Elul 12: Count

August 23, 2018

Everything I know about shepherding comes from Jewish tradition. The Midrash about Moses caring for the lost sheep: Our teachers have said: Once, while Moses our Teacher was tending [his father-in-law] Yitro’s sheep, one of the sheep ran away. Moses ran after it until it reached a small, shaded place. There, the lamb came across […]

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Elul 11: Trust

August 22, 2018

When someone starts a sentence with “trust me” or “believe me,” you should question. Does that mean we shouldn’t trust him when he doesn’t say, “trust me?” That we shouldn’t believe her when she doesn’t say, “believe me?” Or do those phrases signal that what is about to follow is a lie. Trust is based […]

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Elul 10: Forgive

August 21, 2018

We talk a lot about forgiveness during these holy days. Asking God for forgiveness. Asking those we have hurt for forgiveness. All too often we forget to talk about the need to forgive ourselves. For the sin of not taking care of the body God entrusted to us. And the sin of behaving in a […]

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Elul 9: See

August 20, 2018

Following the birth of Isaac, Hagar and her young son, Ishmael, are cast out of Abraham’s house. Having finished all their water, Hagar wanders off to avoid watching her child die of dehydration. After reassuring Hagar that they will survive and that her son will be the father of a nation, the text says: וַיִּפְקַ֤ח […]

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Elul 8: Hear

August 19, 2018

For months, I have been unable to get this line from Jeremiah out of my head. כֹּ֣ה ׀ אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֗ה ק֣וֹל בְּרָמָ֤ה נִשְׁמָע֙ נְהִי֙ בְּכִ֣י תַמְרוּרִ֔ים רָחֵ֖ל מְבַכָּ֣ה עַל־בָּנֶ֑יהָ מֵאֲנָ֛ה לְהִנָּחֵ֥ם עַל־בָּנֶ֖יהָ כִּ֥י אֵינֶֽנּוּ׃ *Thus said the LORD: A cry is heard in Ramah— Wailing, bitter weeping— Rachel weeping for her children. She refuses to […]

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