Religion & Beliefs

Welcome to Faithhacker! Now what?

There's something a little daunting about the first post of what hopes to become a lively, challenging, interactive blog on "spirituality" or "faith". I mean, really, what can I possibly say now to indicate everything I want to accomplish with … Read More

By / November 1, 2006

There's something a little daunting about the first post of what hopes to become a lively, challenging, interactive blog on "spirituality" or "faith". I mean, really, what can I possibly say now to indicate everything I want to accomplish with this little acre of the internet?

And how can I hope to avoid scaring you off with loaded words like "spirituality" and "faith"? How can I convince you I'm not inviting you into my basement to eat stale cookies, hold hands in a circle, sing creepy folk songs, and pray for your soul's salvation?

I guess you'll just have to trust me.

Because Judaism *is* about faith, not just good bagels, too much education, and Israeli politics. And though I'm not entirely sure what "Jewish faith" is all about, the process of defining that faith (or not) promises to be an interesting journey.

Is there a Jewish Heaven? What about the Soul? And God? These are some big fucking ideas. So big … I'm not even sure where to begin. But the point is that we will begin. Today. We'll hit those big unanswerables, and get into the nitty gritty of Jewish religious practice too– like  Friday night festivities, the (dis)pleasures of wife coveting, and how death sucks a little less if you rip your clothes and eat eggs (okay, maybe it doesn't actually suck less, but we'll come back to this later. I promise).

Faithhacker hopes to be a resource, but also a community (so please, write in and contribute, tell us what you want to read about, and also about yourself). Faithhacker will offer windows into the Jewish world (not to mention links, video clips, interviews, and practical advice for the holidays), and the world of the faithful (and the faithless) beyond Jew-land. But we won't mess with straight-up "culture" or "news". We'll leave that stuff for the rest of the site, and dig into the (sometimes awkward) terrain of the soul.

Faithhacker will scour the web for interesting stories, new ways of approaching religious practice. Faithhacker will sit in on a Zen-Meditation-Shabbat service, read up on religious applications of Chaos Theory, and then spend an hour with the most traditionally observant rabbi who'll talk to us. Faithhacker will seek out the best examples of faith online– funny and bizarre and poignant and ancient and new– and showcase them for your benefit (whatever that means to you).

But above all, Faithhacker will be defined by what it will NOT do.

Faithhacker will NOT assume you know everything there is to know about Judaism, (or Zen Buddhism or Chaos Theory for that matter). Faithhacker will define its terms. Faithhacker will recognize that we all come from different places, and that nobody knows everything. So Faithhacker will spend a good amount of time answering the questions you've thought too elementary to ask. Until now.

Because we all– all of us– have a lot to learn. Especially me.

And who am I? Pretty soon, if you check back with any regularity, you'll know more about me than you could ever want to know, since I'm a ridiculously full-disclosure kind of gal. But the short version is that I'm a writer and a mother (I promise not to inundate you with baby pictures too often) living in Atlanta, a former Hillel Program Director (I promise not to force-feed you cold Kosher pizza), and a consummate fence-sitter (my birthright as a Jew from an interfaith home). And I'm interested in everything.

What about you?