Judaism

3 Best Things Being a Gentile in a Jewish Home at Passover

Tomorrow is a very special Sabbath, Shabbat Pesach. I spent almost two whole days this week wrestling over which songs to play in service. I probably overdid it, yes. As a result, however, this is my excuse for a Friday post this week. The three best things about being a Gentile living in a Jewish […]

It’s Not Sunday’s a-Comin’

Today is the first day of the omer. Actually, it began last night. Beginning with the second day of Passover, Jews begin counting the days. For 7 weeks they count, 49 days. This is called “Counting the Omer,” laid out in Leviticus 23:15-17. The omer was a measure of grain, an offering of thanksgiving for the […]

The Last Passover

“I have earnestly desired to eat this Pesach meal with you before I suffer.” Tonight begins the first night of Passover, of Pesach, the Jewish holiday of remembrance and living-out the Israelite escape from Egypt. It is a holiday of questions, of upheaval, of chaos, of suffering and deliverance. And for Christians, also the beginning […]

Whatever the All-Merciful Does Is for Good

The Talmud tells this story (in Berachot 60b): Rabbi Akiva was once going along the road and he came to a certain town and looked for lodgings. But everywhere he went, he was refused. He sighed and said, “Whatever the All-Merciful does is for good.” So because he couldn’t find a place to stay in […]

Should We Merry Merry Be?

Oh, once there was a wicked, wicked man And Haman was his name sir, He would have murdered all the Jews, Though they were not to blame sir Oh today, we’ll merry, merry be Oh today, we’ll merry, merry be Oh today, we’ll merry, merry be And nosh some hamantashen. I posted a link to […]

A Wicked, Wicked Man (video)

At our synagogue, we have yet to do a pirate-themed Purim spiel, inspired by Edward Kritzler’s history of Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean. (And that is a true fact.)

The Curious Story of Tamar

Matthew begins his gospel by breaking the rules. It’s not so much that he includes a boring genealogy that breaks the rules—although from a storytelling perspective, starting with a boring genealogy certainly breaks the storytelling rules. To the ancient Jews, genealogies were very important, and they pop up throughout the Bible. Rather, it’s the way […]

Listening to the Siddur Project CD

Recently, my friend and fellow creator Julie Lavender released her music CD The Siddur Project. Julie hosts the syndicated Dreamfarm Café radio show, which features area musicians: an “experience of eclectic jazz,” says the show’s website, “an intimate window into the very heart of an artist’s creative process.” But Julie also writes and performs her […]

The Love of Money

Contentment makes poor men rich. Discontent makes rich men poor. Supposedly, Benjamin Franklin said that. I was unable, in my brief research, to confirm that these are actually the words of Benjamin Franklin. But it’s a good thought nonetheless. I’ve written about this idea before, from a slightly different perspective, that our happiness is not […]

Teaser Tuesdays: Walking in the Moment between Tick and Tock

One reason I’ve been absent is because I’ve been working on a new book, a book that I’m now on the verge of releasing. (Exciting!) Walking in the Moment between Tick and Tock a short, inspirational book (about ¼ the length of a full-size novel), looking at the period between Passover and Pentecost, between Pesach […]