Staying in the Room

Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan will be teaching “When Jews, Christians and Muslims Thought Alike” at this summer’s Ruach Ha’Aretz retreat.

Sophia Street

Silver Interfaith NecklaceStarts with a familiar anecdote, leads in a completely new direction!

Recently, a new artisan storefront opened near my Main Street home. As I like to support local artisans, I wandered in for a look. “Our name is Just Jewellery,” said the salesperson. “We specialize in silver and semiprecious stones, featuring the work of several local artists…”

But I could not focus on her words. Instead, images of divinity overwhelmed me. I saw Ganesh, Hindu god of wisdom, carved in jade; Buddha, sculpted in a granite-like paste; a Kabbalistic network of triangles drawn with sparkles; a Cross embellished with garnet; a bold Eagle, etched in silver.

This store was a festival, but I was not sure what kind. A deeply multi-faith festival, celebrating devotional artistic intent? Or a superficial spiritual-not-religious marketplace, baiting buyers with aesthetic beauty?

“Please, take a closer look at something,” the seller begged, “Even if you don’t…

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