It’s finally summer, and I could pretend I want to party like it’s… well, like it’s 5779. But I’ve decided the only chagiga fit for the ending of this beautiful school year is starting a blog.
I’ve now celebrated twenty-one Junes — seven in a secular private school, thirteen in a Christian school, and one at an Orthodox Jewish girls school. Only this time I see June of 2019 as the Hebrew month of Sivan in the year 5779.
What else do I see in a new way?
- I see more clearly the power and beauty of God, and I am unable to contain my excitement.
- I see for the first time what community and family should and can look like, and it enchants me.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I consider Him my personal savior whose death was ransom for my sin. And I recognize that none of that matters where I teach. And that’s fine with me. It’s complicated — and I look forward to exploring this issue in my blog, so buckle up.
In fact, let me explain what to expect:
- The Church today is disconnected from its Jewish brothers and sisters, and, in a sense, from the life of the Jewish man we follow. My hope is to find some connections that will enrich all of us. How can 21st Century Christians love God and each other better?
- I will explore cultural, biblical, spiritual, philosophical, historical, culinary, traditional, literary, legal, gender, political, personal topics and more! Each Sunday evening the pastor at my church delivers a pithy sermon; I plan to use his messages as occasional spring boards for my posts. How do observant Jews see the message, experience it, live it, even disagree with it? And how does that inform our Christian walk?
- My goal is not to reach but to honor the modern Orthodox community, of course. Realistically, I am speaking to the wider Christian community. Chief of all, however, is to reach the depths of my own heart, my own faith. Perhaps in doing so, a few readers will also find new paths toward God. And if that happens, then Nachas all around!
- If I don’t mess this up too much, perhaps this blog can be a space where both Jews and Christians feel blessed, honored, challenged, and united. Perhaps we can all cry out to the Creator of the Universe in a unanimous Baruch Hashem & Thank God.
Each week for the past nine months, my family has listened to my observations about teaching the daughters of the Orthodox community. They’ve enjoyed hearing the many hilarious mistakes I’ve made (just wait… I will share them here eventually) as much as I’ve enjoyed teaching them how to pronounce seemingly endless Hebrew phrases.
Of course, life teaching English at a Yeshiva high school is more than misplacing the Tefilah (prayer) sheets or learning to pronounce the gravelly wet “ech” in Derech Eretz (high character). So much funnier. So much lovelier. So much more.
My life has changed in a remarkable, magical, God-shaped way now that I am a sometime-sort-of-bumbling non-Jewish member of this beautiful Jewish community. And that’s what I hope to share here. Baruch Hashem and Thank God!
#christian #englishteacher #yeshiva #losangeles #judaism #modernorthodox #journeyoffaith #zerotohero