Text: Deuteronomy. 6:1-9
Bind [these words] as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Orthodox Jewish tradition takes this admonition seriously; the words of the Shema are written on parchment and placed in the tefillin,the leather boxes that are tied onto one’s forehead and left arm before prayer. A piece of parchment inscribed with the Shema, the mezuzah, is placed inside a small container attached to the doorframe of a house (and sometimes of rooms inside). As a person passes through the doorway, they might touch or kiss the mezuzah.
Have you ever tied a string around your finger or done some other unusual thing to help you remember something you felt was important? That’s what tefillin and mezuzah are about.
During this week, try creating your own reminder. Write down a verse, or poem, or passage you find meaningful, and place it somewhere you will see it and remember what it is. Carry it with you; wear it around your neck; attach it to the bathroom mirror, put it on the dashboard of your car. What changes for you in remembering?
– Andy Kille
“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC. For details and subscription information, see About BibleWorkbench.
Posted in Between the Lines, Lectionary Year B, Sundays after Pentecost
Tagged Andy Kille, commandment, Deuteronomy, Jewish, mezuzah, remembering, Shema, tefillin, tradition
Text: Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
(Photo credit: @Doug88888)
… and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
Mark’s description of the fringe of Jesus‘ cloak makes clear he is writing about a man serious about his Jewish faith. Such a cloak fringe is required in the Moses tradition: you shall make tassels on the four corners of the cloak with which you cover yourself (Deuteronomy 22:12); The Lord said to Moses: Speak to the Israelites, and tell them to make fringes on the corners of their garments throughout their generations and to put a blue cord at each corner. You have the fringe so that, when you see it, you will remember all the commandments and do them… (Numbers 15:37-39). Continue reading
Text : Deuteronomy 26:1-11
This is a video originally filmed by ABC reporter John Quinones. It is a discomfiting look at the response in a Texas coffee shop to a woman wearing a hijab, who is refused service there.
Who here is the alien who resides among us? The Egyptian who treated us harshly? Our ancestor? What more might you know about being an alien or being an Egyptian than you knew before?
– Beth Harrison