Interfaith Messages of Hope

April 2020

We’re entering the season of renewal. Easter, Passover and Ramadan, three holy celebrations from the three great monotheistic traditions, are just weeks away. And so is the Theravada Buddhist new year. WEforum’s is sharing some favorite messages from notable thinkers from each religion.

We’ve included one Buddhist passage, and we’d like to also encourage you, since most of us are binge-watching movies every night, to (re)watch a very funny ‘Buddhish’ movie (according to its creator, Harold Ramis). Most of us have already seen “Groundhog Day,” but we’ve never had to live each day over and over again like Phil Connors (Bill Murray) Suddenly we’re fated to relive each day again, stuck in the small, claustrophobic self-isolation of home, not knowing when it will end! It’s a great interfaith movie, it’s a complete course in comparative religion, without the proselytizing, it’s about karma and the meaning of life. And it’s hilarious.



Beannacht by John O’Donohue

On the day when the weight deadens on your shoulders and you stumble,
may the clay dance to balance you.
And when your eyes freeze behind the grey window and the ghost of loss gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green, and azure blue
Come to awaken in you a meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean by yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so, may a slow wind work these words of love around you,
an invisible cloak to mind your life.



“Had I not fallen; I would not have risen. Had I not been subject to darkness, I could not have seen the light.”
The Mibrash


“You can listen to silence, Reuven. I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own. It talks to me sometimes. I feel myself alive in it. It talks. And I can hear it. You have to want to listen to it, and then you can hear it. It has a strange, beautiful texture. It doesn’t always talk. Sometimes – sometimes it cries, and you can hear the pain of the world in it. It hurts to listen to it then. But you have to.”
Chaim Potok, The Chosen


Show me a religion that doesn’t care about compassion. Show me a religion that doesn’t care about stewardship of the environment. Show me a religion that doesn’t care about hospitality.”
Eboo Patel, Interfaith Youth Core


“Imagine a culture in which everything is geared toward helping all individuals become the best human beings they can be; in which individuals are driven to devoting their lives to becoming enlightened by the natural flood of compassion for others that arises from their wisdom.”
Dr. Robert Thurman, Buddhist scholar


“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:24-25


“When things are too hard to handle, retreat & count your blessings instead.”
Ramadan Greeting



The religions of the world are no more self-sufficient, no more independent, no more isolated than individuals or nations. Energies, experiences and ideas that come to life outside the boundaries of a particular religion or all religions continue to challenge and to affect every religion. Horizons are wider, dangers are greater … No religion is an island. We are all involved with one another. Spiritual betrayal on the part of one of us affects the faith of all of us. Views adopted in one community have an impact on other communities. Today religious isolationism is a myth.
Rabbi Heschel