How 2016 Measured Up . . . for Prayer

Last year at this time, I posted a blog with twelve key events of 2015 that were focal points for prayer in the Messianic Jewish community. I didn’t try to cover everything, but to focus on issues of special relevance to our community. There were plenty of such events in 2016, but I will again… Continue reading How 2016 Measured Up . . . for Prayer

Wrestling for Identity

 And Jacob was left alone. Genesis 32:25 This is only the second time we’ve seen Jacob really alone. The first time was when he camped at “a certain place” on the way out of the promised land, running from Esau. Now 20+ years later, he’s returning to the promised land, and about to meet up… Continue reading Wrestling for Identity

A Good Death

Parashat VaYishlach, Genesis 32:4–36:43 Now the days of Isaac were 180 years. And Isaac breathed his last, and he died and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. Genesis 35:28–29 When a patriarch or matriarch dies the whole family suffers trauma. The family system… Continue reading A Good Death

Sibling Rivalry and the Articulated Torah

My friend and colleague Seth Klayman led a group discussion last week at the Messianic Leadership Roundtable in Phoenix, on “Building Trust While Approaching Gentiles and the Torah in our Communities.” Trust was the theme of the whole event, and Seth applied that theme to the thorny issue of Jews, Gentiles, and Torah within the… Continue reading Sibling Rivalry and the Articulated Torah

The “Right to Die” on Election Day

Amid all the excitement and dismay of the Trump upset on Election Day 2016, it was easy to miss a lopsided victory in Colorado for Proposition 106, legalizing “Medical Aid in Dying” or assisted suicide. And I suppose the story wasn’t all that newsworthy, since Colorado joined five other states (Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Montana and… Continue reading The “Right to Die” on Election Day

Innocence is Not an Option

God’s original plan was to hang out in a garden with some naked vegetarians. At least that was the plan according to a poster by New Mexico artist Diana Bryer that I own. Before you object or roll your eyes, though, remember this verse in last week’s Torah portion: Then God said, “Here! Throughout the… Continue reading Innocence is Not an Option

Shabbat Shuvah 5777

In recent years I’ve often taught on Teshuvah, or Repentance, as a four-step process, which can be traced throughout Scripture. It's clearly pictured in Messiah Yeshua’s story of the Prodigal Son, the iconic picture of teshuvah in the Gospels. This year I’m working through an excellent book, Repentance: The Meaning and Practice of Teshuvah, by… Continue reading Shabbat Shuvah 5777