I was by raised parents who made a lot of mistakes along the way. I remember how my dad asked me several times when I was in my late teens and early twenties, "Did I do right by you girls?" I told him, "Yes, you did." He really did. He walked his talk no matter how difficult it may have been at one time or another. He had a problem with parents who had a double-standard. He said, "I don't want to tell my kids to do as I say, not as I do." For the most part, if he did something, we could too. He did his best to set a good example for us.
I believe we have agreements prior to our birth--we choose our parents, siblings and connection to other individuals. Everything is for personal growth and life path. We are constantly cleaning up and creating karma. I give my dad credit for helping me form my beliefs. He was a spiritual man whose father could have been a rabbi, but due to the practicality of the era in which he lived, grandpa Rappaport became a tailor. If things had been different, my father would have been a professional psychic and metaphysical teacher. Instead, I have become what he was unable to do, plus I teach Tarot.
Tarot is one of my greatest passions in the world--if not the greatest. I am most fortunate to be able to share my knowledge of Tarot and intuitive gifts with others. My students and clients come from every conceivable background that exists except for the very devout and born-again religious people. Some individuals judge me as an evil person because of my work with Tarot and my unconventional beliefs. What a shame. Their minds are closed, and they have become intolerant of the beliefs of others. Do I intend to do them harm? Never. Do they accept the religious teachings their spiritual leaders provide to them without questioning? I think so.
I went to Sunday School, Hebrew School, learned a little Hebrew, and had my Bat Mitzvah when I was thirteen. I am still in awe of the power and energy that radiates from a group of people gathered in a synagogue praying during a Sabbath or Holiday service. While I have attended other houses of worship, I don't feel the same way I do when I am in a synagogue. Perhaps that is because of my upbringing. Of course, I don't attend services regularly anymore. I practice what has been taught to me--live an honest, good life on a day-to-day basis.
I have attended other houses of worship and while most of their services do not resonate with me, I am always delighted to see their icons, stained glass windows and feel the energy of their prayers. Prayer is power. Prayer is love. All beliefs should be respected provided they do not include causing harm to others. Perhaps that is why I see Wicca as something very special--a nature religion that believes we should "Harm no one." Wicca is not evil nor is Tarot. In our world today, religious persecution still continues.
I know that the power of the Creator is everywhere and if I reach out in thought and/or prayer I will feel an immediate response. Is it from an angel, archangel, fairy, deceased loved one, saint, spirit guide, or God/Goddess himself/herself? I do not know. Does it matter? Not to me. It's the power of love. I still pray for world peace.
When I do a reading for someone either privately or at an event, I do not judge them. My job is to entertain, enlighten and empower them so they can make the best, possible decisions they can when dealing with life situations. While I may not personally approve of someone's actions, I neither condemn them, nor do I preach to them in any way. I try to present all sides of a situation, and provide them with enough information and ideas so they can move forward. My prayer for them is that they will make the best possible choice in whatever situation they find themself. They have free will. I always pray that I have "done the right thing by each and every person who sits down with me for a reading."
I have adopted the term: God/Goddess/Creator when referencing a higher power than humanity. I have read for people of the following faiths: Jewish, Catholic, Christian, Russian/Greek Orthodox, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Unitarian. I have also read for agnostics. While there are other religions in the world, I have not encountered them in my travels. However, I am open to being of service to them in a universal way.
I really want to love, honor and respect all people in the world, but I am wise enough to know that this can never be because there are people who hurt and/or murder with no conscience, or in the name of religion. Those who do so in the name of religion are referred to as terrorists. Not all people will like us. There will be people that we will not like. Tolerance of bad behavior is not the same thing as tolerance of the religious and spiritual beliefs of others.
To quote Anne Frank, "In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death. " For other quotes from Anne Frank, please visit this link: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/anne_frank.html.
In summary, we need to be more tolerant of the beliefs of others as long as they are not harmful to someone's physical well being.