Have a little faith
A college friend of mine recommended this book to me. She said it was the first book she read that talks about religion in general, and it’s a great read. I disagreed on the “in general” part after I read the book, but I cannot agree more that it is a great read. As someone agnostic to religion, I found it hard to sometimes understand religion and religious people. Why would people spent their whole life studying books written a few thousand years ago and which appears to have serious flaws, at least to non-believers.
This book is more about personal connection among people than about religion. Religion is about personal connections. No religion can be practiced only by oneself. The author developed a very deep relation with the rabbi after the rabbi asked if he can do his eulogy at his funeral. I must say that I am touched by the rabbi. I would not ask someone who I barely know to do my eulogy, yet it’s such an amazing idea to draw someone close to you on a personal level – kind of like sex to some degree (apologies to the rabbi for making an inappropriate extension).
I really liked the rabbi’s attitude towards other religions. He not only welcomed believers and non-believers, but amazingly built a personal relationship with them as well. I remember the author asked the rabbi how he reconcile those relationships with his personal belief. He said that “maybe one day they will change their mind.” And that’s it. One small maybe based on no evidence whatsoever allowed him to be both a Jew and a good friend of a Christian.
I feel that great figures always have some personal charm that draws people to them. That’s an amazing ability to have and I wonder what it takes to have such ability. At least to the rabbi, it all boils down to how he thinks about and feels towards a complete stranger. If you always sees something much bigger in a human being, whether it’s the sin or it’s the god’s grace, maybe you’ll treat that person differently.
I wish I can do a better job at writing my feedback on this book. It’s a must read if you have any interest, or simply curiosity about religion.