The Evil in this World: Do You Renounce the Devil?

“Do you renounce the devil and all the forces that defy God? ... Do you renounce the powers of this world that rebel against God? ... Do you renounce the ways of sin that draw you from God?” These three questions are asked in Baptism and Confirmation services in my Lutheran church and probably in similar services in some other Christian churches. To each question, those assembled are asked to respond, “I renounce them.”

Read More »

Judaism Ensures We Care for the Sick

caring for sick

Asking someone who you know is suffering to “Keep me updated” is not only unhelpful, but makes life more difficult for the suffering person. You’re adding to their mental load. You’re not supporting them. You’re not helping. You’re actively making their life more difficult by adding one more thing they need to do in an already incredibly difficult time.

Read More »

Hanukkah and Antisemitism

Hanukkah began Sunday. And like all American Jews, I am a little nervous this year. Hanukkah ends on Dec. 26, creating an unusual confluence of holidays. And it comes during a time of growing antisemitism in the U.S. and the world. The number of antisemitic incidents in 2021 was the highest in nearly 50 years, and 2022 is going to be worse.

Read More »