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The Importance of Religious Community  By  cover art

The Importance of Religious Community

By: Juan Marcos Bejarano Gutierrez
Narrated by: S D Cousins
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Publisher's Summary

We live in a radically different world than we did just a year and a half ago. The world has experienced unprecedented fear due to COVID-19. Consequently, most countries have undergone lockdowns, social distancing, and mandated masks because of the worldwide pandemic. New variants are being reported, and a series of new preventative measures are under consideration.

I do not minimize people’s legitimate concerns over infection. The coronavirus infected several of my friends, and one was hospitalized due to the severity. I am only highlighting the practical effects of the decisions taken to stem its spread to religious identity and community.

The concept of community and its importance has radically changed in the minds of many people. This especially applies to religious communities, and the consequences of this are disturbing. In many ways, the breakdown of the religious community was already in process. Lower weekly attendance for most religious groups has declined of late. Out of of traditional or Orthodox communities, this trend has also occurred in the Jewish community. Approximately a third of the American Jewish community does not identify with any branch of Judaism. There are many reasons for this which lie outside of our concern here.

The advent of social media and changing perspectives on the importance of human interaction by younger generations is possibly one factor, which had already started before COVID. Such an environment was relatively unknown or inconceivable to most of us who grew up in the '70s, '80s, or even '90s. The idea of minimal in-person contact with other human beings was unfathomable. It simply wasn’t a choice. Today, almost anything can be ordered online. While this has proven to be a great help to busy families, it has only reduced human interaction even further.

This short work discusses the importance of religious community from a Jewish perspective, but also emphasizes the foundational truths that apply to members of other religious traditions.

©2021 Juan Marcos Bejarano Guterrez (P)2022 Juan Marcos Bejarano Guterrez

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