familyI once had an American friend, she was a ballet dancer, and she was tough in a nice way. She had this dedication to what she did, and a really strong focus on her things, she really wanted to change the world into something better. She used to show me some strange Norwegian pancakes, that her Norwegian forefathers had brought to America when they went there many years ago. Now she found a nice Danish guy, and have had their first little kid, and everything is really nice.

She told me; always stay in you A-game. That is true, always work in what you are good at, not what you wish you were good at.

Now what are the strengths of the religions, is it an endless discussion about abortion or all kind of restrictive measures on this and that? Well, I would not get into the details of that discussion. Why? Because it is a weak spot. People want positive ideas and ideals, not an old fashioned mr. “I know it all” type. Harking back into time, and finding the strong points of the religions is therefore a good method.

Now we all descend from Moses, Jews are more prone to discuss the Mosaic ideas than the other monotheistic religions, but we share it all. Moses had a strong point to the religions; family.

It was through the idea of the family, that the Jewish religion spread in the beginning, and it has always been a core strength to all three versions of the Abrahamic creeds.

Now, for a long time Socialism and Communism has weakened the family. The most problematic country that suffered under the fight against the family is Russia. I know Russia is still proud of the Soviet Empire, but even in Russia the family basic structure is rendered, and needs repair.

Now, how would a succesful rebirth of the proud Orthodox church of Russia sell its most basic message; by going back to the old strengths; the family. Russia really needs it, there is too much loneliness and too many elders are left alone. To rebuild the country, you need to work on the basic structure, and that is the family.

The same picture is prevalent in much of Northern Europe and in Northern America, where family is almost an outdated thing.

Now, what is a family? It is a unit of friends and sisters and brothers. Everybody love each other, and in the hard times, people in the family care for each other. It is a place where you can rest after a long day, and a place where you can have fun and celebrate your best times. It is your home in terms of material needs as well as spiritual and ethical needs.

The Danish philosopher Løgstrup has this beautiful little twist in regard of the point that your freedom is limited to where you suppress other people’s freedom. He says that your responsibility is a direct foundation under other people’s life. If you are not responsible to your family, try to carry them, then they will fall.

This, and many other philosophical points should be addressed to the people who come to our temples.

G-d bless the will to carry your best friends and most loyal brothers and sisters.

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