Positively bound up

The terms bound up, bondage, and binding usually have a pretty negative connotation. People normally think of the devil as the one who binds people up—at least those folks who believe there is a devil. But now that I’m focusing on the Shema more intently, I’m obeying one of its instructions, which says to bind… Continue reading Positively bound up

Positively concrete

These days I’m refocusing on the Shema as the first and greatest commandment (Mark 12:28ff) and as foundational to my work in mussar. A few weeks ago one particular of the Shema got in my face: “You shall bind these words as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your… Continue reading Positively concrete

Ears to Hear

In my mussar work for the coming year, I'm going to focus on the Shema. (Mussar is a Jewish spiritual path that emphasizes ethical transformation. Check out rivertonmussar.org.) The first ethical or character trait that we're working on is humility, so I'm thinking about how humility relates to the Shema, and I decide that Listen… Continue reading Ears to Hear