A lesson from Tisha B’Av

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall… Continue reading A lesson from Tisha B’Av

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Passover: Insiders and Outsiders

The tenth day of Nisan has just ended, four days before Passover, which is the day on which the Torah commanded every household to select a lamb to be sacrificed four days later on Passover. It's also the day that Yeshua entered Jerusalem during his last Passover, riding on a donkey to fulfill the words… Continue reading Passover: Insiders and Outsiders

The Jewish Annotated NT

For Hanukkah this year my lovely wife gave me a copy of The Jewish Annotated New Testament, edited by Amy-Jill Levine, Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt (and author of the highly acclaimed The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus) and Marc Zvi Brettler, Professor of Biblical Studies… Continue reading The Jewish Annotated NT

Honor your neighbor

The middah* of honor is an essential part of “Love your neighbor as yourself,” which in turn is essential to the command to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and substance. If we don’t honor the people around us, can we really claim to honor the God who made them? Honor… Continue reading Honor your neighbor

Thanksgiving, mammon, and the super committee

I don’t know who set the November 23 deadline for the congressional super committee to agree on a plan for cutting our national debt by $1.2 trillion, but he or she was an unwitting prophet. November 23 is one day before Thanksgiving, a moment of sanity in the form of family gatherings and feasting before… Continue reading Thanksgiving, mammon, and the super committee

Doing the Shema

Judaism doesn’t put the same kind of emphasis on creeds or statements of faith that Christianity does. A true-blue conservative Christian worries first about what you believe and whether it’s orthodox. Only after he settles that, does he get around to what kind of person you are. Jews tend to consider whether or not you’re… Continue reading Doing the Shema

Oy vey, paganism

I met with some of my pastor friends here in Albuquerque the morning after Halloween. After we prayed, we hung around to schmooze for a while, and one of the pastors mentioned that his church had hosted a harvest festival the night before as an alternative to Halloween. He'd caught some flak about it, which… Continue reading Oy vey, paganism