Religion Today

Exploring Hope: Paths of righteousness

Psalm 23 is a beautiful piece of ancient Hebrew poetry that countless believers have sung and prayed for generations. Therefore, taking a verse a month, we are walking through this psalm verse by verse. And today, we find ourselves in verse 3: "He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake (Psalms 23:3 KJV)." Now, you may not ...

 
 

Rabbinic Reflections: ‘All You Need is Love’

The Beatles got it right. Love is a crucial component of our ability to be in the world. “Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time — It’s easy.” When we are loved, we learn to be ourselves. Lately, though, it seems that we need more love than before to be able to get what we need to be able to be. I am not talking about the romantic love celebrated ...

 

Exploring Hope: Christ leads

Psalm 23 is a beautiful piece of ancient Hebrew poetry that countless believers have sung and prayed for generations. Therefore, taking a verse a month, we are walking through this Psalm verse by verse. And today, we find ourselves in verse 2: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters” (Psalms 23:2 KJV). As you read this ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Choosing our stories

Of all the stories Jews could tell about themselves, the Exodus from Egypt is the most central. Why not Creation? The Bible and the Gospel of John start there. Or monotheism? Abraham is pretty compelling a progenitor. Moses the lawgiver? He would be a great tragic hero. Or how about the national drama of King David and his dynasty? That kind of story is what most ...

 

Preserving Hope: The Lord is my shepherd

Psalm 23 is a beautiful and glorious piece of ancient Hebrew poetry. Countless people have valued and prayed it throughout human history. But it is still valuable today as well. Therefore, using my monthly column here at Chadds Ford Live, I’m going to walk through this psalm verse by verse over the next six months, Lord willing. So, here’s our first verse today: “The ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Private light

It is Chanukah. Since Thursday night, Jews have been lighting candles, increasing the number of candles each night. Many are also continuing the tradition of pirsumay neesa (publicizing the miracle) by lighting chanukiyot (Chanukah menorahs) in public spaces or, like me, by decorating our homes with blue and white lights and other decorations. The pandemic has ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Dinner stories

I have been remiss. The calendar says Thanksgiving is coming. I was too focused on what food to cook for only five in my house that I forgot to think about the Pilgrim story. The calendar says that today I should be concluding my study of the Talmud tractate Eruvin (boundaries defining Sabbath space) to then begin tractate Pesachim (Passovers). I fell off the daily ...

 

Preserving Hope: Bible verses memorizing election

As election day approaches, how can you stay sane and spiritually healthy? Well, here are three Bible verses to consider (and memorize if you have time): • “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” (Luke 6:27 ESV). Who are your political enemies? If you are a Trump supporter, it may be Biden supporters. If you’re a Biden supporter, it may be Trump ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Black fire on white fire

“Turn it, turn it, for everything is in it,” Ben Bag Bag used to say (Pirke Avot 5:22), in reference to the Torah study. This ancient rabbinic sage, a convert to Judaism, articulates something that I have found metaphorically true year after year. I never seem to be able to complete a portion of learning for even as I present what I think I know, I find something ...

 

Exploring Hope: Being gospel-centered

If you look at the beliefs section of the church I pastor in Garnet Valley, Hope Presbyterian, you’ll notice that we desire to be “gospel-centered.” Now, if you don’t know what the word gospel means, I encourage you to read the book of Romans in the New Testament and explore this link, which summarizes the gospel in clear language. I would also love to buy you coffee ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Calling the faith-filled

A coronation with no one at court; that will be this year’s Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. A too-often lesser known or hidden symbol of Rosh HaShanah is the round challah bread as the crown of God as Sovereign of sovereigns, not just round like the year coming full circle and not just sweet for a sweet new year. On Rosh HaShanah, the liturgy is designed to renew ...