Having considered ‘return’ how has it enhanced my life

Elijah Interfaith Summer School 2022

Gordie Jackson
3 min readAug 12, 2022


Jerusalem night skyline/ gjphotoAug2022

For the last session of the Summer School, we were given the following task,

We have been exploring various dimensions of ‘return’

Which aspects of ‘return’ provide me with an enhanced understanding of

a. my own religion

Well, I have to remind myself what is my religion.

I heard Rabbi Ian Pear speak of the Latin word for religion ‘religio’ as being a ligament that connects one part of us to the other.

Taking that analogy I see my religion as what connects me to God.

Return is happening forever as long as I want it. I recall Alan ( a participant) speaking of giving thanks on waking.

I give thanks each time I now return which is when I stray and I am reminded in straying that I need to return to God, the moment.

My first faith language is Christian yet in my life, I have embraced whatever enhances my connection with God.

Alan and others come from Christian traditions. Rabbi Pear obviously Jewish

b. other religions

I have already mentioned Rabbi Pear. If I consider that return is what enhances my connection to God then there are many.

I recall sitting at Zion gate with the Qadi who spoke about politics being separate from faith, he used the term ‘We are people of the spirit’

Professor Dajani’s ‘moments of change’ reminded me as a Northern Irish Protestant of my own moments of change and the need in pursuit of the Holy to change in order to return to the one true God.

I will recall resonating with Rav Daniel Kohn and the Gabbai / Rabbi of Rav Kook synagogue Itzchak Marmorstein. So much with the latter that I had to find the book from which he quoted. I had it within 20 minutes.

c. My spiritual path/journey/life

Well, when does a spiritual path end? Mine consciously began as a 3-year-old and continues.

What I have learned in recent years is that the path does not respect borders of religion, or divisions, if you are open to it, it will take you where it will just as the wind blows

In the words of my teacher,

New King James Version
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 3:8




Gordie Jackson

Speaks with a Northern Irish accent, lives in Hertfordshire, England.