Authors & Artists


Master tab

Poster Commentary
"At the heart of what it means to be a Jew is to ask questions."Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
Poster design:James Steinberg


by Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

When we are young, we are filled with curiosity, always wanting to know why, and never content with a single explanation. We are not afraid of hard questions, until later in life when people try to convince us to stop asking.

To be a Jew is never to accept “I told you so” as a satisfactory answer. To be a Jew means to live with complexity, to prefer the question mark to the period. God asks Adam, “Where are you?” Cain questions God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Abraham challenges God, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do justly?” The ancient rabbis always ask of the biblical text: What’s missing? What’s troubling? What does it mean to me? Each question spawns another, and what results is a patchwork of profound creativity.

There is an insightful truth about Judaism contained in the many humorous stories that suggest if there are two Jews, there are three opinions, that one Jew requires two synagogues, that Jews tend to answer a question with another question.

In a world where people are dangerously preoccupied with certainty and dogma, Judaism embraces ambiguity and doubt. A young person once asked me whether Judaism gave me all the answers to my questions. I responded, “Judaism helps me to ask the right questions and to live with the questions for which there are no answers.”

Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso was the first woman ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (in 1974). She is rabbi emeriti of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis, where she served as rabbi for thirty-six years. Rabbi Sasso is an award-winning author of numerous children’s books and winner of a National Jewish Book Award. She lectures in religion and Judaism at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Rabbi Sasso is active in the arts, civic, and interfaith communities. She has written and lectured on women and spirituality and the discovery of the religious imagination in children.

Conversation Guide


1. Was there ever a time when you were discouraged from or afraid of asking a question? How did you feel and react?

2. Have you ever been faced with a question that could not be answered? What did you do then?

3. What questions do you bring to Judaism? Where do you seek your answers?



1. The figure peers from behind a curtain that depicts a scene from nature. What do the placement, expression, and emotions of the person suggest about the quote?

2. The place the person is coming from is much darker than the place they might step into. How does this reflect the quote?

3. What emotions does this image arouse in you? When have you identified with the person in the poster?


Frames of Mind©2015, James Steinberg, Quote: Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Harold Grinspoon Foundation, West Springfield, MA