faith · Jewish Life · Judaism

Why a song about Jesus matters so much to this Jew (and not for the reason you think)

“The old familiar story told in different ways; Make the most of your own journey from the cradle to the grave; Dream your dreams tomorrow because today, life must go on

But there’s more to this life than living and dying, more than just trying to make it through the day; more to this life, more than these eyes alone can see, and there’s more than this life alone can be.”

The above lyrics are from Steven Curtis Chapman’s “More to This Life,” the title track to his 1989 album.

I discovered this song probably sometime in the mid-to-late 90s. I was heavily into contemporary Christian music then, and this song resonated with me. It remained in my top five favorite songs right up until I walked away from Christianity (and its music) more than five years ago.

Continue reading “Why a song about Jesus matters so much to this Jew (and not for the reason you think)”
faith · Judaism · Reflection

Just what I needed

The mezuzah on the door post and Magen David hanging by our front door.

For the last couple of months, two ladies who are Jehovah’s Witnesses have been stopping by our house every third week or so. They are very aware of my status as a Jew because the posts by my front door make it clear where I land on matters of the spirit.

While I am firmly rooted in my “religion” (I put that word in quotes because Judaism is so much more to me than just a religious practice), I also believe in being kind.

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faith · Judaism

Essay: Why I want to become Jewish

Note: As part of my conversion process, my rabbi requires that I write my religious autobiography, which is made up of a series of essays. I’m posting these essays here, as well, to share my journey. I’m nearing the end of this process and will soon meet the beit din (rabbinical court) who will decide my Jewish “fate.” If my request for conversion is approved, I’ll then enter the mikveh and, when I emerge, I do so as a Jew.

Here is my first essay in the series, which is all about what compelled me to make this decision.

When starting out on my faith journey in my early twenties, I carried with me the God of my youth. This God was one that, if my prayers were sincere enough, my heart true enough, and my deeds good enough, would grant whatever it was that I wanted. If my prayers weren’t answered, it was because I had sinned or had fallen short of God’s plan for me. God was like a magical ATM in the sky, dispensing money, happiness, and an occasional new car to those that were worthy and devout.

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Books · faith · Family

Some Sundays are nearly perfect

Had I not turned off my alarm at 6:30a and then accidentally slept until 9:08a, this would have been the most perfect of Sundays.  Despite my proclivity of alarm avoidance (third time this long holiday weekend), I managed to have the kind of Sunday that truly prepares me to deal with commuting and general ridiculousness on Monday.   Continue reading “Some Sundays are nearly perfect”