Friday, June 26, 2009


Fits into the category of One of the Odder Things I Have Done in My Life.

When you and I moved to Morgan Hill, we joined the local temple. I have had association with Judaism for most of my adult life, falling in love with Jewish mysticism in college, but never actually joined a temple. Never did figure out if it makes sense for a United Methodist minister to belong to a Jewish community, but I liked it. The Rabbi at the time, Jerry Levi, was odd and wonderful and I learned a lot from him. He talked to me about his brilliant meandering sermons and said sermons presented doorways to the divine. So he jumped from doorway to doorway while my style stuck with exploring one at a time. He opened up a place for my family to be more fully Jewish and more fully Christian. A great gift. But there was a double gift because Alisa Fineman was cantor and her voice was a open doorway every time she sang.

Rabbi Yitzak Miller was just getting started, a more fiery passion, intent on congregational growth and we talked and talked. Yitz and I also worked together, events for religious tolerance, a class we did with Burt Jacobsen on the Baal Shem Tov and Jesus. He began to teach me a bit about Torah Cantillation. But more important, he opened a door for you into the faith of your heritage and I will always be grateful for that.

In the last years I have pulled away from the Jewish community, needing a more simple focus in my own spiritual life for a while --- turned out to be years. I watched the kids go to two very different Sunday Schools while I became more separated from the life of the Jewish community. I have only had a couple of conversations with Debbie Israel, but appreciate her spark.

I hope to find a community as open in Eureka. I miss the liturgy, miss singing in Hebrew. I will miss Emeth, her people, and an educated dialogue that is much deeper than anything I have done in church.

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