Alternate Activity 4: Two Quotes

Activity time: 5 minutes

Description of Activity

Ask the group to respond to two quotes from Rabbi Harold S. Kushner. Say that he is a Jewish rabbi in the Conservative (moderately traditional) movement and a popular author. His books include When Bad Things Happen to Good People, When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough: The Search for a Life That Matters and Who Needs God?

Read aloud:

Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so that the world will be at least a little bit different for our having passed through it . . . . What frustrates us and robs our lives of joy is this absence of meaning . . . . Does our being alive matter?

Pause. Then read the second quote. (You may like to remind youth that they heard part of this in Activity 2.)

The soul is not a physical entity, but instead refers to everything about us that is not physical-our values, memories, identity, sense of humor. Since the soul represents the parts of the human being that are not physical, it cannot get sick, it cannot die, it cannot disappear. In short, the soul is immortal.

Ask the youth if they like Rabbi Kushner's idea of what the soul is. Extend with more questions:

  • Is he saying our memories and our sense of humor can never die, even when our body dies?
  • What does it feel like when your soul is "hungry for meaning"?

Ask the youth, do they sometimes think and wonder about the meaning of life? Does the idea that we each have a soul add to their understanding? How do they think Unitarian Universalism can help them answer today's Big Question?

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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