A collection of inspirational videos and text featuring America’s finest religious thinkers, stories of personal faith, and reflections on spiritual topics, gathered from television broadcasts of 30 Good Minutes, a weekly multifaith program in Chicago.
In his message, The Rules of the Game, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner explores the computer-based game as a metaphor for the "game of life." In his comparison he says that our religious traditions are the collected rules of the game and if you play by the rules, "you are rewarded with an understanding of why you are here; with what is otherwise known as the meaning of life."
Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is a writer, teacher, and Scholar in Residence at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, California. One of the most widely read authors on Jewish spiritual life, he brings his gifts as a storyteller and scholar to his role as a leader of personal and institutional renewal within Judaism. His numerous books, lectures and articles have helped define spiritual renewal for an entire generation.
This archived 30 Good Minutes program first aired in January 2002.
Rabbi Michael Siegel - Reflection on One Soul at a Time
Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev was one of the best loved of all of the Hasidic Masters. Like other Rebbes, Levi Yitzhak was thought to have remarkable spiritual powers. When he prayed, it was believed that this Rabbi had direct access to God Almighty. Levi Yitzhak was also known as a tireless advocate for the Jewish people.
One Yom Kippur Levi Yitzhak’s prayer was so powerful he found himself standing in heaven on the Day of Atonement. There before him were the scales of judgment. As Levi Yitzhak prayed the scales judging the world began to move in a positive direction. The angels could not believe what was happening. They cried out, “Levi Yitzhak, you are saving the world, don’t stop praying!” Suddenly, Levi Yitzhak looked down from heaven and saw Hayim. A poor man, he did not have enough food to fill his stomach before the great fast, and now as the day wore on, Hayim had fainted and was near death. Levi Yitzhak left heaven so that he might attend to Hayim. As he returned to earth, the angels cried out; “Levi Yitzhak, you could have saved the world!” Levi Yitzhak then heard another voice, the voice of the God Almighty, “He is saving the world.”
Friends, the world will not be saved in a world movement. No, the world is saved one soul at a time. Saving Hayim the water drawer, the most downtrodden of men, is a step toward saving the entire world. All of us can play the role of Levi Yitzhak.