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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Resurrection and redemption

“On that night we were redeemed, and on that night we shall be redeemed.” The Passover Seder is made up of two halves, roughly divided by the festive meal itself. The first part commemorates the redemption from Egypt as we retell the whole story of the departure from Egypt, starting with “Avadim hayinu, we were… Continue reading Resurrection and redemption

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

Minority rules: Hanukkah 5772

Then came Hanukkah in Yerushalayim. It was winter, and Yeshua was walking around inside the temple area, in Shlomo’s colonnade. So the Judeans surrounded him and said to him, “how much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us publicly!” Yeshua answered them, “I have already told… Continue reading Minority rules: Hanukkah 5772

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

Shema and Trinity

While I’m deep in my studies about the Shema, I receive this email from a colleague: I have a question that relates to one of my children's friends at school, who has a Jewish mother and a Christian father...  She is interested in Yeshua as Messiah but has questions about the Trinity and the Shema… Continue reading Shema and Trinity

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