Free Gift (for tech addicts)!

Last Monday, you received issue 38/40 of this newsletter, which suggested that thoughtful gift-giving can curb this season from becoming the holidazes. A web-version of the article can be found here. What follows is an example of a symbolic gift you can print and...

Holy days. Not holi-daze.

    If your holiday season feels to you to be more holidaze than holy days, ‘tis on you, my friend. I’m sorry. Well, kinda. It is. Right? The thing that is keeping you from having “the most wonderful time of the year” is part brain chemistry and part you....

Nevertheless, love

Love, nevertheless |  Rabbi Brian | 2017 | issue 36 of 40   The 77% Weekly Nourishing Spiritual-Religious Hunger 40/52 weeks a year I thank you for reading. If you know of someone who might like this, please share. Not a subscriber yet? Sign up for...

MORE + FAST ≠ SMARTER

How long will this article take you to read? It’s a straightforward question. Nothing odd about asking. How long do you think it will take you to read this article? (A) more than 3 minutes (B) less than 3 minutes (C) I would rather not commit to an answer We like to...

Render unto The Donald

Last night, I dreamt that I had a private meeting with Donald Trump. (I also dreamt that I was in a cafe trying to tell liberals about the meeting but was interrupted and mocked every sentence of my telling – until I shamed them by angrily shouting, “How can you claim...

joy_of_non_fulfillment

The joy of non-fulfillment I don't know exactly where the initial question came from, but it arose one day about a week ago: how do we cope when we feel unfulfilled? I asked myself this question, and then I started asking others. "How do you deal with not feeling...

About cleaning up.

A text exchange about cleaning up by Rabbi Brian 2017 – issue 33 of 40 The 77% Weekly Nourishing Spiritual-Religious Hunger  40/52 weeks a year ​​​​​​​ I thank you for reading. If you know of someone who might like this, please share. Not a subscriber yet? Sign up for...

Nonetheless, I feel blessed

Nonetheless, I feel blessed. Of course, of course, I am horrified by what occurred in Las Vegas.  And, of course, I have added my thoughts and prayers to the countless compassionate voices sympathizing with the victims and their families. Nonetheless, I feel blessed....

Complaining about the weather

  Complaining about the weather.by Rabbi Brian 2017 – issue 31 of 40 The 77% Weekly Nourishing Spiritual-Religious Hunger  40/52 weeks a year ​​​​​​​ I thank you for reading. If you know of someone who might like this, please share. Not a subscriber yet? Sign up for...

Hate. No. Radical Love. Always.

Hate. No. Radical Love. Always.by Rabbi Brian2017 – issue 30 of 40 The 77% WeeklyNourishing Spiritual-Religious Hunger 40/52 weeks a year ​​​​​​​ I thank you for reading. If you know of someone who might like this, please share.Not a subscriber yet? Sign up for...

Holy days. Not holi-daze.

    If your holiday season feels to you to be more holidaze than holy days, ‘tis on you, my friend. I’m sorry. Well, kinda. It is. Right? The thing that is keeping you from having “the most wonderful time of the year” is part brain chemistry and part you....

read more

Nevertheless, love

Love, nevertheless |  Rabbi Brian | 2017 | issue 36 of 40   The 77% Weekly Nourishing Spiritual-Religious Hunger 40/52 weeks a year I thank you for reading. If you know of someone who might like this, please share. Not a subscriber yet? Sign up for...

read more

MORE + FAST ≠ SMARTER

How long will this article take you to read? It’s a straightforward question. Nothing odd about asking. How long do you think it will take you to read this article? (A) more than 3 minutes (B) less than 3 minutes (C) I would rather not commit to an answer We like to...

read more

Render unto The Donald

Last night, I dreamt that I had a private meeting with Donald Trump. (I also dreamt that I was in a cafe trying to tell liberals about the meeting but was interrupted and mocked every sentence of my telling – until I shamed them by angrily shouting, “How can you claim...

read more

joy_of_non_fulfillment

The joy of non-fulfillment I don't know exactly where the initial question came from, but it arose one day about a week ago: how do we cope when we feel unfulfilled? I asked myself this question, and then I started asking others. "How do you deal with not feeling...

read more

About cleaning up.

A text exchange about cleaning up by Rabbi Brian 2017 – issue 33 of 40 The 77% Weekly Nourishing Spiritual-Religious Hunger  40/52 weeks a year ​​​​​​​ I thank you for reading. If you know of someone who might like this, please share. Not a subscriber yet? Sign up for...

read more

Nonetheless, I feel blessed

Nonetheless, I feel blessed. Of course, of course, I am horrified by what occurred in Las Vegas.  And, of course, I have added my thoughts and prayers to the countless compassionate voices sympathizing with the victims and their families. Nonetheless, I feel blessed....

read more

Complaining about the weather

  Complaining about the weather.by Rabbi Brian 2017 – issue 31 of 40 The 77% Weekly Nourishing Spiritual-Religious Hunger  40/52 weeks a year ​​​​​​​ I thank you for reading. If you know of someone who might like this, please share. Not a subscriber yet? Sign up for...

read more

Hate. No. Radical Love. Always.

Hate. No. Radical Love. Always.by Rabbi Brian2017 – issue 30 of 40 The 77% WeeklyNourishing Spiritual-Religious Hunger 40/52 weeks a year ​​​​​​​ I thank you for reading. If you know of someone who might like this, please share.Not a subscriber yet? Sign up for...

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Fear. It’s ok.

Fear. (It's ok to fear.) | by Rabbi Brian | 2017 | issue 28 of 40 The 77% Weekly Nourishing Spiritual-Religious Hunger  40/52 weeks a year I thank you for reading. If you know of someone who might like this, please share. Not a subscriber yet? Sign up for...

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Spiritual Learning Edge

Rabbi Brian A modern-day rabbi with John Lennon’s inclusivity and a Blues Brothers mission. Classic Chess Openings   I need to refresh my chess openings. Emmett (entering fifth grade) and I like to play chess. We are comparably matched. If I allow him to take...

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Love, shaken, fear.

Rabbi Brian A modern-day rabbi with John Lennon’s inclusivity and a Blues Brothers mission. Fear. Fear is real. Fear does terrible things to us. Fear can transform our rational, mammalian brains  into reptilian, fight-flight-flee, us-versus-them brains. Fear...

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Saying Something

Rabbi Brian A modern-day rabbi with John Lennon’s inclusivity and a Blues Brothers mission. My friend Ran'd brilliantly observed an odd juxtaposition on his Facebook feed. (I noticed something similar on mineas well.) Ran'd noticed loud comments about the silent...

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Delta Airlines, I’m sorry

Rabbi Brian A modern-day rabbi with John Lennon’s inclusivity and a Blues Brothers mission. The 77% Weekly Newsletter. Free. 40/52 weeks a year. Delivered to your in-box Delta airlines, I'm sorry.  If you dislike someone, the way they hold their spoon will offend you,...

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26 days, but who knew?

40/52 weeks a year of something spiritual-religious delivered to your in-box. Free 26 Days. But who knew? It wound up only being 26 days, but that’s a long time. On day 22, I did not know that Jane would be better on day 26, a mere 4 days away. It was the late...

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Crying With Love

40/52 weeks a year of something spiritual-religious delivered to your in-box. Free Crying with love: the third time I finally cried The first time I had been having a very rough time and was telling the checkout woman at Trader Joe’s about it. I found myself filled...

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Spiritual Rewards. Now Free.

Spiritual Rewards. Now, Free. A fun, spiritual-religious hack to get you the things you want with zero expense. Or at the very least, a way to keep what you want at the forefront of your mind.  A tale of two marketings   Marketing...

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Should_2_Doing

Themes in this article (and the story of the frogs) you'll see repeated from issue 13 (frog or fish), earlier this year. This article explains, step by step how to go from obligation to preference. If you follow these steps, you can get what you want.  Yes. You will....

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We have free will. Right?

Freedom of Will I wrote my rabbinical school thesis on Freedom of Will. In particular, I wrote about the varied thinking of medieval Jewish philosophers on this topic. The core issue with which these religious thinkers had to contend was how God could  control...

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11 words for making peace.

Making peace Most of us are familiar with the notion of last rites – a dying person’s confessional and absolution to ensure their eternal peace. This rite, most commonly associated with Catholicism, is trans cultural and denominational. (In Judaism,...

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Heeding messages. Whose messages?

Heeding messages. Whose messages? This article about messaging is in three parts: Michaelangelo’s Biblical Errancy Meaning and Message are Intertwined Asking You to Choose to Believe in Awe Michelangelo’s Biblical Errancy Michelangelo was a great artist....

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Mistakes

Making mistakes Sometimes I wonder if there is something wrong with my boy. But maybe it’s just that he’s 10-years old. I sort of remember being told I was absentminded when I was in 4th grade. But I don’t remember it being as bad as he is. Of...

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Embrace

What is empowering? What is the spiritual life? The definition of the word empower is to give someone the authority to do something and to make them stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights. I am Rabbi Brian – an...

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Frog or Fish: How Much Do You want it?

Frog or Fish by Rabbi Brian 2017 – issue 13 of 40   The 77% Weekly Nourishing Spiritual-Religious Hunger  40/52 weeks a year   I thank you for reading. If you know of someone who might like this, please share. Not a subscriber yet? Sign up...

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To Be Ourselves

Written by Bill Johnson. A spiritual brother to Rabbi Brian and friend of Religion Outside The Box. http://billjohnsononline.com/blog/to-be-ourselves/ To Be Ourselves. “May we free ourselves, from ourselves so that we can be ourselves.”  Rabbi...

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About mathematics, love, metrics, and me.

About mathematics, love, metrics, and me.   Mathematics & Love For seven years, I was a high school mathematics teacher with a my job description of teaching mathematics to high school students.   But, really, I knew I had a much larger job: teaching...

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Got to laugh to keep from crying

You’ve got to laugh to keep from crying   After learning of some upsetting political news, I called a mentor of mine. He shut me down from obsessing about it by recounting something his father used to say. “You’ve got to laugh to keep from crying.”...

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Managing Expectations

As you might or might not know, I am an accomplished magician. Every year since 1979, I’ve gone to Tannen’s Magic Camp – first as a camper, then as a counselor, and now as a member of the senior staff. The best magicians will always let you know before you are fooled...

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Love the broken

Love What's Broken In the course of our getting acquainted, Ron, a new minister friend, made reference to Luther’s theology of the cross. He spoke about it as though it was something I knew. I interrupted him and admitted that I didn’t understand....

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Not Teaching A Lesson

To Not Teach a Lesson At the start of January, it was really, really slushy here in Portland, Oregon. We had 8 inches of snow and then some freezing rain. Then it got a little warmer. We got slush. Lots of slush. What follows is what I diaried that day (refined by my...

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How to be loving

How to be more loving I had a lengthy text exchange with a friend. A little editing was done to change the format to match that of a typical “advice column.”   Dear rB, You talk about loving and not being filled with hate. I remember this past summer you turned...

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God called me to be me: a rabbi

God called me to be me: a rabbi This article is a little different from the usual. There is no explicit moral at the end. I hope that this article – a theological coming out – inspires you nonetheless. 23 years ago, I was in my first year of...

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Spiritual Diet

We are told often about the importance of diet and exercise in our lives. I'd like to think about diet and exercise in a spiritual-religious context. With physical diet and exercise, we know that even if you aren't on a specific diet, you still eat. We know that even...

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Anger Not Hate

Over the years, I have written a lot about ANGER. I have written about the proper ways to be angry. I have written about not taking in other people's anger. I have written about how even enlightened-minded folk have anger. I have written about the natural and...

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Towards Abundance

Living with gratitude. Living with abundance I am a big proponent of gratitude. Acknowledging that I am in favor of gratitude seems silly. Who isn’t in favor of gratitude? In case you were wondering, I also like fresh air, holding sleeping babies in my...

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FE(joy)AR

You might be scared. It is a scary time. The future is uncertain. It feels very uncertain right now. I don’t need to convince you of how scared the world seems. You know that. What I want to talk to you about is our need to find joy amidst the fear. You need to...

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Hanukkah

Hanukkah The two most common questions I hear about Hanukkah are When is Hanukkah this year? What is the proper spelling of Hanukkah? After I answer these questions, I would like to explain that we are asking the wrong questions. The question we ought to ask about...

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The 5-7 Gratitude Surprise Exercise

Post-election, I am still heartbroken and fearful. But, I am allowing neither to rule my life. There is an Chinese proverb: You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow and fear from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building a nest in your hair. I am...

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Seeking non-rationally.

We think, most of the time, with our normal, rational, everyday mindset because that's how we are accustomed to thinking. We are masterful at logical thought. And, why not? We get the most out of this world by thinking rationally. Who could fault us for wanting to use...

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Be the lighthouse.

Things I have learned in the past week. 1) Disappointment hits hard. I am sad that my son and daughter will have a different future than the one I envisioned. I had wanted them to have a childhood in which a woman was a president. I didn't get what I wanted. I...

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Accept (them) without exception

The spiritual-religious notion of acting where one can and accepting where one cannot is transcultural. In the 1st century, Epictetus wrote Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. 8th-century Indian Buddhist scholar Shantideva said...

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Busy, Hurrah?

#wisdom_biscuit: Be more. Do less. Henry David Thoreau wrote: It is not enough to be industrious. So are the ants. The question is, what are you being industrious about? With what do you fill your time? I mean, if you were to look at your life and what you do, what do...

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That one thing. Do it.

Words from the prophet Rumi: There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there's nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life....

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What’s it worth?

What is it worth? For years, I have taught a gem from the Talmud that addresses worth: Who is rich? Whoever is happy with what they have. Pirkei Avot 4:1a Isn’t that brilliant? If you are content with what you have, you are wealthy. My students, in return, have taught...

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Measuring Wealth

What’s it worth? For years, I have taught a gem from the Talmud (Pirkei Avot 4:1a) that addresses worth: Who is rich? Whoever is happy with what they have. Isn’t that brilliant? If you are fine with what you have, you are wealthy. My students, in return, have taught...

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Zinnias vs. Regular life

  It is amazing how quickly our moments of wonder, enjoyment, connection, and love fade. Yesterday, I was eating a truly delightful honeycrisp apple. The red surface, I noticed, was far from monochromatic – on it were a multitude of tiny, but exceedingly green...

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Love Suffering, Less.

#wisdom_biscuit: May your suffering always be less than your pain. My dear friend Nagy died in June. I’m broken up by it. Still. Months later. When I learned about it, I recorded a raw video about the stages of acceptance. Finally, I’m able to write about what he...

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Q
&
A

“Do you need another email?”

No. You get enough emails already. Probably you don’t need one more email. In fact, you probably need to get fewer emails, not more.

“Do I really have time to read a weekly newsletter about spiritual-religious health? Might signing-up for this newsletter make me feel guilt in some way? What’s the catch?

Think about my 10-year old and his guitar lessons. He practices, if I exagerate, 30 minutes a week total. His lesson is 30 minutes a week. So, all told, he touches a guitar fo an hour a week. Now, think about you and your spiritual practice. Might you consider reading the newsletter to be your guitar lesson. What you are getting by subscribing to the newsletter is the chance to spend 5-10 minutes 3-4 times a month to your spiritual practice. Do the math, you have 15-40 minutes of time you are starting at a screen to devote to your spiritual well-being. Also, as I know that people don’t learn in guilt, I am both dogma and guilt-free.

“Why 77% Weekly”

I send it every Monday morning, except the last Monday of the month. 52 weeks a year – 12 last Mondays = 40. 40/52 is 77%.The newsletter got it’s name. I think you work too much. Many of us do. (You probably agree.) So, I want to remind you that you only need a 77% to pass.

“I thank you?”

I really didn’t know what to put in that button. “I thank you” seems appropriate. After all, albeit small, you are trusting me. So, for that I thank you.