Monday, January 17, 2011

The Faith Club

My carmel frappuccino which I enjoyed while 
reading this wonderful book!

As I have mentioned a few times before on this little blog of mine, I am very interested in other religions and creating an interfaith dialogue. I think this is in part because of my own background- I was raised in a Jewish household. My sister and I, ever since we were little tots attended Sunday school, then eventually every Wednesday night for five years Hebrew school. It was during these classes and general celebration of my faith that I became more interested in what it means to be Jewish, my own relation to g-d, and so an interest in religion developed. Yet, I wasn't just interested in Judaism but also Islam, and Christianity. My parents raised me to be curious about the world around me, to ask questions, and to accept other people even if you have differences.

So with these thoughts and beliefs in mind I looked to start and interfaith group on my college campus. I started talking with the coordinator of Hillel (the Jewish student organization on campus) about creating a place where dialogue could take place. After all, without dialogue and understanding their can be no hope for peace. Luckily, for me, she was also interested in starting such a group at my college! We have yet to have our first meeting, yet I already feel like I am on the road to dialogue. Our group assigned everyone to read The Faith Club.

The Faith Club is an amazing book, it honestly changed my life. Before I was interested in creating a group just like the three women (a Muslim, a Jew, and a Christen) but I didn't know how to go about it, what questions to ask, what sort of reactions people might have, etc. However, this book gave me a sense of peace. A feeling that if these three women can do it then so can I! I really believe that religious dialogue between different faiths is key in understanding one another which will lead to peace.

I am looking for something more then tolerance. A lot of people say, why not try to be tolerant of one another but honestly I don't like the word tolerance. Tolerance is getting along just for the sake of getting along, not because you truly understand them and are their friend. Why would I want to tolerate someone when I could accept them for who they are?

As the three women of the original faith club soon learned (and what I hope my group will also learn) is that although they had differences they also had similarities. They were raising their children in NYC after 9/11, were working mothers, interested in their religion and others too, etc. Soon enough, they were not just simply three women of different faiths working together on a book but they were also friends. I highly recommend this book, after all, we need more faith clubs in the world. So get the dialogue flowing!

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