Jerusalem Risen and in Ruins

Israel surprised me.

It met me in Boston where I had traveled to attend a conference.

I hadn’t planned on its being there. Laurie was going to join me later in the week. I was looking forward to her visit, looking forward to her seeing her enjoy the rather luxurious conference hotel—tenth floor corner room, windows facing north and east, the east facing window delivering up a stunning view of the spires of Trinity Church—and the luxury of time to see the city while I attended conference sessions.

But a day before Laurie arrived, Israel showed up. [Read more…]

A Story More Durable Than Flesh and Stone

Yom Rishon (l’Shabbat): the first day toward the coming Shabbat: Sunday on the Gregorian calendar.

And the psalmist asks, “Who may ascend the mountain of Y-H-V-H?” And the psalmist asks, “Who may rise in God’s sanctuary?”

Yom Sheni (l’Shabbat): the second day toward the coming Shabbat: Monday on the Western calendar.

And the psalmist says, “In your temple, God, we meditate upon your kindness.”

Thus, we progress, from day to day, from psalm to psalm, from below to above, from mundane to sacred. Stitching together the liturgy the rabbis create, or receive, a story and pass it on. A story to counter the story of loss, ruin, extinction.

[Read more…]