Religion Today

Rabbinic Reflections: Awaken hands and feet

The shofar is calling. Each morning for the entire month leading up to the Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah, the shofar (a hollowed out ram’s horn) makes its siren song. The shofar is blown that we might hear and heed it. What is the message of these daily blasts that usher in the Jewish High Holy Days? Typical of Jewish tradition, there are many interpretations of ...

 
 

Applied Belief: A God under a divided nation

We all know the phrase “one nation under God.” Who knew this would become such a controversial phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, which so many children have learned and recited since the 1950s? Today this phrase continues to be challenged in courts of public opinion. I believe in the vision laid out by the pledge but it currently does not reflect the America we ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Hatred’s cost

Hatred. Unbounded, chargeless, gratuitous is not costless. This kind of hatred has a name. In Hebrew, it is sinat chinam, literally “hatred that belongs to grace,” a hatred without rational basis, baseless hatred. Today offers a triple lesson in the need to fight against baseless hatred. We face significant issues today. Our social, political, and economic challenges ...

 

Applied Belief: Shame on evangelical leaders

Pastors and Christian leaders are called to speak biblical truth to government and politics, not to compromise on biblical truth for the sake of political expediency. The Bible is clear as to the role of a man ordained by God. The Word of God says: “And He [God] gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the ...

 

Constellation Network announces new director

The Constellation Network, a collaboration of Kennett area churches committed to accelerating good work in Southern Chester County, has announced a new executive director. Ben Stafford, who worked previously as the program associate for the Kern Family Foundation, will be relocating to the area from Wisconsin with his wife, Marissa, and their 18-month-old son, ...

 

Applied Belief: Freedom is priceless and dangerous

Freedom is a priceless but also dangerous thing. A few weeks ago we celebrated 240 years of freedom from British rule. Less than a month ago Great Britain voted to be free from the European Union. Freedom is contagious. After the Brexit vote, many other countries in the European Union began discussions to host their own referendum on European membership and here in ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Wiesel and Jewish remembering

I was there. I was in the Birkenau death camp with Elie Wiesel in 1990. I had just marched from Auschwitz with thousands of Jews from around the world, mostly youths like myself at the time, as part of The March of the Living. The March of the Living commemorates Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) in Poland and Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day) in Israel. At the ...

 

Applied Belief: Necessary change

True Bible believing Christians are often referred to as “born again.” This name comes from Jesus’ own words to Nicodemus in John 3:3 “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” Being born again means that we are made new. We are transformed and set free from the bondage to our old self. Change is part of ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Grounding competitiveness

We are all coming up empty. Striving for success as measured by grades, degrees, and dollars has hollowed out our souls. We have taken to competing against our own limitations to feel accomplished. It is high time we looked down at the basis for our efforts. As an educator, I am keenly aware of the dangers of a school turning into a hamster-wheel of learning, how to ...

 

Applied Belief: The end

Nothing is forever. The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Passover, a Jewish civics lesson

Everyone votes at a Passover seder, the traditional formal meal on the first night of the holiday. Who will engage in lucid conversation about policy questions meant to advance the seder project and potentially advance the Jewish people? Who will play outsider and reject the rules and format, but nevertheless conform to the project simply by asking how nothing has ...