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In times of conflict and division, we all look for inspiration in different places. And for so many, it’s faith and spirituality that sustains us, drawing us closer to community and helping us to find meaning even when the world around us feels hopeless. This week on The State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush speaks with Rabbi Sharon Brous about her timely new book, connection, and showing up for each other.

“What I’m trying to do with this book is essentially say, in this time of the loneliness epidemic, social alienation, isolation, so much human cruelty, polarization, ideological extremism: can we see one another and say ‘amen’ to each other’s experience, including not just in church and in synagogue and in the mosque, but when we see somebody who’s weeping on the subway, can we go over and say, ‘hey, I see that you’re not okay right now. Can I ask you, what happened to you? What’s happening in your heart? Do you want to share?’” – Rabbi Sharon Brous

Rabbi Brous is a leading voice in reanimating religious life in America. She’s the founding and senior rabbi at IKAR, a Jewish congregation in Los Angeles dedicated to invigorating Jewish practice and inspiring people of faith to reclaim a soulful, justice-driven voice, and senior fellow at Auburn Seminary. Rabbi Brous recently published a new book, The Amen Effect: Ancient Wisdom to Mend our Broken Hearts and World, which brings together Jewish wisdom and contemporary science to celebrate the fundamental human need for connection, and show how meeting this need can give us hope in a fragmented, isolated age.

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