Belonging


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Belonging is a basic human need. Some theories rank it right after food, water and shelter! This week, Tapestry takes a look at what belonging means in the spiritual life. Why is it such a big deal?

Take Victoria Stacey, for example. She was raised a Christian in Quebec. But when her grandfather lay dying, he assigned a task: Find out who you really are. Research into the family tree revealed something shocking, Stacey's family was actually Jewish. In fact, they were among the first Jews to settle in Quebec. Now Stacey is making some radical changes in her life. She's converting, which brings up questions for her and her partner, Lisa, about how to raise their daughter.

belonging.jpgAt left, Victoria Stacey during her first Chanukah party. Beside her is her partner, Lisa.

Mary also talks to Sandra Ferrari about what happens when you don't want to belong. Even though Ferrari grew up Italian Catholic in Toronto, she never felt religion was for her, and  today she considers herself agnostic. But now she's working in Ghana, a country where the social pressure to join a church is tremendous.

Then there's belonging in the ultimate, universal sense - the mystical quest to see all as the Divine. Sheikha Fariha is head of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order in New York - the first female leader in about 300 years. And get this ... she grew up a Catholic in Texas!

Finally, a documentary by Kaj Hasselriis about Ethiopia's remaining Jews. During the 1980s and 90s, in the midst of famine and unrest, the Israeli government airlifted tens of thousands of them to Israel to begin a new life. Now only a few hundred Jewish families remain, and Israel has opened its doors once more. The question, however, is who belongs? Who is really a Jew? 

 

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