Sharon Brous: It's time to reclaim religion
Sharon Brous - Rabbi
Rabbi Sharon Brous is a leading voice in reanimating religious life in America, working to develop a spiritual roadmap for soulful, multi-faith justice work. Full bio
from the war in Iraq.
rolling across the globe.
was spinning out of control.
coursing through my body.
of tectonic shifts in ideologies,
did we bring this child into?
and a religious leader
a principle battlefield
part of the problem.
also be part of the solution?
horrible crimes and atrocities
was once again on the rise.
of the past 15, 20 years,
all over the world.
the studies to prove it,
how many of us are surprised today
of a bombing or a shooting,
that the last word that was uttered
or the bomb is detonated
antiabortion Christian extremist
in Colorado Springs
in San Bernardino and killing 14.
does not lead to violence,
as a political wedge issue,
to justify the subordination of women,
about the future of religion
challenge that religion faces today.
to be a strong force against extremism,
from a second pernicious trend,
and our leaders
that is rote and perfunctory,
of being a rabbi
under the wedding canopy, with a couple,
that they found for one another.
between the intensity of the experience
of the sixth or seventh anniversary.
to make it 16 or 17 years,
you probably wake up in the morning
a reservation at your favorite restaurant
that your partner also forgot.
to serve the function of the anniversary,
we would hold on to the remnants
in the first place.
in endless, mindless repetitions
because someone has asked us to,
with our contemporary reality,
things have always been done.
churches and synagogues and mosques
who seem completely uninterested,
that stand at the heart of our traditions
a generation of people
of religious extremism
of religious routine-ism.
a bright spot to this story.
concurrent trends in religious life,
I set out to try to determine
of my own Jewish tradition,
and purposeful again
some of the great minds of our generation
and imaginative way again
of religious life would look like?
no space, no game plan,
sat down and we wrote an email
to a few friends and colleagues.
this Friday night
of our own Jewish inheritance?"
that it was the first time
experience in their entire lives.
in such a circumstance:
this audacious dream,
or "the heart of the matter."
and Muslim and Catholic religious leaders,
the heart of our traditions,
for religion to be part of the solution.
into our sacred traditions
to justify violence and extremism,
to justify compassion,
as directives for hate and vengeance,
and for forgiveness.
as Jewish indie start-ups on the coasts
in New York and in North Carolina,
with a message of justice and peace,
of revitalized religion in this country.
and the practices vary very much
consistent threads between them.
four of those commitments now.
of this Earth.
of Aylan Kurdi's little body
of a five-year-old child
of his building in Aleppo.
of a traveler who is walking down a road
that something so beautiful would burn,
and our eyes open,
that it's our responsibility
we learn about what's broken in our world,
our religious leaders forgot
to make people uncomfortable.
what we don't want to do
that social change only happens --
to see that the house is on fire.
greatest act of defiance
from the outside,
and think expansively again.
in an African-American church
3,000 people shot
and heard Rev. Moss preach,
100 women strong,
is supposed to be about.
giving people back a sense of purpose,
fundamentally matter in this world
that they don't matter at all.
is the principle of mightiness.
that we are to walk around
and I cannot do this on my own.
"For my sake the world was created."
that I can't do everything,
between powerlessness and power.
that we prostrate fully to the ground
when we get up off the ground,
raised to the heavens,
I am mighty, and I am worthy.
but I can do something."
to make us believe that we are invisible
amount of time we have here on this Earth,
we were given,
a little bit more just
walking on the beach in Alaska,
letters written on it.
and posted it up on social media,
that devastated his country,
to retrieve that soccer ball
all the way across the Pacific.
how interconnected we all are
from the lie of radical individualism.
for the crime of driving while black.
this is also my problem.
Transphobia and Islamophobia
those are also all of our problems.
all of our problems.
when she said until all of us are free,
of these four trends,
and mightiness and interconnectedness,
justice movement in this country
a force for good in the world.
the failed religion of extremism,
than the failed religion of routine-ism.
and religious communities
and cultural shift
so desperately needs --
and toward dignity for all.
deserve no less than that.
About the speaker:Sharon Brous - Rabbi
Rabbi Sharon Brous is a leading voice in reanimating religious life in America, working to develop a spiritual roadmap for soulful, multi-faith justice work.
Why you should listen
Based in Los Angeles, Rabbi Sharon Brous is the senior and founding rabbi of IKAR, a community built in 2004 that has become a model for Jewish revitalization in the US and beyond. IKAR’s goal is to reinvigorate Jewish religious and spiritual practice, inspiring people of faith to reclaim a moral and prophetic voice in counter-testimony to the small-minded extremism now prevalent in so many religious communities. IKAR quickly became one of the fastest growing and most influential Jewish congregations in the country, and it's widely credited with sparking a rethinking of religious life in a time of unprecedented disaffection and declining affiliation.
In 2008, Brous was the youngest person on the Newsweek/Daily Beast list of the most influential Rabbis in America, and in 2013 she was named the list’s most influential rabbi. In 2013, Brous blessed President Obama and Vice President Biden at the Inaugural National Prayer Service.
Sharon Brous | Speaker | TED.com