From “Tradition” to “Sunrise, Sunset”: Fiddler `N Me

Selling the idea of a musical about the pogroms in Russia at the turn of the last century must not have been easy. Imagine the first time the creators of sat down across the table from a potential investor and tried to sell the idea. "So there's this Jewish milkman, poor as dirt, and he has these five daughters. The three of marrying age make choices that move each away in progressively greater ways from the milkman's faith and traditions. And then the whole family gets kicked out of the town in … [Read more...]

How I’m Learning To Love God With My Mind

My Jewish parents used to tell me that the one thing “they” couldn’t take from me was an education. As I grew older, I learned that the “they” to whom my mom and dad referred were the various Gentile groups who’d persecuted the Jewish people for millennia. Though they were in no way academics, my hard-working parents did teach me that there was immeasurable value, if not virtue, in the act of learning.I was a bookish kid, and after I came to faith in Jesus in my mid-teens, I brought my hunger … [Read more...]

Good Question: Why Is There A Menorah On The Altar?

If anything, worshipping at a liturgical church has enhanced my gratitude for years of Jewish education and synagogue attendance. Studying the two thousand years of Jewish history pre-dating Jesus' birth has helped me appreciate the structure and content of Christian liturgy as well as the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. It has helped me understand how Confirmation could sometimes be characterized as a 'sacrament in search of a theology.' And it certainly enhances my worship experience … [Read more...]

Corporate Worship Analysis-itis

I don’t know how to go to a church service anymore.I spent a lot of time during the 1990’s writing and occasionally producing skits for church services, as well as a few full-length plays. These bits of spiritual theater were once known as “chancel dramas”. With the advent of the seeker service, they became a way for service producers to highlight conflict, questions and spiritual awakening in story form. My writing eventually led to producing church services for a mid-sized non-den … [Read more...]

At The Intersection Of Time & Eternity: Shavuot

There is one point at which the Jewish festal calendar and the Christian calendar intersect, and it is Shavuot, also known as Pentecost. This year, the Jewish people will celebrate Shavuot (shah-voo-OAT) beginning at sundown on Saturday, June 11th. You'd be right in wondering how Shavuot and Pentecost align since the Western Church celebrated Pentecost on May 15th, and the Eastern (Orthodox) Church marks the day this year on June 19th.While the dates may diverge, Shavuot is the closest … [Read more...]

When Running Away To Join The Circus Is Not An Option

When I was a kid, I was in a giant hurry to be a grown-up. The day after my birthday, I was already telling people I was almost the age I'd be on my next birthday. I think I got my driver's license on July 7th, 1975. If the DMV was open on July 4th (a Friday, and the date of my 16th birthday) or the weekend following, surely I would have gotten it three days earlier. I couldn't wait to vote, drink, sign a lease, bounce a check, and buy a major appliance.Sometimes, being an adult is pretty fu … [Read more...]

Confessions Of A Media-Protective Parent

If my memory holds and my body lasts into old age, I’m pretty sure I’ll still be able to sing all the words to Led Zeppelin’s 1971 hit, “Stairway to Heaven.” My kids, on the other hand, may have the lyrics from the CDs of Rebecca St. James and Delirious? tattooed into their long-term recall. My husband and I both grew up in non-Christian families and wanted to give our three children a different upbringing, so we home-schooled them. We watched Disney movies—which made us too liberal for some of … [Read more...]


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