Episode #226: A Priest and a Rabbi...

Folks, we have the Judeo-Christian tradition on the show! Ed and Ron were honored to have back on the show for the third time, and at the same time, Father Robert Sirico and Rabbi Daniel Lapin. Join us for another fascinating conversation with these two mentors, covering issues from economics, liberty, freedom, truth, and a host of other topics.

Rev. Robert A. Sirico received his Master of Divinity degree from the Catholic University of America following undergraduate study at the University of Southern California and the University of London. During his studies and early ministry, he experienced a growing concern over the lack of training religious studies students receive in fundamental economic principles, leaving them poorly equipped to understand and address today's social problems. As a result of these concerns, Fr. Sirico co-founded the Acton Institute with Kris Alan Mauren in 1990. His writings are published in a variety of journals, including: the New York Times, the Wall Street JournalForbes, the London Financial Times, the Washington Times, and National Review. He is a member of the prestigious Mont Pèlerin Society, the American Academy of Religion, and the Philadelphia Society. He is the Pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus parish in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Father Sirico holds dual Italian and American citizenship.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin was born into a prestigious Torah family. He was a student of his father, Rabbi A.H. Lapin, who served the Jewish communities in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, eventually immigrating to America with his wife where they established the Am Echad synagogue in San Jose, CA. He learned in yeshivas (Torah schools) in England and Israel as well as studying physics, engineering and mathematics in S. Africa. Rabbi Daniel immigrated to the U.S. where, along with Michael Medved, he founded the Pacific Jewish Center in California. In 1992, he and his family relocated to Washington State where he began his work strengthening the Judeo-Christian roots of this country by writing, speaking and standing shoulder to shoulder with prominent Christian leaders, leading to the establishment of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians. In 2002, Rabbi Lapin wrote his bestselling book Thou Shall Prosper: The Ten Commandments for Making Money.

Ed’s Questions

Father Sirico, you wrote in your book Defending the Free Market: Freedom is not a goal or virtue in itself. Ultimately, the aim of freedom must be the truth. You value the truth more than your freedom. Can you explain that, and then we’ll get Rabbi Lapin’s reaction.

Peter Block, a consultant and previous guest of the show [Episode #183], defines liberty as the absence of oppression, freedom is the act of commitment (a choice to have an intention to create a certain kind of world).

Father, what is your favorite story, part, or concept from the Old Testament? And Rabbi, what is your favorite story, part, or concept from the New Testament? Do you have favorite concept from the Old Testament?

We humans are said to be a tribal species, but it seems nowadays that tribalism has gotten completely out of hand, and is running amuck, with people running to quick judgment. Would you address this notion that being tribal is ok, but tribalism really seems to be a problem?

Ron’s Questions

Rabbi Lapin, on your recent podcast, you laid out a principle: The Bible is the source of morality. But the Bible’s morality applies to individuals, not to nations. Can you explain what you mean, and then we’ll get Father Sirico’s reaction.

Why do we tend confuse poverty with virtue (or piety)? Father I’ll start with you. [Rabbi Lapin wrote in Business Secrets of the Bible: “The opposite of wealth is evil. If wealth isn’t being created, then evil is being done.” And if wasn’t for the Bible, we wouldn’t have the word “poor”.

Prior Shows with Father Robert Sirico and Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Books by Father Robert Sirico and Rabbi Daniel Lapin