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ASK RABBI RAMI: How can I get my husband to follow my spiritual path?


Over the past few years, I’ve shifted from the material to the spiritual. My husband is supportive and loving regarding this shift but unwilling to make it with me. How can I bring him along?

Your husband is loving and supportive; why must he also accompany you in this shift? Each of us walks our own path in our own way, and urging your husband to follow your path suggests that your shift may not be complete. Let him be, and continue on your path. If you cannot love him as he is, it may be because you cannot yet love the self you are becoming. When you are as loving and supportive of his path as he is of yours, then you will know that your transformation has ripened, and you won’t need him to change at all.

I believe there are many paths to God. Do you agree?

I believe there is no path to God. A path to God implies that God resides somewhere and that getting there takes time as you move from where you are to where God is. To borrow from Saint Paul, God is that “in which you live and move and have your being” (Acts 17:28) at this very moment. For me, the key isn’t to walk a path toward God but to “be still and know” (Psalm 46:10) that God is already here: in you, with you, and as you.

I was born and raised a Muslim, but I have found Christ and have become a Christian. Is it wrong for me to follow Christ?

What is wrong is for you to reject the faith to which you are called. Just be careful that the religion you have found doesn’t ask you to demonize the religion you have left or to slander those who continue to uphold it. If this is what Jesus tells you to do, it isn’t Jesus talking but a preacher spreading hate in Jesus’s name.

My cousin recently won a large sum of money in our state lottery. He insists it is a miracle from God. Can this be true?

I take miracles to be natural events with very low probabilities of actually happening. But low probability is not the same as no probability, so miracles do happen; they just aren’t supernatural interventions by God. Is winning the lottery a miracle? Sure, and it’s also math. The real question is this: if your cousin thinks God gave him the money, will he use it in a godly manner to benefit others? If the money makes him selfish, he may want to imagine that it came from a different supernatural being.

Acclaimed writer and teacher Rabbi Rami Shapiro’s latest book is Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent.

Rabbi Rami Shipiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His spiritual advice column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," addresses reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more.

His newest book is Surrendered—The Sacred Art: Shattering the Illusion of Control and Falling into Grace with Twelve-Step Spirituality.

He has this to say about religion: “To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the mindset of the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or cannot say as well in another; and the more languages you know, the more nuanced your understanding of life. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi-lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence.”

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