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    • Rabbi Brian
    • My work is to help adults maintain a healthy, adult relationship with God.

      I can help you de-tangle your baggage with regard to surrender, society, religion, and God. I won’t tell you want to think, but will help you unlearn, learn, and flesh out for your beliefs for yourself.

      I work for God in a “Blues Brothers” meets “John Lennon as an ordained rabbi” kind of way.

      My long term goal is to spread love.

Oops. Seem to have had a revelation…

Some things done in the name of God by people of religious communities have been some of the lowest acts of humanity.

While I’m not the clergy-person who might have caused you hurt, I would like to apologize on their behalf. Because, it seems, they owe you an apology—and at this time they are unable to give it to you.

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A Rabbi’s Apology

To those affected by the discovery of mass graves of First Nations’ children In Canada.

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Spiritual Self-Violence

Do you also tell yourself that you don’t have the right to be upset when you are upset? What if, instead, we trained ourselves on compassionate self-talk?

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Compass-u-ionate

For the sake of learning, I’d like to ask you to consider the circumstances since the start of 2020 as a grand psychological experiment.

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BE KIND > be right

“You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.” ― Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

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Emotions 101

Emotions are feelings. They happen naturally. Emotions are our response to being alive. As we are human–alive and awake–we have interactions with the world, and we experience emotions. Expressing emotions in a healthy manner is the birthright of every human being.

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Salvation Mountain!

“If somebody gave me $100,000 a week to move somewhere and live in a mansion and be a big shot, I’d refuse it. I want to be right here. It’s amazing, isn’t it?”

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Chats with Larry Podcast

Chats with Larry is a podcast of phone call conversations of Rabbi Brian with his best buddy, Larry Keene, a retired minister and sociology professor.

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Opt-In

Stop doing as you are accustomed to.
Get off your default setting and opt-in.
Do something, even as small as a longer breath of air, differently.

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Christmas Magic

It wasn’t until two years ago that I finally understood the magic of Christmas. I tell people with regard to Passover seders that until you’ve been to at least three of them, you don’t really get the genre. I guess I needed a few Christmases of doing it to understand that it’s not about the tree and the gifts.

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Wednesday Progressive Clergy Group

Decompress. Share. Feel seen. Be real. Stay as anonymous as you wish. Your parishioners, congregants, local colleagues, subordinates, and superiors needn’t know that you are cracking around the edges, losing hope, etc.

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Three Vignettes

Do you treat the world, the universe, reality as a partner with whom you’ve been in a long term relationship?

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My Day of Atonement 2020

Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, a day, according to Leviticus 23:27, which is supposed to be a day of strict rest.

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No need to be brilliant

Larry says that good people never think they are doing enough. Maybe you don’t have to be brilliant today, either.

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Slightly burnt out, yet still hopeful

I walk to a wall made of 216 interconnected, 8 x 10 photos of “black lives taken by racial violence.” Memories of standing before a pile of shoes at Auschwitz come to mind. I try to imagine the full, robust life of each person whose life—whose infinite, valuable, beautiful life—was snuffed out because of racial violence.

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Talking about talking about race

Rabbi Brian & Devin Daugherty talk to people who are looking to become anti-racists. Enjoy.

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Saturday Morning Services, rB-style.

JOIN RABBI BRIAN’S INCLUSIVE & FUN WEEKLY SERVICE. ALTHOUGH THE WORD “SERVICE” MAKES IT SEEM A LITTLE STIFF. I’D THINK ABOUT IT MORE LIKE SOME OF RABBI BRIAN’S FRIENDS ARE HANGING OUT AND TALKING ABOUT SPIRITUAL ISSUES.

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Virtual Community. Get Grounded. Feel Connected.

“Social Distancing” doesn’t mean we can’t still come together.
Join me every day of the week for an hour of discussion on various relevant spiritual topics.

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Meditation Is Magic

  To soothe souls in election year, Portland Rabbi seeks 10K+ meditators. This beautiful, full-color, 8.5″ x 11″ book of simple, enjoyable instructions will get you meditating. Follow the frustrated Stallion  and the slightly-competitive Dragon I teach …

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Acceptance for the Holidays

Patience is the amount of time you can remain in acceptance. With you in mind, figuratively, I created a 20-minute total over five days mini-course about patience and accepting reality as it is.

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Self (portrait) Love

An exercise in self-love.

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Labor Day. Together.

WE NEED TO STOP LETTING THE SMALL THINGS SLIDE. Stop putting yourself and your needs first. Stop blaming the world outside for your irritation. Stop making excuses for not treating this world as though your every action matters. Stop pretending that the occasional Chick-fil-A doesn’t make a difference. 

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Not To Complain

Complaining is like bad breath – you notice it when it comes out of someone else’s mouth, but not when it out of your own. My words: Complaining gets in the way of our finding gratitude with what is.

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A Bible Conspiracy

Someone sent me a meme of Jesus bungee jumping from a crucifix. A month later, I read a book that  took this meme to a whole other level – thatJesus suffering on a cross was only first used as a religious symbol around the year 960 c.e.

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Tittynope, you’re inestimable VIDEO

Is that a word? Tittynope? Really? Who says it is or not? And, this leads Rabbi Brian to wonder about the seat of our own spiritual authority. A light video. Fun with spiritual stuff. Enjoy.

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Freedom Fest 2019

Rabbi Brian reminds us that the point of Easter and Passover is that we are forgiven, liberated, free. We forget that, cause we know the story too well. Imagine if you didn’t. And, imagine what you need freedom from?

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Lao Tzu said stop thinking and end your problems.

I get the idea: thinking leads to judgment, and judgment leads to problems.

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The Resistance Bible Study Podcast​​​​​​​: Baptists are my friends

Welcome to The Resistance Bible Study Podcast​​​​​​​
Listen in. Engage. Resist.

This week:
Baptists are my friends

I didn’t think that I would be interviewing the acting dean of a Baptist seminary. But, you know, life…

Learn along with me as I talk with Dr. Tracy Harman.
Please listen to this.

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The universe is how it is. Do something.

So, how am I going to approach this task that is assigned to me to do? Am I going to approach the “work” ahead as something that I have to do, or am I going to approach it as something I get to do?

All the tasks before me, when I look at them with the right set of lenses, are meditative, inner practices.

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The Resistance Bible Study Podcast

Friend and frequent contributor to ProgressiveChristianity.org,  Rabbi Brian, has compiled conversations with 12 of his Biblically literate friends in a series of podcasts that both delight and educate.

Join Rabbi Brian as he talks to Reverend Jim Burklo, Dr. Tracy Hartman, Rev. Irene Monroe, Pastor John Pavlovitz and more as he seeks to find out what the bible is and how to use it to fight oppression.

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Yanny’s Blue Dress. Love Haters.

If you are not familiar with this audio-clip phenomenon, you might not believe that two people can listen to the same sound, yet hear different words. If you’ve not done it, here is a link so you can try it and learn more. Listening to the same clip, some people hear “Laurel” and some people hear “Yanny.”

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Grief and belief.

When anti-Semitic violence occurs, Brian and I are surrounded by lots of love and support. Many non-Jewish friends are horrified and they tell us they have our backs as an interfaith/intercultural family. On Saturday afternoon, a neighbor with tears in his eyes handed me a piece of paper with a scratched out message on kitchen notepaper: “My heart is breaking for you.” Our wonderful, loving contractor from years ago sent me a text late last night: “I love you guys. I have your back.” Many clergy friends and newly made Baptist-identified friends called Brian when they heard. We heard over and over: We love you. We do not stand for this. We are so sorry.

People feel so helpless in the face of tragedy. People want to have an impact; they want to help change what is so wrong. The love we have received is beautiful.

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Damage. Damaged. Love.

This article is lengthly. But, worth it. Take four minutes right now to read it.

It is in three parts. ​​​​​​​The first two parts begin with scientific studies. The third part is more of a sermon.

1. It’s real: what you can’t see can still harm you
2. Taking it: you don’t have as much will power as you thought
3. stand with the oppressed

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Out of Our Heart

Why do people shout? It has to do with our hearts.

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This Rabbi On That Rabbi

A modern Portland, Oregon rabbi explains Jesus’s messages

An outside-the-box, modern rabbi from Portland, Oregon explains the Jewish messages of Jesus. Rabbi Brian’s style is approachable, warm, honest and quirky. He quotes Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy to help explain the intent of the phrase “I am the way the truth and the life. No one gets to the Father except through me.”

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What does one do with the private memories that others do not share? What happens with all those memories?

When I officiate at funerals, I ask mourners to think about the characteristics of the deceased that they will miss most. After they have thought of those traits, I implore them to live those qualities into the world as a tribute.

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