Depending on their religious tradition (or lack thereof) and personal experiences, people will have widely varying occasions to invoke – or just bring up – God in conversation. Is God a being (perhaps humanoid) that is intervening (or interfering) in our lives? If so, how do we account for the moral unfairness of the universe, the disproportionate fortune or misfortune some people seem to receive?
After the sudden death of his daughter at the age of 26, Rabbi Richard Agler, DD spent years interrogating his theology in an attempt to find some kind of acceptance and inner peace. His book “The Tragedy Test: Making Sense of Life-Changing Loss” came, in part, out of this difficult journey. More recently, he has co-edited the volume “A God We Can Believe In: What Educated Belief and Spirit Can Look Like in the Twenty-First Century.”
Rabbi Agler was ordained in 1978. He is the founding rabbi, now Rabbi Emeritus, of Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton, Florida. He has also taught accredited graduate courses in mysticism and his gift for bringing complex ideas to life makes him a speaker in demand. In addition to essays of Judaic interest, he has published articles and letters on political ethics, interfaith relations, and baseball. He currently serves as Co-Director of the Tali Fund and is the Scholar Emeritus of Congregation Ohr HaYam/the Keys Jewish Community Center in Tavernier, Florida.
Next week, we will be speaking with Dr. Agustín Fuentes. He is an anthropologist whose research focuses on the entanglement of biological systems with the social and cultural lives of humans, our ancestors, and a few of the other animals with whom humanity shares close relations.