.
Houses of worship should be safe for people who pray and study in them.
Weapons, munitions and the tools of war should not be brought into or stored in any house of worship.
Houses of worship should not be used to house hostages, captives or prisoners.
These combative and aggressive activities violate the sanctity of houses of worship and place the people within them at unnecessary risk.
We call upon all people of good will to commit themselves to the inviolability, safety and security of all places of worship in the world. We pray that our cooperation and mutual respect will lead to a more peaceful society in the United States and abroad.
To see the signatories, you view the statement by clicking here .
Last week, I led a text-based discussion for young adults at a brewery as the third in three months of my monthly “Beer, Bible and Brewery” series. Discussing forbidden sexual partners in the Torah, it took place at Newport Beach Brewing.
Having been inspired a few weeks ago to post videos about my work, I have begun a new project. I am calling it my “Monthly Minute”, whereby I post a video lasting 60 seconds or less wherein I describe highlights of my work in the previous month.
I just posted the first video, describing highlights of my work in November 2014, which is available here:
Since it is my first attempt at this new endeavor, it is a bit choppy and I had to edit it down a lot, but I hope to make it smoother in the future.