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Articles written by Rabbi Joshua Samuels

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  • Gathering religiously in pandemic times

    Rabbi Joshua Samuels|Nov 17, 2021

    In last year’s Pew Research Center survey on religion in America, we learned that the COVID-19 pandemic actually bolstered one’s religious faith. Nearly 30% of those surveyed reported a strengthening of their faith because of the pandemic. This number was almost double that of most other developed countries. In the early days of the pandemic my congregation saw an uptick in our Friday night sabbath observance numbers, even though we had gone entirely virtual. It was clear that people wanted to feel connection even if they were not able to sta...

  • Happiness, happiness, you shall pursue

    Rabbi Joshua Samuels|Mar 24, 2021

    In last year’s World Happiness Report – published before COVID-19 changed our lives in profound ways – the United States ranked 18th out of the 153 countries studied. And in a Harris poll from a few years ago, 33% of Americans surveyed indicated they were happy. This suggests that roughly 67% of us are not very happy with our lives. No doubt the numbers are probably more dim these days. These statistics are baffling considering that to many of the greatest minds ever, achieving happiness is of the utmost importance, and we are f...