CHURCH LAWYERS and SUPREME COURT JURISTS

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Politico dot com  “Fair Use”
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Jabba said to Han Solo (from translated subscript):
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But if you fail me again, I’ll put a price on your head so big you won’t be able to get near a civilized system.”  <end quote>
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Alito lied regarding his findings on abortion, in Dobbs, according to Sabrina Haake: Alito’s sleight of hand used selective misrepresentations of ancient common law history to overturn 50 years of Constitutional protection for reproductive choice. He determined that legal abortion did not exist at common law, despite his own passages detailing how “abortion was a crime after ‘quickening’ (around 25 weeks) throughout common law. Pages 16 through 28 of Alito’s own opinion  describe how abortion was legal up to 25 weeks, for centuries, so when Alito said there was no abortion throughout centuries of common law, he was lying to reach his preferred outcome.

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2nd AMENDMENT v. GERRYMANDERING

Photo by Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons

SOME folks worry about the gov’t knowing where our guns reside.  Perhaps more importantly,  when the gov’t knows where your ballot — your party affiliation — resides, it’s no longer a SECRET BALLOT; and  it’s easy for parties to gerrymander, resulting in districts designed to be almost solidly R or D, by COLLUSION of both main parties, making it nearly impossible for voters to defeat an incumbent. That’s how the parties control us. The result :  career politicians are rarely removed from office, unless caught with pants down (or maybe not!) — and we suffer dictatorial anointing (by party bosses) of who gets to run for office.

Example:  those voters registered “independent” are in even worse shape in NY: the Independence Party has virtually no voice in nominating or choosing those who run in the main parties in NY. So, “independent” voters have abandoned their ability to nominate a candidate in what is arguably a more important balloting — the primaries — where potential office seekers are blessed-by and beholden-to party bosses.  Upstarts are scorned and obstructed by the parties, unless they are “players”. Would-be candidates must kiss the ring of the bosses.  Our Founders, especially Washington, Hamilton, and Jefferson, were very wary of “party spirit” (factionalism) which might divide the public, as discussed in President Washington’s farewell address.

In New York, voters tolerate this, although there is an effort to lobby for repeal of closed primaries which you could sign. We voters deserved what we got. (“He who snoozes loses.)   The pol’s knew we were asleep, and stole our voting franchise, so they could control the game!  What’s even worse: voters who want to switch parties to cast a ballot in a more interesting primary have to do so long before a contest becomes exciting. Recently, a cutoff date to switch was October 25, for an April primary! That’s designed by them to prevent people from exercising their choice in a timely fashion as a race heats up. Yep, more control by the pro’s. Not a free election!

Don’t all Americans deserve open primaries? (Currently only 19 US states have open primaries!) We must work to hide our affiliation. It’s time to take back the electoral process. We, the people want our voting power restored to full clout, by becoming states with Open Primaries. We want a truly independent ability to opt out of party affiliation, becoming undeclared, without surrendering our ability to vote in a primary of our choice. Our party affiliation must be invisible to government! That’s why it’s called a Secret Ballot — but it’s not secret if THEY know the address of your affiliation. And it’s not a free election if you can’t easily change affiliation to vote in the primary of your choice. Take back the power to choose! Demand an open primary for NY, or whatever state denies your independence to choose! (We need a revolution in balloting.) And it should include “ranked choice voting” so we are not resigned to “voting against” a candidate for fear of wasting a ballot on a very talented someone who “can’t possibly win”.

POEM : : THE SKY IS FALLING

Foto by Caseen Kyle Registos, on Unspalsh. Fair use.

DON’T LOOK UP ?

The sky is falling.
     We call it rain.
But the sky is falling!
     Is that your refrain?
Well, the sky IS falling, so let’s take action.
     Stifle, you’ll scare the children.
But they see it, too!
      Don’t worry, be happy; the sky is blue.
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¿¿ REGRET FOR YESTERDAY ??

Photo by Jovis Aloor, on Unsplash.

Nearly every Saturday for about 15 years I did volunteer prison work with a group of guys at a nearby prison.  Periodically we would discuss dealing with depression.  I’d remind them that they couldn’t change “yesterday” — but they could learn from it, saying  stress is about tomorrow; and regret is about yesterday — neither of those days exist — (also mentioning that Rabbi Jesus said something similar: “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt 6:34 NASB).

At a certain point in life we begin gazing into that sacred mirror, remembering scenarios from our past which could have been handled better.  I found a quote recently from Ralph Waldo Emerson that fits for today, the last day of the year, and every day, which I shared with a few friends on Christmas day:

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety. Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.” 

~Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good day > > > or now, ~A Good New Year.  Blessings are ours today if we will hunger and thirst for them.

FINDING PEACE WITHIN

Q: Is peace naive, impossible, merely the absence of war ?

Catch this, from a guy knowing he’s about to be crucified for heresy: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”(John 14:27) // “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.” (Matt 10:29) // And this from an earlier sufferer: “Though he slay me yet will I trust him[.]”(Job 13:15)

Click red for a classic excerpt from Handel’s Messiah, by St Paul Chamber Orchestra, [skip ad] OR, rock it with Too Hot to Handel

LYRICS to the hallelujah* chorus — so you could maybe sing along!


God’s Peace, to everyone!
~eric. MeridaGOround.com (a link to some previous Christmas cards)
*hallelujah derives from Hebrew, meaning to praise, glorify, shine.

¿Interested in “beginnings”? ~ a new READING GROUP is forming. . .

> > OFFERING CANCELLED DUE TO INSUFFICIENT INTEREST < <

Foto from Unsplash: uploaded by Vencentiu Solomon

We will be reading the book of Genesis (“Beginnings”) between the lines, as literature and philosophy, but not as religion.  The study group will be moderated by the owner of this blog, who dropped out of a graduate program at Harvard Divinity School; and who conducted a nondenominational prison Bible-study (“a stealth ethics class”) as a volunteer, nearly every Saturday for 15 years.  Interested fellow-explorers are invited to respond to MeridaGOround@protonmail.com for evolving details:  presently targeting an early-December or early-January start date, weekly, on Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays, to be agreed upon during formation of a group.  (This is not a virtual class: no Zoom. It will meet in person in Merida MX.)  Gratis. No fees. FUN, I promise! ~eric.

ADAM & EVE : “Original innocence”  :  photo by MeridaGOround

We live in stories.  Stories have a beginning and an ending. (But a sequel? Dunno.) How we interpret them, process them, wrestle with them, can shape our outlook and experience.  (God, of course, would be a character in this study; and we might note that, in reality, an author can also be a character.) Can/should those who read this story of Beginnings question God’s motives, methods, designs? Good stories invite such questions!  Exploring them together can be an enriching experience.

“HELP MATES” :  acrylic painting by MeridaGOround

CAMPFIRE under the stars. Where does a circle begin? Entertainment, to explain reality.

Foto from Unsplash: uploaded by eberhard grossgasteiger

 

DISCOURAGED ? Visit the devil’s yard-sale !   [a book review]

    “Fair Use” – Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976. (Please credit MeridaGOround.com):

Below is my modern mash-up (simply updating pronouns, gender and style) of a parable written by William Rathvon in 1911.  The original portrayed an auction, as the devil was “going out of business” — but perhaps that was a bit premature in 1911? — being prior to two world wars.   Well, fast-forward to where he’s now holding a weekend yard sale, hoping to cash out before the apocalypse arrives either to snuff or “rapture” his potential buyers; or before Jesus descends from the heavens onto the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (which would disrupt Lucifer’s rummage sale) — so, queue the medias’ search-lights in Jerusalem! ~see Acts1:11.   (Note: I consider myself a Judeo-Christian believer – yet only God knows if I qualify – so please recognize that my sarcasm is not directed at Jesus, but rather at some widespread misinterpretations of the Bible.)

 

 

Indeed these notions have spilled out of “the churches” — dangerously infecting the general public of western civilization, and beyond.  If you believe the end is near, or that your life or human civilization is at risk of becoming dark, or worthless, or even over, be alert!  (Belief shapes experience, which, for example, is why BigPharma spends millions doing double-blind experiments, including into placebo-effects about the power of belief.)  If belief affects personal physiology, is it too far-fetched for it to affect our social mindset, too?  Well, perhaps “the end” is greatly exaggerated? But hey, every life seems to have an end! – or maybe a coda (a “next chapter”)? – or a sequel? — so let us recall that there have been at least five major global extinctions of life across deep history, yet life continues. And now we have “Extinction Rebellion” — young people vigorously resisting a “sixth”. Well, all stories do have an end, so what do YOU believe about “The End”? What story do you occupy, or anticipate? 

Clearly the devil has not read Professor Bart Ehrman’s disruptive new book, ARMAGEDDON: What the Bible Really Says About the End  — or he wouldn’t be so hasty to liquidate his tools. (Ehrman is a prominent, some might say “infamous”, church historian.)  I’m confident the devil doesn’t want you to read a free sample excerpt ! — so, do it anyway ?  OK, here’s my modern version of Rathvon’s parable:

 

THE DEVIL’S YARD SALE

It was recently announced that the devil was holding a weekend yard sale, and would offer his tools for sale to anyone who would pay his price. On the first night of the sale they were all temptingly displayed, and a bad looking lot they were: malice, envy, jealousy, holier-than-thou (a.k.a. “pride” ~see v.16…), hatred, sensuality, deceit, betrayal, and all the other implements of evil were spread out, each marked with its price. As a centerpiece, there lay a harmless looking wedge-shaped tool, much worn and priced higher than any of the others.

From among the crowd, someone asked the devil what it was for. “That’s discouragement,” was the reply.

“Well, why do you have it priced so much higher than all the others?”

“Because,” replied the devil, “it is more useful to me than any of them. With it, I can pry open and get inside anybody’s consciousness, even when I couldn’t get near them with the uglier, more complicated tools; and once inside I can use that person in whatever way I desire. It’s so  battered because I use it with nearly everybody, as very few people are aware that it belongs to me.”

“You say you use this wedge-of-discouragement with nearly everybody  — with whom are you unable to use it?”

The devil hesitated a long time and finally said in a low voice, “I can’t use it to get into the consciousness of a grateful person.”

It should be added that the devil’s price for discouragement was so high that it was never sold. He still owns it, and is still eager to use it.

REVIEW quotes of Ehrman’s book:

“Vigilantly persuasive.”  —The Washington Post

“Lucid and compelling.”  —Library Journal (Starred Review)

“Ambitious.”  —Publishers Weekly

“Well-argued [and] certain-to-be-controversial.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Ehrman is always highly readable… posing thought-provoking questions about what readers believe and how those beliefs affect their actions. Lots to ponder here. –Booklist

 

A SHORT STAGE-PLAY FOR SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, RECOVERY GROUPS

 

FAIR USE.

Rights to this stage play are granted to anyone who wishes to perform it.  Please credit MeridaGOround.com

PREMISE  : :  (NAOMI’s TRUE STORY)

Self-awareness: In her childhood, Naomi had delighted in her father’s enjoyment of worship, wishing she could become a rabbi someday, which was impossible for anyone of her gender (at that time). She is devastated at age 15 when her father is murdered by an armed robber on a Brooklyn sidewalk

Thematic situation: She becomes numb inside, isolating herself from her soul, rejecting any thoughts of the divine for several years. She can’t discuss her pain with anyone.

Mystery and irony: She focuses on her studies, deeply immersing herself in literature especially, and wins a scholarship, eventually reading about suffering and struggle in the works of great authors.

Inciting event: In college she is haunted by “a presence” of her late father. She avoids any thoughts of “God”, whom she secretly blames without admitting it to herself.

Opposition: She struggles with her mental health while resisting thoughts of the divine.

Battle and defeat: Admitting to herself that she has a problem needing outside help, she finally decides to discuss her pain with her literature professor, rather than a spiritual counselor or a medical practitioner.

Self revelation: She accepts her professor’s suggestion to write about reconnecting with her soul. This recovery plan delivers profound healing, inspiring her in her studies, helping her to graduate with top honors. It eventually becomes a major theme of her professional life.

New equilibrium: Naomi learns that she can become a rabbi, after a rule change. As a new rabbi, while preparing for group-study on the topic of “recovery of soul”, she encounters a letter written by Albert Einstein to “a grieving father who has lost a child.” She recognizes a kindred sufferer, and pursues that person’s story relentlessly, discovering a universal application, blessing many people with its utility in a powerful nondenominational way, which is today visible online. <END OF PREMISE>

INHABITING MY STORY, My Soul
Adapted for stage from a true account of recovery from great loss

[Set]  A narrator’s lectern, two chairs, desk, laptop

[Characters]     Naomi, a college student
Dr. Berk, Naomi’s literature professor
Narrator [reserved seat in front row]
Albert Einstein [optional character, could read his own quotes]

[Naomi enters Berk’s office, dressed in black]  Professor Berk, thanks for making time to see me.

[Berk, already seated on stage]   You’re one of our top students, Naomi. Of course I’d make time. Have a seat. How can I help you?

[Naomi]  Maybe I’m losing my mind. I feel like I’m being followed, professor …

[Berk, interrupting] Have you reported this to campus police?

[Naomi]   No, I haven’t. This “stalker” is my late father. I’m so confused. Maybe I need to be medicated? His presence is following me everywhere!

[Berk]  Naomi, let’s avoid a ghost story, and let’s also delay tinkering with brain chemistry for now. Think carefully, as what you’re experiencing might be a gift.

[Naomi] Such a gift? — or such a heavy burden?

[Berk] The choice hinges on your interpretation. Let’s reflect on some of what we’ve covered in class, with Hamlet, with Wuthering Heights, and writings by Gabriel García Márquez. Can we sense the heartbeat of creation right now, by becoming attuned to mystery, embracing life’s magic instead of needing to control it? You have choices: you can believe life is tragic, followed by oblivion; or believe that we’re here to improve community, making a better world. I want to encourage you to give yourself a creative writing assignment about the soul of your father. Now, please tell me about him.

[Naomi] OK, yes. Well, he wanted to be a teacher, but when he came home from World War Two, I’m told that his father persuaded him to take over the family business, which he eventually did, reluctantly. Later, I noticed he was happiest on weekends, going to temple, telling me Bible stories at bedtime, and singing psalms with me. He inspired me as a child — resulting in me always wanting to become a rabbi when I grew up — which admittedly is a dream not allowed for women. But when I was 15, he was murdered by an armed robber on a Brooklyn sidewalk one evening while out walking with my mother. My faith was frozen-numb that day. I was not able to discuss this trauma in any depth, not with my mother, not my school mates, not anyone. I couldn’t even pray, as I was deeply disappointed with the divine. And now this “haunting”. I’m weak and weary, Dr Berk.

[Berk] Dear, dear Naomi, I’m so sorry for this hard news. But clearly you still have a depth of feeling and thinking, perhaps –my sense– given to you by your father. The papers you’ve written and the questions you’ve asked in class tell me much about you both. You come from a tradition of the great prophets — of Abraham and Moses and Deborah and Samuel — and they were all touched by a Presence, too. You’re not losing your mind, Naomi. You’re encountering your soul — and your father’s soul, as well. Invite his memory in. Study with his soul. Continue to learn from him. And please write about this learning for your own mental health and development.

Perhaps your inability to discuss the event with those close to you is due to the magnitude of this universal question: why is there suffering? But be alert about asking a flabby question, such as why two plus two is not five. (The ancient Greeks saw that truth is that which is not a lie. ) Instead of being distracted by whether mistakes in arithmetic are good or evil, I suggest seeing problems as basic opportunities to learn. (Please know that I’m not diminishing your challenging situation!).

Now I’ll make a few suggestions of reading selections which might help, while trying to avoid meddling in your faith tradition. But we will need to consider literary and textual criticism, so be forewarned that reading between the lines, asking hard questions of the Bible text, will be vital. Literalism is a thorny problem. Our own interpretation is central. Listening for insight is key. Good readers such as yourself might be offended by this first famous title: How to Read a Book. Well, don’t be! Instead, be brave to question the text, which has been re-assembled from thousands of fragments. And we don’t even have the originals! So reading between the lines is listening to the ages, questing for guidance and meaning. Next, the Book of Job, where God and the adversary, often called satan (the accuser, in biblical Hebrew), made a bet about whether satan can get Job, a man known to both parties as perfect and upright, to curse God to his face, without killing him, all of which seems an effort to explain why bad stuff happens to good people. Eventually God bluntly tells Job in chapter 32, initially thru the words of a young neighbor named Elihu, that God alone is an utterly Awesome Being, and Job has no right whatsoever to question. Do you see what I mean about reading between the lines, Naomi ? — What? — we can’t even ask why people suffer? Let’s not read this account literally, especially considering that the name, Job, means “hated” in the original ancient language. Ask yourself: who would name their child Hated ? I would argue that this is an allegory instead of a history. Next then, contrast Job’s experience over-against the outlook of Ecclesiastes, the Preacher (translated as the Philosopher, in one version), where life is fleeting — but should be enjoyed. And then, the Story of Joseph — [ unspoken note: chapters 37-50, but 38 can be skipped as it as another story entirely ] — as Joseph’s story is about severe difficulties happening to him, to enable a providence of divine blessings. Joseph’s jealous elder brothers sell him to slavers, but God ultimately meant it for good, moving him into a powerful position to rescue a vast population. Fast forward now, Naomi. IF you’re inclined, you could continue to unpack the problem of suffering by exploring writings by Gottfried Leibniz, who coined the word theodicy to defend God against charges of being unjust or indifferent or impotent. He suggested that we live in the “best of all possible worlds.” And then you could consider a satire by one of his contemporaries, Voltaire, who wrote Candide, about a huge historical tsunami which actually demolished the city of Lisbon one Sunday morning in 1755, during the very hour of prayer, killing thousands who were at church, as well as those who stayed away.

There’s a deep mystery here to bless you, if we will have it. Like Jacob wrestling fiercely with someone in a dream where he’s given a new name, Israel, meaning — God’s-in-charge — Naomi, don’t let go until you get the angel-messenger’s blessing. Wrestle to learn! God is the Teacher!

[Naomi] You seem to be a person of faith, Dr Berk. Of what denomination?
[Berk] Denominations imply division, Naomi. I’m of a maturity by now which avoids such positions as being of minor significance. Reading is my ongoing act of devotion. Reading feeds my spiritual appetite, my soul. But “what to read” is a weighty question.

[Berk exits, excusing himself]
[Naomi opens her laptop, then swivels in her chair to address the audience.]

[Naomi]  Dr Berk’s intervention awakened me from feeling abandoned and adrift. While I had plenty of self-doubt about my purpose and potential, I began to glimpse applications of what I was learning about human struggle, and was able to regain my own balance. Soon I found opportunity to help a college classmate recover from a painful loss of love, helping her revive from despair of a broken heart, including thoughts of suicide. And I was soon able to touch other lives with gentle words of encouragement and inspiration. I realized that I could share insight without needing “credentials” as a therapist or clergy member. Most importantly, I felt whole again, and saw a future calling to help others, which was very satisfying. I was awakening about the same time as my religious culture to the value of women as benefactors and healers of society. My ability to pray returned naturally. [Naomi busies herself at the desk]

[Narrator, rises to lectern from front row of audience to speak] : Naomi has been much comforted by Dr Berk’s wise counsel, accepting his suggestion of a self-assigned writing project, pressing ahead with her studies. He has helped her immensely to re-focus. Then, in her senior year of college, the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York decides to admit women. From Cornell, she graduates Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude, and enters that first seminary class, graduating and thus fulfilling her dream of becoming a rabbi. After all, the concepts of wholeness, holiness, and health derive from the same root-word. And thus she grows to realize that a central part of her future ministry will be in helping people reconnect with their soul.

[Naomi stands, >>> the Narrator drapes Naomi in a prayer shawl ]
[Naomi sits back at the desk to work at her laptop.]

[Narrator]  Soon Rabbi Naomi, while researching a topic for group discussion, comes upon a letter from Albert Einstein replying to a little-known doctor in 1950: to “a grieving father who had lost a child”, to whom the famous scientist writes:

[Einstein ?] A human being is part of a whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself and his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. [Pause]

[Narrator — as Naomi types on laptop, in background] Naomi finds ample evidence of Einstein’s letter, but, beyond the doctor’s name, nothing more. Then, after much archival digging, she discovers the man was not a medical doctor, but rather, a lawyer, and a rabbi, and a military chaplain. She’s gripped by his story, as she feels a kinship with his pain and loss. And she’s impelled to locate more details, traveling far and wide in that effort. [Narrator sits]

[Naomi stands at lectern, holding a document] Rabbi / Chaplain / Captain Robert S. Marcus of the 9th Tactical Air Unit, was highly decorated for his service on the beaches of Normandy, France; and as a liberator of the concentration camp at Buchenwald, Germany, where he rescued 904 Jewish children, eventually finding passage to safety for them. These children became his personal mission. He took it upon himself to become their father, their mother, their rabbi, their teacher, their advocate. One of the boys he rescued eventually became an author and a Nobel laureate, named Elie Wiesel.

Later, sadly, Rabbi Marcus, while aboard a ship in the Atlantic, learns that his own firstborn son Jay, age 11, has polio. Marcus arrives too late even to say goodbye. [PAUSE] In his grief he writes to Professor Einstein for insight. // Eleven months after losing his son, Rabbi Marcus dies of a heart attack, at age 41. [PAUSE]. [Naomi sits]

[Narrator rises] Please wait. This story is not shared as tragedy. Yes, tragically, one man rescues 904 children but losses his own son, most dear. Yet perhaps there is joy ahead — discernible in a truly hard saying by another rabbi, Rabbi Sha-ul, later known as St Paul: “Always be joyful. Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens.” [Unspoken: : 1Thes5 ncv ; see also Psalm 100.] . . .

But is it even possible to be grateful after the death of a child? [pause] Personally, I must argue yes. I lost a younger brother to a drunk driver while he rode his bicycle home from work. He was only 19. [pause] I’m grateful to my parents for their stability and example; I’m grateful to have known him; I confess that I’m grateful he was dead-on-arrival. And I’m grateful for this lesson: that drunk driving is like a guest pissing on the carpet of our home, on our social fabric — a lesson I needed, and respect. We’re all guests here, after-all ! // >>>Narrator sits].

[Naomi, stands w/document] I looked at length for Rabbi Marcus’s letter seeking insight from Einstein, in the professor’s archives and elsewhere, without results. After learning of the rabbi’s early death I felt that I could now let go of him, but I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I kept Einstein’s letter to Rabbi Marcus taped to my desk, meditating over Einstein’s words, daily.

In just a few sentences, without using the word “soul,” he describes an eternal life in the here and now of Wherever-land, a life of which we are nearly blind – yet it’s the only life we are sure of. Einstein believed we have the power to free ourselves from the delusion that we are entities separated from the ongoing whole — instead, we’re woven together as strands in a beautiful tapestry — a single organism!

But hey — Einstein was often termed an atheist by many Jews and Christians — a charge he vigorously and frequently denies, stating that while he didn’t believe in a personal God (viewing such a position as childlike) … [EDIT ? / see footnotes] … he repeatedly stated:

[Einstein ?]   I am not an Atheist. [. . . ] I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being. [. . .] In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.

[Naomi concludes] Every once in awhile we catch a glimpse of this oneness that not only surrounds us but flows through us. The key to detecting that unity, I believe, centers on sharpening our spiritual attitude, and seeking our destiny, which is our assignment: to encounter our own soul — and, to recognize the souls of others.

If the mission of what Einstein called “true religion” is to help us see the underlying oneness of all things, then as a rabbi, I consider it my mission to spread the word about a faith that can unite all people of all religions and races — a meta-religion of universal connectedness, a unity which holds us all together.

To that end, while still conducting worship for my Jewish congregation, I started a study group which is open to people of all faiths, (and none). You can find it meeting in a Presbyterian building in Los Angeles, and online. It’s there for you to help you encounter your own soul. I’ve named that group Nashuva, a Hebrew word meaning return. But however you encounter your soul, may you be blessed in that pursuit, by that reunion.

Within us all, this soul-force is guiding and teaching us to experience the oneness which Einstein so beautifully described. We ignore it at our pain and peril ! Yes, meeting our soul can transform our lives, and our world. Blessings can be ours today, if we will have them! Amen.
<THE END>

https://nashuva.com/about/.

Adapted for stage by MeridaGOround, from : EINSTEIN and the RABBI, by Naomi Levy

Footnotes:
Einstein source (entry#5, of 12): https://www.learnreligions.com/albert-einstein-quotes-on-a-personal-god-249856
“I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.” Albert Einstein to Guy H. Raner Jr., Sept. 28, 1949, quoted by Michael R. Gilmore in Skeptic magazine, Vol. 5, No. 2.
Einstein source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_and_philosophical_views_of_Albert_Einstein
This firm belief, a belief bound up with a deep feeling, in a superior mind that reveals itself in the world of experience, represents my conception of God. In common parlance this may be described as “pantheistic” (Spinoza).[26] Agnosticism and atheism. Einstein said people can call him an agnostic rather than an atheist, stating: “I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal god is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”[14] In an interview published by the German poet George Sylvester Viereck, Einstein stated, “I am not an Atheist.”[10] According to Prince Hubertus, Einstein said :””[27]source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_and_philosophical_views_of_Albert_Einstein

: : TaxMan, SuperHero : :

Illustration by John Royle. Fair use. johnroyleart dot com

[…with liberty and justice for all…]
.

TaxMan, SuperHero

Birthing a baby: pay the tax.
Buying a home: pay the tax.
Burying a family member: pay the tax.
Shopping for groceries: pay the tax.
Every transaction is taxed immediately,
by cellphone debit.  No more paper money!
Lost your phone? Login to transact.
.
Cashing your paycheck: NO TAX.
Depositing your earnings: NO TAX.
Reporting your income: DON’T BOTHER.
Selling your home, car, stuff: NO TAX.
Imagine there’s NO TAX. You can do it if you try.
.
Those who spend the most money pay the most tax!
All school districts get equal per-capita grants per student!
“One nation, under TaxMan, with liberty and justice for all.”
Only WE, the people, can prevent tax cheating by the rich and powerful!
.
CATCH THE VISION!
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NOTE:  “GOLDEN BILLION”  abusers like Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump would hate this plan of taxing all money instantly when it is spent, as it would end tax shelters and tax havens of the elites.  Suddenly there would be a level playing field for everybody — think of it as a BUYERS TAX, instead of a sales tax, or income tax!  And the underground economy would end, aside from trading by barter.  Honest exchange would rule.
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TRANSLATION: Instead of us little folks paying income tax, while the rich mostly skate free,  the government should replace income tax with a tiny buyers tax on every single transaction — No exemptions!  Why?  Over many decades the wealthy have spun the taxing game hugely in their favor.  As a result, we have this gigantic bean-counter industry milking the public for counting our money, and keeping a bunch of it before telling us what to hand over to the IRS each year, while letting big spenders off the hook, mostly, for hiring slick tax accountants.  So, if all transactions were taxed-when-bought, paying by cellphone debit  — no more greenbacks — there would be no more wasteful counting industry.  And the IRS would be reduced mostly to a software program which verifies that the cellphone hosts had surrendered to the government what they had collected, instantly, on each transaction.  Instantaneous efficiency!  Equal justice!   (The ultra wealthy would hate this and fight to defeat it, as would the bean counters and IRS employees.)  Cell debit means that if you have no money in your phone, the transaction fails, unless you have good credit associated with your cell. NO SALE.  The technology is here to do this!  (A lost phone is not like a lost wallet, as your fingerprint “password” keeps your account safe.)  Need milk, but left your phone home? Just login to your own account, using the seller’s phone, to transact.  Save trees by killing paper money!  [Here’s a good article on a fair taxing system, unlike ours in USA.]