Working as A Chaplain

I serve, along with Chaplain Linda Seidman, as a Community Chaplain in the Orange County Jails under the auspices of Jewish Family Service of Orange County.

In this work I encounter Jews of the widest possible range of beliefs, backgrounds, and backgrounds.

Our approach is marked by several characteristics.

I offer service to all who genuinely seek support from the Jewish tradition.

The approach to teaching, counseling and religious practice is tailored to match the individual inmate.

Taking a rational approach-I respond to the religious needs of the individual while integrating the realities of jail conditions, psychological needs, substance abuse, and all other challenges that an individual faces during incarceration.

If you know someone who is in the Orange County Jails, please contact Jewish Family Service: 949-435- 3460 info@jfsoc.org.

Prayer

For some people, prayer is about connecting with and influencing a divine being. Many people in the 21st century reject this idea of prayer.

Many others do not believe in a divine being that acts in response to prayer. Should they pray? The answer is yes. There are many purposes of prayer which are consistent with a rational, scientific concept of God. Even you don’t believe that God answers prayer I recommend prayer for all of the following reasons.

Community Building- saying the words together reinforces community.

Remembering and linking with Tradition – Even if we don’t believe the literal meaning of the words, we can recall, with reverence, the things that our ancestors recited.

Analyzing our thoughts and improving our attitudes-prayer is a means of focusing our thoughts and reminding ourselves to listen to our consciences and be the best that we can be,

Supporting our friends, family, and community-some who come to pray are seeking the help of their community in a time of need. We can offer that by our presence and involvement.

Prayers of thanksgiving --help us stay mindful-maintaining gratitude for our blessings.

Petitionary prayer --can often by valuable when it speaks to the higher self within us, and influences our behavior.

Meditation and some other prayers can produce an effect of spirituality, a different awareness of the world.

For all of us prayer has have effects on how we feel about ourselves, how we shape our community, and how we connect with our traditions.

All of these should be studied and honored.

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