It Begins with Thanks

Parashat Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1–24:18 I thank You, living and eternal King, for giving me back my soul in mercy. Great is Your faithfulness. Modeh Ani prayer from the Koren Siddur   Have you ever given someone a gift and been disappointed when they didn’t say “thank you”? The gift was a gift, no strings attached,… Continue reading It Begins with Thanks

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God is in the Neighborhood

Parashat b’Shalach, Exodus 13:17–17:16 Imitatio Dei, the imitation of God, is an idea with a long history in both the Jewish and Christian worlds (it’s a Latin phrase after all), and with surprising relevance today. From a Jewish perspective Imitatio Dei sounds like real chutzpah—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. How can we imitate Hashem,… Continue reading God is in the Neighborhood

“But I Can’t Forgive Myself”

This week I finally taught my first class on forgiveness at Steelbridge, the Women's Center of Hope, which is a live-in discipleship program for homeless and at-risk women. (Steelbridge has a men's component too.) I met with about a dozen women on Monday morning and opened up with the story about asking my parents for… Continue reading “But I Can’t Forgive Myself”

MLK on Forgiveness

My class on forgiveness at Steelbridge, the recovery program for homeless men and women, got postponed again yesterday because of a local flu epidemic. The bright side was that this gave me more time to attend an event where my granddaughter Eden was among those chosen to receive a Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship, based… Continue reading MLK on Forgiveness

More Reasons to Forgive

You want me to forgive him?!” When I was a kid he did horrible things to me; he used me sexually every day for years—and you’re telling me I need to forgive him!" She’s manipulative and disgusting; why should I forgive her?” My first class on forgiveness at the local homeless recovery center got cancelled… Continue reading More Reasons to Forgive

Forgiving From the Heart, part 1

I've been writing a lot about forgiveness lately (which means thinking and praying about it too), and I'll be teaching a class on forgiveness starting Monday, 1/8, at Steelbridge resource center here in Albuquerque. Steelbridge, headed up by my good friend Pastor John Hill, reaches out to homeless men and women, not just to provide… Continue reading Forgiving From the Heart, part 1

Who Deserves Forgiveness?

Last week I posted a commentary on Vayechi, the final Torah portion in Genesis, entitled How Trust Can Be Restored. It opened with a question, or two actually: “The news stream today is filled with stories of abuse and betrayal, and we might wonder whether deeds like this can ever be forgiven. And even if… Continue reading Who Deserves Forgiveness?