Every year on Shavuot, the story of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai is read in synagogues around the world. It’s a dramatic story, with thunder and lightning and mysterious ram’s horns blasting, and Moses disappearing into a… Read More ›
I spend a lot of time thinking about gardens. I think there might be something to them. It seems strange to talk about gardens during such an intense time. The crucible of injustice, laid so bare during the pandemic, is… Read More ›
I began to follow Kimberlé Crenshaw a little more than five years ago when I first learned of her theory of intersectionality as a more concise description of oppressions stemming from race, age, gender, sex/sexual orientation, religion and socio-economic status. … Read More ›
Dear Editor: I just want to set the record straight. I’ve heard stories about me being an ungrateful slave girl who was disrespectful to my master and mistress. I hear folks saying I went in and slept with my mistress’ husband, as… Read More ›
The Torah parshah Ki Teitzei, Deutornomy 21:10 to 25:19, contains 74 of the 613 commandments/mitzvot found in the Torah. These mitzvot cover a wide range of topics and concerns. For example, there are mitzvot about how to sow and harvest… Read More ›
Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11) gives us pause for thought in its contradictions. First, the parshah (Torah portion) contains the aseret hadibrot (Ten Commandments), among which is: you shouldn’t murder (5:17). Then, pasukim (verses) 6:4-5 contain the shema (Hear O Israel! The… Read More ›
The parshah for next week is Beshalach (Exodus 13:17 – 17:16). There are a lot of very important events happening in just four chapters. In fact, one could write a blog on any one of the following topics: the Israelite… Read More ›
Five years ago, I moved to Texas from California. In that time, my spiritual practice and my feminist and womanist worldview has grown through contemplative practices. It’s ironic. “Everything’s bigger in Texas!” the saying goes, but in the presence of… Read More ›
Sometimes, being overwhelmed with guilt makes one unable to act. Other times, guilt manipulates and attempts to control. It might offer a sense of responsibility and concern. More often than not, guilt comes bundled in small doses of should-haves and… Read More ›
The Book of Esther tells a story in which women’s power is not so much repressed as asserted. The king who banishes one queen finds himself submitting to the will of another. Numerous women writers of various ethnic, religious, and racial backgrounds in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries have found inspiration in the stories of both Esther and Vashti’s disobedience to an autocratic king.
I am so frustrated that we are still fighting to affirm women’s place in leadership. I’ve been thinking about this struggle in the context of church ministries (especially preaching) and social activism, seeing a stark contrast between the way institutional… Read More ›
It is quite common, I think, for Jewish feminists to gravitate to the first creation story of Genesis/Bereshit as an example of human equality but struggle to claim this same passage as an example of the goodness of embodiment. Genesis/Bereshit… Read More ›
LGBTQ+ people in biblical religions often turn to the story of Jonathan’s love for David as an example of biblical affirmation of same-sex love. The biblical narrative in 1 and 2 Samuel stresses Jonathan’s love for David from the moment… Read More ›
I will never forget the day Nasr Abu Zaid (1943-2010), an Islamic Studies scholar and teacher extraordinaire, told me, “Shariah is not a law.” In spite of his assertion, many people—both Muslims and non-Muslims—are convinced that Shariah is synonymous with… Read More ›
Last week, I listened to an episode of Krista Tippett’s series On Being that featured an interview with poet Marilyn Nelson. I am not very knowledgeable about the world of modern poetry, but I am familiar with Nelson’s work. A… Read More ›
There are quite a few post-apocalyptic shows out these days. The Last Man on Earth is one example, a television series that is set in 2020, a year after a deadly virus has wiped (almost) everyone out. A handful of… Read More ›
There is some very helpful guidance in the Qur’an for how we should and should not treat the earth. In my exploration of Qur’anic verses on the environment, I have found a great deal of Earth-love that I want to… Read More ›
Earlier this week, social media was all abuzz about the Pope’s investigation into restoring women to the diaconate. In the complete transcript of the Pope’s comments, the traditional notion of women’s maternal role in the church is mentioned in relation… Read More ›
On Saturday, September 19, 2015 I married two of my best friends Andrea and Cindy in holy matrimony in Appleton, WI.
Kim Davis does need a lot of things but saying of suggesting that she needs a haircut, a makeover, or even to lose weight, makes you and those that continue to repeat it no better than she is; to state such statements doesn’t purport the ideal that #LoveWins, which took over social media just mere months ago, but changes the whole narrative to symbolize that sexism and hate are more important than love and equality.
One of things that has dismayed me since I began graduate school and started focusing my study on the Bible, is how much sensationalism exists. We are told in the academy not to use Wikipedia or watch the History Channel…. Read More ›
In my home, in my journals and notebooks, and in my office, I display proverbs and quotes of all kinds around me to inspire me to live meaningfully. Proverbs and fables from around the world are stacked on my bookshelves… Read More ›
‘Tis the season to be…? For me, this has not been a season to be jolly. I teach at a university, and again, I’m in the midst of the most hectic time of year of grading and exams and wrapping… Read More ›