Last week, just before Passover, Christianity Today posted an article by two prominent rabbis entitled, “Jesus Didn't Eat a Seder Meal: Why Christians shouldn't either.” Despite the combative title, I found myself agreeing with the rabbis, Yehiel Poupko and David Sandmel, on some points, although I disagree with their main presupposition. When the rabbis write… Continue reading Does Yeshua Belong in the Seder?
At our Seders this year, like every year, we'll hear about four sons who ask questions on the meaning of the Passover ritual; the wise son, the contrary son, the simple son, and the son who doesn’t even know how to ask. The contrary, or wicked, son (RASHA in Hebrew) says, “What is the meaning… Continue reading Passover and the Contrary Question
Psalm 1 describes the person who is happy or blessed: “His delight is in the Torah of the Lord, and in his Torah he meditates day and night.” Rashi comments, “In the beginning it is the Torah of the Lord, and after he has toiled to master it [by meditating day and night], it is… Continue reading Biblical Meditation
Parashat Ki Tisa, Exodus 30:11-34:35 Moses is the great hero of the Exodus, the deliverer of the Jewish people. He’s also Moshe Rabbenu, Moses our teacher, the one who received the words of Torah and taught them to us. Like every great teacher, Moshe Rabbenu teaches not just by word, but also by example. In… Continue reading Learning Grace & Truth . . . Together
Book Review: Short Stories by Jesus, by Amy-Jill Levine Amy-Jill Levine thinks we’ve got it all wrong when it comes to Yeshua’s parables, and she has the credentials to make such a claim. Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School, and co-editor of the Jewish Annotated New Testament,… Continue reading A Radical Reading of Yeshua’s Parables
Purim—the festival of Esther—is the most light-hearted of the Jewish holidays. Perhaps that’s what leads the sages of the Talmud to ask, “Where is there an allusion to Esther in the Torah?” (Chullin 139b). They answer with a reference to Deuteronomy 31:18, where God warns Israel of exile to come: V’anochi haster asteer panai, “And… Continue reading Purim and the Hidden Messiah
Parashat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18–47:27 When Joseph said, “I am Joseph,” God’s master plan became clear to the brothers. They had no more questions. Everything that had happened for the last twenty-two years fell into perspective. So, too, will it be in the time to come, when God will reveal Himself and announce, “I am Hashem!”… Continue reading Joseph and the Hero’s Journey