Our cross to bear or taking up our cross?

This morning I will be celebrating at a nearby parish and was going over my sermon notes. Today is Proper 8, the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost. The thrust of my sermon is the cost of following Christ, of taking up our cross daily (Luke 9:23). As I was reviewing my notes a thought occurred to […]

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Where are the fatherly role models in the Bible? 9   Recently updated!

This is not, by the way, a late post for Father’s Day 2016. It is a really late Father’s Day 2015 post. I started it more than a year ago. It started, in part, because I have seen the encouragement and strength my wife has felt from all of the strong female examples in the Bible. That is iron, of […]


Periods, commas, and other important elements of the written language.

A Facebook friend posted this article from the Washington Post, Stop. Using. Periods. Period. My friend called them “douchey, hipster pod-dorks with no allegiance to the English language” and I cannot say that my assessment is too far off. I would suggest, however that their flagging allegiance is not just to English but to all written language. […]

A fragment of the War Scroll showing spaces for words, but no punctuation or accentuation.

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Shavuot and Ruth 1   Recently updated!

This weekend was my daughter’s high school graduation so my plan of reminding everyone of the role of the Book of Ruth in Shavuot was set aside. There does remain one more day of observance so for my observant Jewish friends, yom tov and hag sameach! Shavuot is the Feast of Weeks, the seven weeks of the counting […]


Transcription of TgLam from Urb. 1 Available on Targuman 1

I finally got around to posting the transcription I made years ago of TgLam for my doctorate and the subsequent book. The text is from the MS Urb. 1, represented without the vocalization. There may be some new errors introduced with the copying and pasting process (and Unicode transitions) but I think I cleaned it all up. Please let […]

TgLam 3:33-50 in the Solger MS (not Urb. 1)

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Onward and upward! But first, a rest. 1

Last week I announced that I am stepping down as dean of the Schreyer Honors College, a position I have held for the last 10 years. It has been an incredible experience and I have grown in so many ways. I will be forever thankful for this community. Below is the letter I posted on the honors […]


The Ash Wednesday of Democracy

Look at me! I did the very minimum required to participate in our democracy! Wear your sticker with pride.  

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“I give you a new commandment, that you like one another.”

No. We are not commanded to like anyone. From today’s Gospel reading: 13:34 [Jesus said,] “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” We are not […]


Remembering the Dead 1

This past month I had the great privilege to participate in an “OLLI” course with our local funeral home director, rabbi, and Orthodox priest. I was surprised that there was less I knew about the Orthodox mourning traditions, than I did about Jewish ones. One tradition was “Soul Saturdays” which is one of those several […]

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Losing faith 4

 The Collect: Second Sunday of Easter, Rite Two Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives […]