Our Confidence is in the Shalom-Maker

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. In the early days of the New Year I stumbled upon Psalm 46. I was thinking about how God disarms our violence, and I landed on this psalm on this January morning. But here the song—for it is a song that celebrates the […]

Do My Ancestors Matter?

The road to Bethlehem began in the northern town of Nazareth, a tiny backwater town in the Galilee region known for heavy accents and backward thinking. José hoisted the last of the luggage before helping his betrothed María, now with child, onto the animal. Together they set out on the long journey to fulfill the […]

Remember Your Exodus

“…you shall love the alien as yourself; remember that you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” Lev. 19:34 Remember when we were slaves in Egypt, our men working in the brickyards under relentless quotas and merciless taskmasters? Remember the death edict that stole our sons and the risks we took to save as many as […]

Peace Is Not Dead Yet

Bethlehem isn’t far from Jerusalem. It’s maybe just a 10-minute drive. Our taxi was waved through the checkpoint. As we took the worn asphalt road toward Star Street, Claude asked our driver what he thought of Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority that controls parts of the West Bank. He turned toward the […]

When Walls Crumble: A Tale of Tea, Lazy Saturdays and Separation

This summer I traveled back to Israel-Palestine. As my friend Elie and I drove to Sepphoris, through Nazareth and back, she told me what it was like growing up in Jerusalem. “On the weekend we would drive to Bethlehem to eat and shop. Everything was closed on Saturdays for Shabbat, but Bethlehem was just a […]