WHAT IS THE MEANING OF GOD?
Abundant thanks to Moment for creating and publishing the symposium ("What Is the Meaning of God Today?" March/April 2018). I read the article the day after a friendly dinner conversation about belief in God, a discussion that became binary in nature and, therefore, vaguely unsatisfying. Reading your symposium--which was like devouring a delicious gourmet-tasting menu--was uplifting. The extraordinary diversity of the writers in terms of their religious backgrounds, ethnicity and personal choices was a sheer delight and sparked several further intriguing dialogues. I can only hope that this ability to hear and respect multiple viewpoints can be a template for human interaction in this trying time of history.
Nechama Liss-Levinson Great Neck, NY
A NEVER-ENDING MYSTERY
I don't consider myself a religious man, yet I found myself unexpectedly and almost spiritually moved while reading "What Is the Meaning of God Today?" The (mostly) diverse array of voices and perspectives triggered intense feelings of sadness, hope, comfort, anger and much more besides. Why should these perspectives on God's meaning have pushed me beyond the intellectual and into the emotional realm?
It may have to do with my surprise not only by the ideas themselves but by the interviewees. I wouldn't have expected a female Orthodox rabbi to talk about new ways of seeing God in the modern world. I was surprised by a philosopher-lawyer discussing divine aspiration and a megachurch pastor arguing for the plurality of religious expression. Surprise has a way of pushing us past the intellectual and into the emotional, or even, as Avivah Zornberg suggests in her interview, into the intimate.
Joseph Gottlieb Boston, MA
HOLLYWOOD & ISRAEL
The story "The Epic Battle in Hollywood Over the Holy Land" (March/April 2018) fails to sufficiently define Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), whose leaders are repeatedly quoted opposing the cultural boycott of Israel. Not a nonprofit itself, CCFP is actually a front group for StandWithUs (SWU), a right-wing, pro-Israeli settler nonprofit organization with close ties to Israel's hardline government. Both CCFP and SWU acknowledge they are alternate names for Israel Emergency Alliance (IEA), a little-known IRS-registered nonprofit. IEA always files its annual tax forms as "Israel Emergency Alliance, doing business as StandWithUs." Thus IEA, SWU and CCFP are a single nonprofit. CCFP...