Religion Today

Preserving Hope: Examine your walk

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1–3, ESV) I love the image of “walking” for the Christian life in Ephesians 4:1. Paul ...

 
 

Rabbinic Reflections: A particular people

“Two Jews, three opinions,” so goes the adage, part inside joke, and part truism. If you have seen a page of the Talmud, it is layered with opinions from centuries of rabbis interpreting, disagreeing, and commenting on previous conversations. The differences of opinion on the page span not only opinions and generations but also cultures and continents. It is easy to ...

 

Preserving Hope: Don’t lose heart

Whenever we suffer in life, whether it is our own suffering or coming alongside someone else in the midst of suffering, we’re tempted to be discouraged or lose heart. And that’s why, in the Bible, the Apostle Paul says, “So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory” (Ephesians 3:13, ESV). We know from verse 1 of this chapter ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Sleigh bells ring

Do you hear the sounds? Imagine what had once been the noisiest place in the region, bereft of its normal occupants, quiet in the wake of a war only just won, with a small number of victors searching and searching and searching. Occasionally those few would find a container only to discard it, moving on to look for another, until finally, finally, they found one with ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Friendship and faith

I have a hard time praying. In particular, I have a hard time praying alone. When I am with others, it is easier. When I lead services for others, I am often moved both by the liturgy and by spirit, occasionally excelling at prayer. Alone, though, I am likely to forget to pray or either stumble or race through it. Just in case prayer is not your thing often, like me, ...

 

Preserving Hope: Praying for other believers

“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Harvesting the whole self

A Greek salad. Thirty years later, I still remember salivating over the perfect blend of salty feta, crunchy lettuce, flavorful olives, and tangy vinaigrette. The first few times the salad was from Renato Pizza in Swarthmore; in subsequent years, I would order from whatever place I could find. Over time, the tradition gave way to bagels and cream cheese or pizza ...

 

Exploring Hope: Why many versions of the Bible?

If you go into a bookstore and make your way to the Bible section, you'll see countless English translations: ESV, NASB, KJV, NKJV, NIV, CSV, NEB, NLT, etc. But why are there so many versions of the Bible? First, it's important to know that the 66 books of the Bible were originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and koine Greek. Therefore, translations seek to bring ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: The purpose of power

What does the New Year celebrate? The Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah, is two weeks away. As part of Judaism’s Days of Awe, it is rich in meaning, and interpreted in many ways throughout the ages. On this 9/11, those interpretations take on additional resonance. Tonight, my neighborhood will place luminaries along our sidewalks to remember the lives lost, the lives ...

 

Exploring Hope: A news consumption challenge

Coronavirus. China and Taiwan. Russia and Ukraine. Inflation and recession.  Headlines in the modern world are scary and cause a lot of fear and anxiety in the human heart. But how many hours a day do you consume news media? How many news podcasts do you listen to? How many hours a day do you find yourself watching cable news? I’m not proposing complete abstinence ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Life is full

Did you see John Moran’s glass olive in episode five of “Blown Away,” season three? It was not just gorgeous, it was immense. Granted the challenge was to make an oversized version of a real-life object, but his glass olive was so full of color and texture, including the pimento stuffed inside, also made of glass. The glass olive seemed to have more life than the ...