Barry’s Gleanings: “A Boy’s Discovery . . .” + A Way Through the Separation

During the past several thousand years at least four religious traditions are known to have revered the Temple Mount in Old City Jerusalem: Judaism, Greco-Roman paganism, Christianity, and Islam.

View of the Temple Mount - golden dome. The area below is at the remained of the Second Temple where Jewish people may pray.

View of the Temple Mount – with the golden Dome of the Rock. The area in the foreground  is at the broken wall of the destroyed Second Temple where Jews now  pray.

Some Muslims have denied the Jewish connection to this most holy of sites.  Recently, a 10-year-old Russian boy found proof that confirm the Jewish historical claims.

At the Wailing Wall - men at one side, women at the other. Here a boy's bar mitzvah is taking place.

At the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall) – men at one side, women at the other. Here a boy’s bar mitzvah is taking place.

Barry at the Wailing Wall

Barry at the Western Wall

In the recent On Being podcast, Krista Tippet interviews Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and one of the world’s deep thinkers on religion in our age.  Rabbi Sacks’ new book is Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence.

“The Dignity of Difference,” an intimate conversation with Krista, Rabbi Sacks “speaks about how Jewish and other religious ideas can inform modern challenges. Rabbi Sacks says that the faithful can and must cultivate their own deepest truths — while finding God in the face of the stranger and the religious other.”  Rabbi Sacks says that the best antidote for violence is conversation.

Surely, the power of love (and the basic teachings of each religion) can rise above the “fear of the stranger.”

Aloha, Barry (and Renée)

During Ramaden xx Muslim worshipers at the Dome of the Rock

During Ramadan, Muslim worshipers at the Dome of the Rock

Image from:

Let’s embrace our similarities rather than focus on our differences.


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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

One response to “Barry’s Gleanings: “A Boy’s Discovery . . .” + A Way Through the Separation”

  1. Rosita says :

    I’m replying to your last ask… I don’t know if I had any mystical experience, but, yes, I have my religious side. Despite the fact of don’t take part in none specific religious cult, I believe in God, in karma, who can be influenced of good and bad actions, I believe also that dogs can guide good persons to the pearly gates of Heaven and if don’t have dogs in Heaven, I wouldn’t go to Paradise. I also believe in reincarnation and I’m tolerant, as most people of my hometown, but, sadly, we’re losing our own religious and social values, as tolerance and peace, and our society (in a general view) is becoming more and more intolerant, and I believe that don’t exist none reason to justify all those stupid wars and violence who’re occurring in world, specially in Middle East, and it make me sad 😦 they says that it’s due to “religious reasons”, but, what God will accept it? Obviously, this’s a sick perception of God who came up from psychopaths minds, because the God who I believe is compassionate and good, not cruel and will not accept wars. Obviously, all those wars are occurring by reasons who extend up to religious reasons, and I think that petrol can be one aggravating, so, we have to stop, or, at least, minimize the consequences of wars 😉 and as you asked, I don’t take part of none specific religious cult neither usually frequent church, but I believe in God, in Heaven, and I also believe in karma, who can be influenced by our good and bad acts, I believe reincarnation and that dogs can guide good persons to the Heaven. I don’t had none mystical experience, but I have to admit that some strange things occurred with me, but none that I can consider as mystical.

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