Permission to Believe: Finding Faith in Troubled Times

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9780687325399: Permission to Believe: Finding Faith in Troubled Times
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Permission to Believe is a powerful statement of belief and faith by Samuel Karff, a prominent rabbi, spiritual leader, and outstanding figure in Jewish-Christian relations. Rabbi Karff, describing conversations he has had his entire career with agnostics, atheists, and other doubters, has been struck by the fact that “on some level my challengers wanted me to win the argument....Granting ourselves permission to believe does not require that we turn away from the ‘ordinary world’ but that we heed these deep intuitions of our heart....Life is not only a puzzle to solve but a mystery to embrace.”  The book contains 10 chapters and explores themes of brokenness, stubbornness, doubt, and faith.  

Chapter titles:  What Is Faith? What Kind of Life Is This Anyway? Confronting the Obstacles to Faith, Recovering Faith,  Prayer―The Vital Connection, Overcoming A Crisis of Faith, When Prayer Is Not Enough, The Power of Love, Living in a Broken World, Sustaining Faith in Our Later Years, Dance, Laughter, and Hope.

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About the Author:

Samuel E. Karff is Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Beth Israel in Houston, where he served as a congregational rabbi and counselor for several decades. In his current position as Visiting Professor of Society and Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, he teaches medical students in a new program to sensitize future doctors to the emotional and spiritual aspects of healing.

For over twenty years, Rabbi Karff’s weekly radio program in Houston has been popular with listeners of all faiths. Nationally known as a lecturer and teacher, he was former president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the association of the Reform rabbis. A graduate of Harvard University and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, he taught religious studies at Rice University, the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, and Notre Dame. Rabbi Karff also served as an Air Force chaplain and as spiritual leader of congregations in Chicago, Flint, and Hartford.

His published books include The Soul of the Rav (Eakin Press, 1999), Agada: The Language of Jewish Faith (KTAV, 1979), and coauthor (with Niels C. Nielsen, Norvin Hein, Grace G. Burford, and Alan Miller) of a college textbook, Religions of the World (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1993).

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