Understanding the Question of Judaism & Death

I have questioned within myself whether or not to write this post, especially during this time of COVID-19 and especially as the tragic numbers within the ultra-Orthodox community continues to rise. However, I ultimately decided to write this blog post because the question of death is one that we all need to face and understand….

Weekly Torah Portion (24-25 April 2020)

“Tazria-Metzora” (Leviticus 12:1-15:33) The Leprosy Question This week’s Torah Portion is one of the primary reasons why most people fail to achieve their New Year’s resolution of the reading through the Bible in a year.  For on the surface, it appears that Moses is reciting a litany of do(s) and don’t(s) for the people to…

Weekly Torah Portion (17-18 April 2020)

Shemini (Leviticus 9:1-11:47) The Kosher Questions This week’s Torah Portion opens with a continuation of instruction for Aaron and his sons who serve as priests. We also see in chapter the repercussions of taking the responsibilities of the priesthood lightly as Nadab and Abihu are killed for offering “strange fire” to the Lord. The Torah…

COVID-19 … The Eleventh Plaque?

Because of the closeness of Passover and Resurrection Sunday on the calendar to the world’s encounter with COVID-19, there are many who are trying to connect the virus as “the eleventh plague.” It is catchy. It is creative. However, is it accurate? That is the question which should be asked … especially as we approach…

My Charlie Brown Tree…

Last summer was so hot and dry. I was desperately trying to keeping to keep my mom’s fledgling crepe myrtles alive but I questioned if there was even hope, especially for one I named “Charlie Brown Tree.” It was the runt of the littler – merely a stick figure of a tree. Yet, I still…

Weekly Torah Portion … 27-28 March 2020

Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1-5:19)          The Holiness of YHWH Leviticus is often the point in which one who has set for themselves a New Year’s resolution to read through the Bible often gives up because of confusion and frustration because the regulations often seem foreign to them in this day and age.  That…

At What Cost…?

It is not just in America that we find individuals struggling with the idea of lockdown and nations struggling to enforce social distancing moratoriums. Why? Simple. We are humans who crave human interaction with others. God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone. Humans need others. It is not that we…

[Jewish] Evangelism in the Age of Social Distancing

We live in a different world than we did just a few weeks or even days ago … don’t we? Words like “flattening the curve” and “social distancing” are becoming common place and the norm in our culture and I imagine they will compete with coronavirus and toilet paper for Word of the Year by…

A Safe Place to Doubt…

I (Amy Downey) recently sat in on a teleconference with Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ and numerous of other books, in which he shared some frightening statistics that I could not help but jot down. Every day in the United States, ten churches close their doors. On average, it takes 86 members in a…