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  Humanistic Judaism in the Words of Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine

There were many ideas that Rabbi Wine captured in just a few words.  In our memories, we can still hear him uttering these words.

Believing is better than non-believing. 

It is not easy these days to be a Humanistic Jew.

The joy in is the climbing.

“I do not know” is a brave and dignified answer, especially when it is true.

Death is real. 

We are here today because our ancestors did not lose hope.

You have to fight gravity. 

Shabbat was still Shabbat, even in Timbuktu.

Self-Respect is never a gift; it is always an achievement. 

Youth is not so much a condition of the body as it is a state of the mind.

Family and friendship are like the air we breathe. We cannot really live without them.

After 2000 years of undeserved persecution and murder, the appropriate response to all this misery is not thank-you; it is oy gevalt.

We stand alone, and yet together, to create the world we want.

Underneath the different color, underneath the different speech, underneath the different costume, every person is a human being.

Death is an intrusion.

Never lose your cool.

No matter what they say to you, just smile and say “thank you.”

If the Jewish people cried, they also danced.

People are their behavior, not their words.

Sometimes the kindest thing you can say about God is that he doesn’t exist.

Potential unrealized is potential betrayed.

Laughing has always seemed to me to be more Jewish than praying.

compiled by Rabbi Tamara Kolton (The Birmingham Temple, Farmington Hills, MI)and Rabbi Adam Chalom (Kol Hadash Congregation (Highland Park, IL)

In Memoriam An Interview with Rabbi Wine Memorial Service 1 Readings
Books & Video Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine Memorial Service 2 SHJ Home Page


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