And he stood by them under the tree and they ate. Genesis 18:8 When Hashem came to visit Abraham in Genesis 18, our patriarch saw three men and brought them food. They ate, but they turn out to be angels, and angels don’t eat, so the sages explain that they only appear to be eating.… Continue reading Virtue on Display
We’ve just come through a grueling, costly, and often bitter electoral process. We’ve chosen our leaders, or men and women that we hope will be leaders, and this week’s haftarah (Malachi 1:1 - 2:7) provides a reminder of what leaders are chosen for. It begins with a stark contrast between two ancient leaders, Esau and… Continue reading What Are Leaders For?
Parashat Vayera, Genesis 18:1–22:24 More than 70 percent of Americans identify as Christian, but you wouldn’t know it from listening to them. An overwhelming majority of people say that they don’t feel comfortable speaking about faith, most of the time. (Jonathan Merritt, “It’s Getting Harder to Talk About God” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/13/opinion/sunday/talk-god-sprituality-christian.html). How do we speak about… Continue reading Abraham’s Rules of Engagement
“Great necessities call out great virtues.” – Abigail Adams American history is one of my favorite areas of extra-biblical reading, and one of my favorite authors is Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin wrote the award-winning bestseller Team of Rivals, about President Lincoln and his cabinet, as well as studies of Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon… Continue reading Is There Sense in Suffering?
We’re considering three primal needs instilled in men from the beginning, as portrayed in the opening chapters of Genesis. The first two needs are contribution and connection. Now we’ll consider the third need, Awe. This word includes a sense of transcendence, of worship, reverence, and also of fear, as we see in its first appearance… Continue reading What do men need? part 3
One of the readers of my last blog rightly noted that long-term victory over “lewd thoughts” and the porn habit usually takes more than just the sort of cognitive techniques that I mention. I assume he’d say the same even when I add reliance on God’s power to the practice of these techniques (which both… Continue reading What do men need? Excursus 2
In my last blog I looked at man’s need for connection. In Genesis 2 the Lord declares that it’s not good for the man to be alone and brings him a woman, so that the two become one flesh. This act of divine kindness ought to resolve man’s aloneness, but in our post-Edenic world things… Continue reading What do men need? Excursus
We're looking at three primal needs as revealed in the account of Creation in Genesis 1 – 3. They’re primal human needs, but they have different applications and implications for men and women, and I'm considering the masculine context. In my last blog I listed these three needs as Contribution, Connection, and Awe. (For the cause… Continue reading What do men need? part 2
I'm starting to work on what might become my next book--a spiritual guidebook for men based on the journey-stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But writing for or about men in 2018 is a tricky business, with major concerns relating to men like "toxic masculinity", #MeToo, and, just last week, the Kavanaugh hearings. Scripture is… Continue reading What do men need? part 1
Moses received the Torah at Mount Sinai, but the instructions of his Torah begin in Egypt, not Sinai: Now Adonai spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, “This month will mark the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year for you.” Exodus 12:1… Continue reading Passover of Moses, Passover of Elijah