A bit more than 10 years ago an Oracle showed up out of the ether via email. What we knew about the Oracle wasn’t much: a rabbi with no congregation, a long list of books we had never heard of, and a vague affiliation with an academic institution in Tennessee, where he never seemed to be. But our book editors at the time, Fred and Maryanne Brussat, who have read every significant religious/spiritual book ever written, wrote this: “Ask Rami anything!”
So we did.
(Over time, we learned to pronounce his name. Ra rhymes with Ah! or Awe, depending on the circumstance. Ra me.)
People ask questions, Rami answers, and we don’t edit them (except occasionally for space) because the answers speak for themselves. Our Oracle lives in the real world (which is billions of years old), yet he is not of it (any more than anything else is, according to physics). And (so far as we can know) his answers are honest, true, helpful, and entertaining. We have readers who gleefully try to trip or trick the Oracle, and we wish them luck.
The rabbi’s dream is to have a bus and travel the country …
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.
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."
To comment on this installment of One For the Road or submit a question, email the editors. Questions may be edited for length and clarity; all are published anonymously.