I grew up reading David Wolpe’s column in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. Something about it always resonated with me. I knew he was not Orthodox, and yet, reading his words always left me feeling more passionate, positive, and motivated to learn more about and deepen my Judaism. When I started teaching “Why should I stick with my Judaism” – (a high school elective course based on all the topics and questions I wished I had been taught as a high school student), I utilized so many different texts – from classic medieval philosophers to modern day Rabbis and writers. Often it was a line from the writings of David Wolpe that gave my students pause, as it did for me.
Here are some of my favorite lines from Why Be Jewish:
Judaism’s most important single teaching is that each human being is created in the image of God…Human beings bear God’s image; we bow down in devotion, but we stand up in mission.
One of the lessons of spirituality that Judaism teaches is that spirituality is not a solitary affair. True spirituality means a relationship with other human beings and with God.
Spirituality means transforming oneself; a religious tradition is a system that teaches how and in what direction we should change.
Why Be Jewish is a small book packed with inspiring and thought-provoking ideas.