July 20, 2016

  Shalom Goldman’s recent book examines the lives of several converts – some converting from Christianity to Judaism, and some going the other way, leaving Judaism to become Christians. His book is called Jewish-Christian Difference and Modern Jewish Identity.  I have been reflecting on my reading of it for a a week now. Here are some of my initial observations and thoughts. First, it can be difficult for Christians to fully grasp the nuances of what comprises Jewish identity. For most… Read more

July 8, 2016

  I’d imagine that most Liberal Jewish converts consider the merits of Kashrut, or Kosher eating and living at some point in their early experiences. Should I keep kosher? What’s involved? What about my other Jewish friends? What’s so wrong with shrimp? My guess is that most converts – like most Jews – will opt to put kosher concerns aside. The vast majority of Jews do not keep kosher, or not strictly in any sense. I’ve gone back and forth… Read more

June 29, 2016

I’m back to blogging after attending to some family matters for the past few weeks. Apologies to my readers for being gone. And thanks for reading again!     My time away has allowed me space to reflect on my own spirituality. Dealing with family matters thrusts one’s values in one’s face. There were many days over the past few weeks when I asked questions of my spirituality, looked to my Judaism for direction, and questioned what role Judaism plays… Read more

June 5, 2016

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May 11, 2016

  Spiritual Subjectivity & Authority Torah is the ultimate spiritual authority … or rather, the Pope has the final word … or maybe imams reading the Koran … or perhaps it’s the bishops, or the general conference, or the synod, or the elders, or …. In free societies, and in the freedom of our hearts and minds, we get to decide who has spiritual authority and who does not. Sure, you can argue that God, or set of writings, or office… Read more

May 8, 2016

  As a Jew by Choice, I didn’t grow up immersed in Judaism. Well, I did grow up in New York City, so Judaism was all around me, just not part of my personal identity. I was attracted to Judaism because of its intellectual history, its revolutionary ethical spirit, its insights into human dignity and human rights, and its rich mythos. Reading the Reform Jewish platforms were key to my further probing Jewish thought. And there remains something of a… Read more

May 3, 2016

  What has your attention? What has your time, your resources, your energy, your money, and your best efforts? What grounds you? What roots you in this world, in your world, in our world? Sadly, too many people seem to go through life – short and precious as it is – distracted, harried, and scattered. Ungrounded, unrooted – many folks are simply diverted from shiny thing to shiny thing, from pressing need to pressing need, and from crisis to crisis…. Read more

April 27, 2016

  Counting the Omer is the Jewish spiritual practice of noting the days (49) between the second day of Passover and Shavuot, the Jewish Pentecost. The tradition is rooted in agricultural tasks of reaping and bringing barely offerings to the ancient Temple. An omer was a unit of measure, in this case, a measure of barely. Later, with the Temple destroyed, the counting of the omer took on a more meditative-prayerful flavor. A few years ago, our rabbi at our… Read more

April 21, 2016

  Yes, that’s a Christmas tree. And yes, this is a post about Passover.  I’ve heard it said that every moment is holy and that every minute is precious. And I totally agree. Yet we humans require setting aside certain days and moments in order to fully appreciate their sacredness. Holy days are days assigned to commemorate special events and special meanings. We celebrate because its fun and enjoyable to do so, but also because we understand that doing so… Read more

April 15, 2016

If you engage in theological conversations online – blogging or maybe Facebook – you likely encounter comments such as these: “God chose to represent himself as a male because patriarchy truly is the crux of existence.” “Only real Jews keep Shabbat.” “The Church teaches the truth and offers it to every human being. Therefore, every human being – Catholic or not – will have to answer before God for why they rejected His teaching.” “Reform Judaism is not from God… Read more




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