Rabbi Rami Shapiro knows a thing or two about the hospitality that lives at the true heart of Judaism. As the Director and Founder of the Wisdom House Interfaith Conference Center in Nashville, Tennessee, he sits at the centre of an ongoing multi-faith dialogue, helped along by, among other things, some good southern cooking! On the 10th Dark Anniversary of September 11, 2001, Rabbi Rami had a problem: figuring out what to do to heal wounds and move America’s important conversation over how best to cope with that tragedy.
His answer? Breakfast for everyone, Muslim, non-Muslim, Islamophobe and Islamist alike! And from there has come his truly radical vision for a world-changing sort of hospitality to be shared by all, with conversations where people actually listen to each-other for a change, because maybe they’re sometimes too busy chewing to be listening to themselves.
But what is Radical Hospitality? Rabbi Rami Shapiro begins by explaining the holiday of Sukhot (the harvest festival) and how the traditions therein lead naturally into the idea of hospitality. “Radical Hospitality… you invite the ‘other’–the person that you don’t know, the person that sort of carries all of your fears and your anxieties (because you’ve projected them onto that person)–and that’s the person that you invite in; and you try to break through!…and discover a friend,” says Rabbi Rami. But can inter-faith hospitality really work? Can there truly be “one humanity?” And, going back to basics, is Radical Hospitality simply more fun? (And is having fun in any religion really “allowed?”).
Join the Optimistic Muslim, Dr. David Liepert, as he welcomes the Jewish Holy holiday of Sukhot by talking with Rabbi Rami about the role radical hospitality could play throughout our world–here, there, and everywhere! Maybe even as soon as next year in Jerusalem…? With your help, anything is possible! Tune in!