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Tag Archives: Judaism

Creation Is Very Good

Original Goodness Creation Is Very Good Tuesday, October 26, 2021 God saw all God had made, and indeed it was very good. —Genesis 1:31 In Judaism, there is no concept of “original sin.” Instead of believing humans are born in sin, Judaism affirms our place in a “very good” creation. Rabbi Ellen Bernstein is a… Continue Reading Creation Is Very Good

Midrash

Jesus and the Bible Midrash Monday, January 7, 2019 More than telling us exactly what to see in the Scriptures, Jesus taught us how to see, what to emphasize, and also what could be de-emphasized or ignored. Beyond fundamentalism or literalism, Jesus practiced a form that the Jewish people called midrash, consistently using questions to keep spiritual meanings open, often reflecting… Continue Reading Midrash

Judaism: Weekly Summary

Judaism Summary: Sunday, August 26-Friday, August 31, 2018 The primary purpose of religion is to help us move beyond the separate-self sense to union with God. —Thomas Keating (Sunday) The Bible shows a relentless movement toward intimacy and divine union between Creator and creatures. For this to happen, there needs to be some degree of… Continue Reading Judaism: Weekly Summary

Hasidism

Judaism Hasidism Friday, August 31, 2018 The Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760)—Master of the Good Name—was the founder of a Jewish religious movement called Hasidism that began in the eighteenth century. The “Besht” (acronym for Baal Shem Tov) was ecstatically in love with God. He reminds me a bit of my own spiritual father, St. Francis… Continue Reading Hasidism

An Evolving Faith

Judaism An Evolving Faith Thursday, August 30, 2018 [We come into this world to] align our souls with God: The relationship between God and soul is analogous to that between the sun and its rays. We are the extension of God in time and space. How, then, can we be misaligned with God? Misalignment is… Continue Reading An Evolving Faith

Absolutes

Judaism Absolutes Wednesday, August 29, 2018 God reveals the essence of divinity to Moses: ehyeh asher ehyeh, most often translated as I AM what I AM [Exodus 3:14]. A more accurate Hebrew translation would be “I will be whatever I will be.” In either case, the Hasidic understanding of the text is the same: God… Continue Reading Absolutes

Prophetic Honesty

Judaism Prophetic Honesty Tuesday, August 28, 2018 Divine knowledge is always rooted in the details of ordinary life. The aim of all knowledge or visionary ecstasy is to increase the power of hesed [steadfast love] and compassionate action. . . . It is alive with the awareness of the holiness of Creation and the boundlessness… Continue Reading Prophetic Honesty

A Gracious God

Judaism A Gracious God Monday, August 27, 2018 For most of human history God was not viewed as having a likeable, much less lovable, character. That’s why every “theophany” in the Bible (an event where God manifests in visible reality) begins with the same words. Whenever an angel or God breaks into human life, the… Continue Reading A Gracious God

Two Roles of Religion

Judaism Two Roles of Religion Sunday, August 26, 2018 The chief fruit of Old Testament spirituality was a long-term education that gradually weaned the Chosen People away from their narrow concept of God as one among many other Near Eastern gods to the Transcendent One. The monotheistic God is the great gift of Israel to… Continue Reading Two Roles of Religion

The Evolution of the Temple

The Apostle Paul The Evolution of the Temple Sunday, May 14, 2017 The brilliant Anglican theologian, N. T. Wright, concludes that we have largely missed Paul’s major theme. [1] After Luther, many thought Paul’s great idea was “justification by faith” (Protestants) versus “works righteousness” (Catholics). It makes a nice dualistic split, but Wright believes the… Continue Reading The Evolution of the Temple

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