“The Embrace” Some of my fondest memories as a child are of my mother’s singing to me. She was born and grew up in Appalachia. Most of the songs she sang were the hillbilly, bluegrass, or country songs she knew and loved. One of them, “The Knoxville Girl,” has an intriguing history, but I can’t … Continue reading Life’s Crooked Road
In the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Ta’anis, we find a story about a man named Abba Hilkiah, a rabbinic sage who lived during the first century C.E. He was the grandson of another sage, Honi, the Circle Maker, famous for his ability to bring rain when needed. In the Land of Israel, this was a highly … Continue reading A Real Possession
Photo by Mike Burke on Unsplash. In the third chapter of the biblical book of Genesis, we read an intriguing story about a man and a woman attempting to avoid blame for an act of willing disobedience. They've done something which their maker has forbidden them to do. Now, whether or not you believe there … Continue reading Don’t Blame Me
When I was young, perhaps five or six years old, a religion teacher was once trying to teach my classmates and me about sin, what it was, what it looked like. She held up a clean white sheet of paper to represent our souls, pure and spotless. She then took a pencil, drew circles on … Continue reading Where Does Sin Go?
The author reciting the Afternoon Prayer in the ruins at Gamla. ©2008 Beth Ben-Avraham. During the week, I recite the Morning Prayer at a small Chassidic shul near where I live. The rabbi has entrusted me and a few others with the key to the building. Often I am the first to arrive and will … Continue reading What Is Your Peace?
MIT: The domed Maclaurin Building, as seen from Killian Court. aka Building 10. When I first began dating my wife, she was reluctant to tell me that she has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from MIT; I’m not sure why. Eventually, she decided to come clean. When she told me, I rolled my eyes … Continue reading Writing and Social Dialectics
I earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Belhaven College, now University, in Jackson, Mississippi. My major was piano performance. In addition to classes in piano, I had to take courses in music theory: harmony, counterpoint, form and analysis, and composition. Music history was also required and, since Belhaven was a liberal arts college, there … Continue reading Someone Tapped by Divinity