Losing My “Whiteness?”

Important post about race in America and the challenges of conversion. The emotional and spiritual strength converts go through should be a lesson for all of us…


Race is a complicated, emotional issue, particularly right now in the US.  For me, though, my focus lately is much more on something much closer to me than the headlines, but I didn’t realize it until I was discussing recent headlines with a friend who happens to be a person of color.

She said something that suddenly touched a nerve in me.  I was suddenly defensive, angry even.  It’s really irrelevant what she said because, as we talked further, I realized that how I was feeling had very little to do with what she had said and everything to do with me.

I felt the need to defend “whiteness” and that need came from…feeling as if my own “whiteness” was now in question.

I grew up in a very rural community with just 0.5% minorities in our school.  Her name was Lily and she was half Vietnamese and looking back…

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Scared to Death

Most people I know don’t like to think about dying. Death is taboo, especially when talking to ninety-five year-old’s. When people are depressed, when they have nothing to look forward to, they think about death, and usually it makes them feel even worse. Today, I asked myself, what is so scary or sad about dying?

My conclusion was, that it’s what millennials call FOMO, [Fear Of  Missing Out]. Continue reading “Scared to Death”

As Holy as God?

God tells Moses: “Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2) This verse clearly sounds like a command; but some leading scholars believe that it is not a commandment for itself. It is, rather, the mission statement of the Jewish faith.

Before we examine this verse let’s read the Midrash: Continue reading “As Holy as God?”

The Golden Calf. Why not a lion?

Robots and angels don’t err, they can live for a thousand years without making a single mistake. Human beings, however, sin and fail and make lots and lots of stupid decisions; individually and communally. There is, however, an obvious distinction between mistakes committed by individuals and sins perpetrated by a collaboration of many people. Current day Germany is a perfect example. Continue reading “The Golden Calf. Why not a lion?”