Category Archives: Torah

We wish you a kosher Pentecost!

Today is the Day of Pentecost (Greek for ‘fiftieth’). The original Hebrew name is Shavuot (‘weeks’), referring to the waiting period between Passover and Pentecost – seven weeks of seven days each, culminating in the holiday on the fiftieth day (Leviticus 23:15-21).    My Polish Jewish grandfather used to say, “A goat may have a beard, […]

Healing the wounds – Messianic Judaism’s intercessory challenge

Without question, the predominantly Gentile body of Messiah has much to learn from the Messianic Jewish movement. It is said that “a text without a context is a pretext.” The Jewish foundations of the Messianic faith are the fundamental floor on which the Christian world stands. To sidestep the existence of this floor leads to […]

The blast of the shofar

I grew up in a Yiddish-speaking home in Montreal, Canada where I attended Yiddish and Hebrew day school, participated in Montreal’s Yiddish theater group and also performed in a Yiddish mandolin orchestra. My memories of the High Holidays (Rosh Hashoneh and Yom Kipper is how we pronounced them) included the traditional foods – apples dipped […]

Holy Spirit, ‘fake news’ and the heart of Ruth

The Feast of Shavuot/Weeks is upon us (Deuteronomy 16:10). Fifty days have now passed between Pesach/Passover and Shavuot (Leviticus 23:16  – the counting of the Omer, a peck measurement and first-fruits prophetic promise of a coming full harvest). The crest of those calculations has been reached, and now the wave of fulfillment crashes down onto […]

Dissecting Israel

High school Biology teachers often guide their students through the dissection of frogs or fish. The stench of formaldehyde wafts around trembling fingers as scalpels slice through rubbery material. Students squint at the internal organs of the amphibian or the vertebrate and then roughly sketch the physical details. There is no time for lasting emotional […]

Chanukah and Santa Claus – restoring truth to the Festival of Lights

Holiday preparations are in full swing. Christmas lights are strung up and blinking, sleighs and reindeer magically appear on suburban lawns; even the occasional Chanukah menorah (or chanukiya in Hebrew) glows brightly in Jewish homes for eight nights. Today very few adults believe in Santa Claus, though a significant amount do believe in the virgin […]

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