Category Archives: Love

The God I Don’t Believe In

Last week I heard Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, the writer and scholar of the Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah, interviewed on the radio. He told a story that I haven’t forgotten. Rabbi Kushner was invited to a dinner for a class of young people preparing for their bar or bat mitzvah. Classes completed, they had come…

You Don’t Have to Be Good

The things people tell a minister after church. . . . Yesterday a woman I did not know spoke to me after church—she was there for a baptism. I heard about the church of her childhood, where “salvation” was attained by refraining from smoking and drinking and dancing and cursing. It was a rigid theology…

The Heartbreak of Truth

There is an old Jewish story about the young pupil who asks the respected rabbi a question about that well-known passage in Deuteronomy 6:6. “And these words, which I command you this day, shall be upon your heart.” “Why is it this way?” the pupil asks. “Why are we told to put these words upon…

God’s Christmas Kiss

It is Christmas Eve, the night when God comes for us, comes in the only way we could receive God-with-us. If the infinite God is to reach us finite humans, there will have to be some translation, some accommodation. And all the work will have to be on God’s part. There is an affecting story,…

Fleeing Dread or Seeking Love

At thirteen I learned to drive a car with an automatic transmission, but as a teen-aged, car-crazed boy there were a lot of cars—some hot—that were off-limits to those who could not work a standard transmission. I was determined to learn. My coolness was at stake. Our one car was an automatic, but my grandfather,…