Marc Gellman

Rabbi Marc Gellman

Rabbi Gellman is the senior rabbi of Temple Beth Torah in Melville, New York, where he has served since 1981.

After receiving a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a major in Hebrew and Semitic studies in 1969, he completed his studies at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion by 1971. He was ordained by the college institute in 1972 and was awarded the senior homiletics prize. He was the youngest rabbi ever ordained by the seminary and completed the five-year program in two years of residency.

Rabbi Gellman received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Northwestern University in 1981 and has taught at Antioch College, HUC-JIR New York, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Mt. Sinai Hospital, and other academic institutions. Rabbi Gellman served as chairman of the Medical Ethics Committee of the UJA Federation of New York and is a contributor to its Compendium of Jewish Medical Ethics. He has published widely and has contributed to a recent Commentary Magazine symposium on the state of Jewish belief. He also writes for Golf Digest, is a contributing editor to Moment Magazine, and has authored several children's books.

In addition to regular television appearances, Rabbi Gellman has served as chairman of the UJA rabbinical advisory committee, founding chairman of the Long Island Rabbinical Advisory Council, and president of the New York Board of Rabbis. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Tzedaka Award from the UMA-Federation and the Moshowitz Award for rabbinic excellence from the NYBR.

Rabbi Marc Gellman Samples

God will always be the deepest mystery we encounter in life

Q: I consider myself an agnostic, but not an atheist. I don't know. A: Atheists and theists seem similar in that they both believe in a definitive proof for or against the existence of God.

What I am thankful for this year

Every year at Thanksgiving time, I try to put some deeper meaning into the too easily generalized list of things and people for which I'm thankful.

Biblical stories can be true even if the events never occurred

Q: Do you really, truly believe that "The Flood" and the creation of "Adam and Eve" were actual events? A: I believe the biblical stories of Adam and Eve and Noah are true, but I don't believe the events described really occurred.

Religion makes a positive, hopeful difference in many lives

Q: Every religion has the same basic beliefs: love, peace, humility and tolerance. I can't understand how people are so out of touch with God.

Prayers for the dead have a long and noble tradition

Q: My husband died in April of this year after a three-year battle with cancer. A: Most of our prayers are for the living. Praying for the dead compels our belief that death is not the end of us if we are comprised of both bodies and souls.

Refusing to forgive only keeps the pain fresh

Q: I was raised in the Episcopal Church, and even though a good Christian will forgive someone who's hurt you, I'm having a very difficult time forgiving my ex-husband for all he did to hurt our two daughters.

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