↼ Good ࿝ Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life to read online ⢮ Kindle Author Lauren Winner ⤿

↼ Good ࿝ Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life to read online ⢮ Kindle Author Lauren Winner ⤿ ↼ Good ࿝ Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life to read online ⢮ Kindle Author Lauren Winner ⤿ SukkotOxford , MississippiBack when Mississippi was dry, Ole Miss students and anyother Oxford residents who wanted a drink would drive to Memphis,just across the state line, stock up on beer and whiskey, and haul itback in the trunks of their cars Memphis was also where you went ifyou needed fancier clothes than you could find at Neilsons departmentstore, or if you just started feeling itchy and trapped in the smallhot downtown and wanted to go out dancing You didnt need to leaveOxford to find a cherry Coke, which you could share with two strawsat the Gathright Reed drugstore, and you didnt need to leave Oxfordto go to church There are plenty of churches in Oxford Baptist,Methodist, Pentecostal, Episcopal, all kinds.Before I arrived this week for a Southern history conference, Idbeen to Oxford and Memphis exactly once each, on separate trips Iwas a bridesmaid at my friend Tovas wedding in Memphis, at thePeabody, the famous hotel where ducks swim in an indoor fountainand where they say the Delta starts.I dont remember Oxford nearly as wellit had been the stop inbetween Nashville and Hattiesburg on a rather frantic research trip formy masters thesis, a blur of archives and oral history interviews Ihadnt gotten to do any traditional Oxford activities, like go to a tailgatingparty before a football game or recite an ode to Faulkner.My trip to Oxford this time might not be any relaxed Imhere giving a paper at a conference on the Civil Rights movement,and my schedule will be full just sitting in the auditorium and listeningto historians talk But the conference ends on Friday and Im stayingover till Sunday morning so my plan is to try to do one traditionalOxford thing on Saturday It hasnt occurred to me that Ill spendSaturday doing the most traditional Oxford thing there is, which isgoing to Memphis.The conference, all in all, is stressful Stressful because I feel verymuch the youthful, inept doctoral candidate reading a paper in frontof all these famous historians, including my thesis advisor and otherpeople whose books line my shelves Stressful because my dress isever so slightly too tight, and Id managed to leave New York withouta single pair of stockings And stressful because one of the otherpeople speaking at this conference is my erstwhile beau This conferenceis small, only a dozen or so people participating Ill never beable to avoid him.His name is Steven like me, hes a history grad student.We trieda transatlantic relationship, Steven in Arkansas where hes getting hisdoctorate , me in England where I was finishing my masters degree.But I freaked out for reasons I still dont entirely understandand broke up with him in May I last saw him six weeks ago, earlyAugust, one very tense afternoon in Virginia He was there workingwith papers at Alderman Library, and he stopped by my mothershouse the day I was packing to move to New York I was tired anddistracted and we argued and he said I yelled at him the way you yellat someone you love and I denied it and he left Later, my friendHannah looked at me pointedly it was over the phone, but I couldfeel her looking pointed and said, That was very unwise You shouldnt have agreed to meet with him Well, I said That was allI said I couldnt think of anything else to say.Two months later, I call Hannah from the airport, this time on myway to Mississippi Have a good conference, she says, call us whenyou get there Then she adds, Dont let Steven get you alone like youdid in Virginia.Steven ignores me at first, wont even make eye contact or sayhello, but the second night of the conference we all attend a receptionat the Episcopal church, and hes half drunk on red wine by the timeI get there Its the only time Ive ever seen him even approximatedrunkenness He had this delinquent youth in Boston, smoked potevery day from the age of twelve, passed out on the pavement fromangel dust, crashed his mothers car after downing too much bourbon,and shoplifted antiques and canned goods Once, a friend of his hadbeen entrusted with several hundred dollars, to buy provisions for achurch youth group trip He and Steven spent all the money on drugsand then stole 400 worth of groceries hams, gallons of milk, bags ofapples The chronology has always been a little fuzzyIm not surewhen exactly he stopped breaking the law, but I think during college.And since then Steves walked the straight and narrow, the extremelystraight and narrow Doesnt smoke Doesnt chase skirts Doesntdrink much Swims every day Eats wheat germ in his oatmeal atbreakfast.But there he is, standing on the patio of St Peters Episcopal, puttingaway red wine and getting slightly glassy eyed, which I knowonly because he decides finally to make eye contact with me The eyesare enough of an invitation I walk over to him and we talk about thisand that, how smart his paper had been, whether he plans to ignoreme for the rest of our professional lives.When everyone else goes insidefor dinner, we stay outside and talk, and finally we duck out ofthe back of the church and find a restaurant, where I drink a gimlet and eat the best chicken Ive had in months Then we go to Faulknersgrave, an exciting and authentic Oxford activity, and Steven, whoknows these things, says that when you visit Faulkners grave you haveto drink bourbon in his honor So we find a little liquor store, and buya tiny bottle of Makers Mark, like the kind they give you on airplanes,and go and sit by his tombstone, and I shiver slightly in the Septemberair, thinking about how Willie Morris had died over the summer,and how my friend Pete, who was in Jackson then, had drunk a bottleof George Dickel in Willie Morriss honor and then gone toChoctaw Books and bought The Courting of Marcus Dupree I thinkabout how Faulkner is buried here right next to his wife, even thoughthey had the most miserable marriage And I think about how muchSteven loves me, and I try to remember why I had broken up with himin the first place This may have been precisely what Hannah wasworried about.What are you doing on Saturday I ask I vaguely recall thatmonths before, Steve had said he might go to Hattiesburg to do research,and if that is still his plan, I might tag along I could always useanother day in the Hattiesburg archives, and it would be better thansitting around in Oxford car less and alone, especially now that Ivealready done the Faulkner thing.Im planning on going to Memphis, he says.Oh yeah, what for Theres this church there that I went to when I was up in Memphisin August I thought Id go back.But Steve, tomorrow is Saturday One goes to church on Sunday.He clears his throat and coughs This is a Messianic Jewishchurch Synagogue They meet on Saturdays, you know.I do know I am a Jew, after all Ive devoted Saturdays thanI could count to worshipping in synagogues of one stripe or another.That wedding in Memphis had been full of Orthodox Jews, kosher keeping, Sabbath resting Orthodox Jews in modest clothes singing Hebrew songs and dancing whirling, ecstatic, sex segregated dances the wedding was on a Sunday, and I spent the morning before chantingfamiliar prayers in the womens section of Memphiss Orthodoxshul.That was before I gave in to Jesus, admitted Id been fighting withhim all these years the way you fight with someone you love, prayedthe Sinners Prayer and got baptized I knew all about Jewish serviceson Saturdays It is one of the things you know when you are part ofthe olive tree onto which all the other Christians have been grafted Evangelical friends of mine are always trying to trim the cornersand smooth the rough edges of what they call My Witness in order toshove it into a tidy, born again conversion narrative They want an exactdate, even an hour, and I never know what to tell them The datableconversion story has a venerable history Paul, the most famousJew to embrace Jesus, established the prototype of the dramatic, datablerebirth He was walking on the road to Damascus, Luke tells us,off to persecute the zealous disciples of the newly dead carpenterwhen Jesus appeared to him, and Paul became his follower instead ofhis foe Centuries later, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, wasatttending a meeting in Aldersgate Street listening to Luthers Prefaceto the Epistle to the Romans, his heart was strangely warmed Atthat instant,Wesley later wrote in his journal, he felt that he did trustin Christ alone for salvation and an assurance was given me that Hehad taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sinand death Less notable personages have dramatic conversion stories,too My high school physics teacher sat in her kitchen reading theGospel of Mark one day when, in an instant, she knew that Jesus wasGod and had died for her sins My friend Tim dedicated his life to Christ when he was four at a missions conference at Bibletown, inBoca Raton, Florida He had seen a puppet show about Jesus knockingon your heart So he opened it and asked Him to come in.My story doesnt fit very well with this conversion archetype A literaturescholar would say there are too many ruptures in the narrative.But she might also say that ruptures are the most interesting partof any text, that in the ruptures we learn something new.I had no epiphanic on the road to Damascus experience I canttell my friends that I became a Christian January 8, 1993, or on mytwentieth birthday.What I can tell them is that I grew up Jewish Ican tell them about the time I dreamed of Jesus rescuing me from akidnapping I can tell them I woke up certain, as certain as I have everbeen about anything, that the dream was from God and the dreamwas about Jesus, about how He was real and true and sure I can tellthem about reading At Home in Mitford, a charming if somewhat saccharinenovel about an Episcopal priest in North Carolina, a novelthat left me wanting something Christians seemed to have I can tellthem about my baptism.A few years after the dream and a year before the baptism, I sat,drinking cider that scalded my tongue, with a Presbyterian ministerI had known since my first week as an undergraduate at Columbia.Pastor Mike, I said, I think I am beginning to believe in Jesus.Pastor Mike sipped his cider in silence Finally he said, You know,Lauren, you cant just divorce Judaism.I felt like Id been socked in the stomach Pastor Mike urged meto talk to the campus rabbi, and then he said, I had no idea when youtold me you wanted to get together that you wanted to talk aboutChristianity I thought maybe you were going to come out to me as alesbian.Which, on a campus obsessed with identity politics, mighthave been congenial than a Jewish student prattling on aboutJesus.Some weeks later, I walked into the bookstore at Union Theological Seminary and bought a Book of Common Prayer, which felt likethe boldest, most daring do thing Id ever done The next day I gaveaway all my Jewish prayer books I left them anonymously on the stepsof a nearby shul, the way an unmarried mother might have left herbaby on the steps of an orphanage in some earlier era.I havent spoken to Pastor Mike since that morning Its been threeyears I tried to write him a letter once or twice, to say, You knocked thewind out of me with that divorce line you cavalierly tossed out over yourcrumb cake But the letter didnt gel I got through, Dear Pastor Mike,Remember last time we spoke, at the Hungarian Pastry Shop, and thatwas as far as I got.Pastor Mikes metaphor, I learned, was useful trading my Hebrewprayer book for an Episcopal Book of Common Prayer felt exactly likefiling for divorce That was the only word I could come up with The Christian I became, the I needed to have nothing to dowith Judaism Every new Christian habit, purchase, or prayer was accompaniedby the unlearning of a Jewish habit, the cessation of a Jewishprayer I donated my Havdalah set and one of my tallisim to asynagogue I gorged on lobster and got drunk on the driest, most expensivebottles of Amarone I could find I sold crates of sixteenthcenturyJewish poetry and Hebrew commentaries on the Torah to abookstore in Chapel Hill I got an email from my friend Leah, thena Jewish Studies major at Duke I was just at a used bookstore onFranklin Street, and I picked up a Mikraot Gdolot for incrediblycheap Lauren Winner was scribbled in the coverthat wouldnt beyou, by any chance She didnt ask why I was selling off my library.The only Jewish habit I couldnt set aside was baking challah,which I kept up every Friday, two misshapen braided loaves, madewith whole wheat flour, the recipe my friend Simone taught me.Wehad spent a long afternoon a few weeks before my Bat Mitzvah bakingchallah in her kitchen That challah got me into college my entrance essay was about baking bread as a feminist experience, about womenpassing down secrets from one generation to the next, in the kitchen.Pretty sophisticated, I thought, when I wrote it at fifteen Six cups offlour, four beaten eggs, a packet of yeast dissolved in a dish of warmwater, a dollop of honey, some butter, poppy seeds for the top if youwant them, or raisins for the inside at Rosh Hashanah, to remind youthat the New Year is sweet Mix it all together, save for some of theegg to glaze with later Knead it and let it rise in a warm place in awell oiled bowl and punch it down after it doubles in size Divide thedough into snakes and braid The braid will always look better raw, precise and perfect than after the bread bakes.Divorce doesnt come easy I am as bound to Judaism as my parentsare to one another Theyre not married any, but they have daughters,so they still see each other sometimes, at weddings and collegegraduations, and sometimes they talk on the phone, about going in togetheron an expensive birthday present for me or my sister.I gave away all my Jewish books and let go of all my Jewish ways,but I realized, as I spent time with other Christians, that Judaismshaped how I saw Christianity It shaped the way I read the Bible, theway I thought about Jesus, the way I understood what He meantwhen He talked about the yoke of the law I found my heart sometimessinging Jewish songs I thought I had given away all my Jewishthings, but I found that I hadnt Id just given away some books andmezuzot and candlesticks I hadnt given up the shape in which I sawthe world, or the words I knew for God, and those shapes and wordswere mostly Jewish.Shortly after buying that Book of Common Prayer, Imoved to England, to study for a masters degree in history at ClareCollege, Cambridge Cambridge is where I was baptized and confirmed, where I first received communion, where I learned Christianliturgy and hymnody Cambridge is where I learned to say simplephrases like Im a Christian and Im off to church.When, two years later, I moved back to New York to begin doctoralwork, I had to learn something else how to be a Christian in aneighborhood where everyone knew me as an Orthodox Jew I didntknow how to tell Jewish friends that I had become a Christian, didntknow how to explain to old professors why I now could attend classesduring Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, didnt even know what to sayto my accommodating Catholic acquaintance who, delighted thatI was back in New York, had made dinner reservations for us at akosher dairy restaurant on the East Side.Just after Labor Day, barely three weeks after Id moved back toNew York, I traveled to Balti to meet with a couple, Jews turnedEpiscopalians.We sat rather awkwardly in the kitchen of their refurbishedVictorian, drinking coffee and making small talk They werenot sure why I had come, and I could not explain Finally I blurtedout, I tuck my cross underneath my blouse every time I see someonein a yarmulke On Friday night, I actually ducked behind a fruit cartbecause I saw an old friend from collegeit was clear she was comingfrom Shabbat services, and it was equally clear that I was headedto a local Italian restaurant where I would do forbidden things likespend money on Shabbat and eat forbidden food like shrimp scampiand prosciutto.Oh, said the wife Now I see Youve come to see us becauseyoure trying to figure out how to put your life back together.On the train back from Balti to New York, I made up mymind to do several things buy a Hebrew siddur call up my friendTova, whom I had avoided since joining the church and visit a MessianicJewish synagogue.Messianic Jewish synagogues are the spiritual homes to congregation of Jews who have become Christian, but who retain some Jewish practices.They worship on Saturdays, they sometimes pray in Hebrew,they observe some of the Jewish holidays Their men wear prayershawls and yarmulkes Their women dress modestly and sometimescover their hair.I have always hated Messianic Jews They have always made mewant to run screaming in the other direction This hatred is not a veryChristian way to feel, but I feel it anyway They have always freakedme out, they unnerve me, they give me the willies I want to shakethem and say Make a choice Pick a religion But on the train backfrom Balti I was pierced by a sudden sympathy Making thischoice is not so simple after all Relinquishing all your Judaism at thefoot of the Cross isnt easy Maybe the Messianic Jews knew somethingthat I did not know.So it seemed providential when, sitting there by Faulkners grave,Stevenwho is no Jewish than Quentin Compsonsaid heplanned to spend Saturday morning at Brit Hadasha, home to MemphissMessianic Jews.Tova, it turns out, is in Memphis the same weekend, the weekendof my history conference Shes visiting her family for Sukkot, theFeast of Tabernacles On the drive from Oxford I fantasize about runninginto her I know I wont, I know shes tucked away in her parentshouse and at her shul, miles from Brit Hadasha, eating a feast hermother prepared in her familys sukkah and singing my favorite Shabbatsongs.Sukkot is one of the things I gave up because of Jesus I gave upPurim, which I love, and kashrut, which I love, and dipping challahinto honey on New Years, which I love All because I was courted bya very determined carpenter from Nazareth People ask me if I miss Judaism Yes, of course, I miss it I miss Purim, and challah, and theway kashrut sanctifies every bit of food you put in your mouth AndI especially miss sitting in a sukkah.God tells us how to celebrate Sukkot in Exodus 23, Leviticus 23,and Deuteronomy 16 First, we learn that we are to celebrate a festivalfor God when we gather in our crops from the field Then, welearn that the Feast of Tabernacles takes place on the fifteenth dayof the seventh month, Tishri, for seven days During that time, allnative born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants willknow that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them outof Egypt And the Bible commands us to Sukkot joyBe joyful atyour Feastyou, your sons and daughters, your menservants andmaidservants, and the Levites, the aliens, the fatherless and the widowswho live in your town.On Sukkot, Jewish families each build a hut, a sukkah, to remindthemselves of the sukkot the Jews inhabited while they camped in thedesert for forty years.We dont really know what those first desert hutslooked like Rabbi Akiva, a Talmudic sage, says that the originalsukkot were flimsy, ramshackle, twigs and bark and cactus needles, butanother rabbi, Eliezar, says the sukkot were far granderthey wereclouds of glory that accompanied the Jews all through their desertwanderings, protecting them from night animals and helping themnot lose their way Today, the sukkah you would build might be aneight foot cube, made from plywood held together with nails andtwine You cover the roof with greenery the covering is called a schach,and it should be translucent enough to let in starlight and inviteneighborhood children to hang drawings on the walls You eat all yourmeals in the sukkah, and drink all your drinks, and sometimes evensleep there I miss Sukkot because it is while sitting in the sukkah thatyou learn lessons about dependence on God, that even the walls ofyour brick house are flimsy The trick is to grab hold of those sukkahlessons and remember them once youve taken apart your shaky hut and resumed eating your meals in the spacious kitchen of your fourwalledsplit level.During the service at Brit Hadasha, I imagine dropping by Tovashouse afterward, plopping down in her familys sukkah and joiningthem for lunch I imagine lingering over a lacy tablecloth out there inthe sukkah, talking about holiday things and peering at the clouds andthe sky through the schach, through the branches and leaves up above.In the end, of course, Steven and I dont go sukkah crashing.Wego downtown to eat pulled pork barbecue instead.Brit Hadasha is off of i 240, and the building is nondescript.If you didnt know the name means New Covenant, youmight easily mistake it for a Reform synagogue Steven and I sit in hisgreen two door for a few minutes, watching the parking lot fill upwith the usual assortment of minivans and SUVs, battered Hondasand old Volvos I watch carfuls of smiling women and children paradeinto the sanctuary and wonder what Im doing here Couldnt I havedone this anonymously in New York Did I really think it was a greatidea to spend Saturday at a house of worship with my ex boyfriend My hands shake, and I contemplate staying in the car and reading anovel for two hours while he goes in and prays.Steven interrupts my reverie I like it here because these people arepariahs, he says They dont fit in anywherenot with Jews, notwith Christians Being a Christian means being a pariah, Lauren, itmeans not fitting in anywhere in this world Your Episcopalians are nopariahs.When we walk in, a middle aged woman with short gray hair anddangly earrings greets us Good Shabbess.Welcome to Brit Hadasha.Is this your first visit Steven gives a complicated answer about howhe had been here on Rosh Hashanah, but it is my first time And where are you from Before he could give another complicated explanation,I say, Arkansas, which is where Steven lives, take my NewVisitor card, and go find a seat.A man clad in a tallis, a prayer shawl, stands at a podium in thefront of the room, and a small choir clusters to his right, leading thecongregation through songs that are printed on a transparency anddisplayed on a large screen In the corner of the room, a circle ofwomen are dancing, some variation on the hora I am prepared forthat Ive read a recent ethnography of a Messianic Jewish congregation,and the author explains that dancing is an important element ofMessianic worship services I feel an unexpected pull to join them.The dances are similar to those at Tovas wedding I have not yetfound a group of Anglicans who love Jewish folk dancing.The service consists mostly of songs, with a little spontaneousprayer thrown in.No one mentions Sukkot The fact that it is Sukkotdoesnt seem to be part of the service at all Why bother playing at Judaism,I wonder, annoyed, if you dont move by the rhythms of the Jewishcalendar I have been trying, since I got baptized, to learn to live accordingto the seasons of Advent and Lent, but so far my body stillthinks in terms of Jewish holidays.The absence of Sukkot is just one of many things that irritates meabout the service The pink satin yarmulkes, straight out of a Reformsynagogue in the 1980s, irritate me The gold and magenta bannersproclaiming yeshua irritate me And the music irritates me Ratherthan sing the haunting melodies available to anyone who is casuallyacquainted with the centuries old Jewish cantorial tradition, the folksat Brit Hadasha seem content with songs that sound as though theyhad been lifted from the praise music guide at any nondenominationalevangelical church, only Brit Hadashas songs have a littleHebrew thrown in.This is how I feel all morning that Brit Hadashas Judaism is just raisins added to a cakeyou notice them, but they dont really changethe cake The structure of the service bears no relation to the Jewishliturgy, and I cant tell if my fellow worshippers think that being Jewishleads them to understand Jesus any differently from the Presbyteriansdown the street Add Hebrew and Stir I am bored and show off,screwing my eyes shut when I sing the Hebrew songs so that Steven,and everyone else, will know I that I dont need to read the transliterationsflashed up on the screen in front of us.Occasionally I offer up a silent prayer that the Holy Spirit willwork overtime on my heart and help me stop being judgmental longenough to recognize that these people are worshipping the RisenLord, but I dont really want God to answer this prayer.Sukkot comes at the end of the season of repentance, twoweeks after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, theDay of Atonement As part of the work of repentance, Jews say specialpenitentiary prayers called slichot The slichot start at midnight the Saturdaybefore Rosh Hashanah, because the rabbis knew that the heavensare most open to prayers at midnight Among the slichot prayers isone you will say again on Rosh Hashanah, and on all the days betweenRosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and again on Yom Kippur, whenGod is making His final judgments about who will live and who willdie, whom He will forgive and whom He will punish Adonai, Adonai,el rachum vchanun, erech apayim, vrav chesed vemet, notzer chesed lalafim,nosey avon vafesha vchatahah vnakeh The Lord, the Lord, of compassion,Who offers grace and is slow to anger,Who is full of lovingkindnessand trustworthiness, Who assures love for a thousandgenerations, Who forgives iniquity, transgression, and misdeed, andWho grants pardon It is a list, culled from the thirty fourth chapter ofExodus, of Gods thirteen merciful attributes, attributes that, accordingto the rabbis, shine most brightly during the season of repentance.The prayer, a reminder to God not of our merit but of his capacity to overlook our sin, is sung to a particularly haunting melody, myfavorite from the entire cantorial literature It is minor, and repetitive,and dirge like, and some people say that Jews wailed its tune as theywalked to the gas chambers in Treblinka and Sobibor.At Brit Hadasha, we sing a mostly English but laced with Hebrewsong also based on that slichot prayer, but this tune is zippy, full ofrhyme and vim and pep In the middle of the song I slip out of thesanctuary and make my way, through the circle of dancing women, tothe ladies room, where I stare in the mirror and think I wish for thisservice to be organic and seamless, but the seams show everywhere.Whatever part of me had come to Brit Hadasha hoping also to findthe key to marrying Judaism with the cross is disappointed I am notgoing to find any answers in a church that thinks clapping and tambouriningits way through Adonai, el rachum vchanun is a good idea.This must be why I hate them, I say out loud to the mirror I musthate them because I want them to give me a formula for how to be aChristian Jew and I know their formula will never be my formula AfterIve spent time than is respectable in the bathroom, I returnto my seat next to Steven, settling in for praise music, a Torahreading, and the homily Across the aisle, a red headed little girl in awhite straw hat smiles at me and dances a little dance.The rabbi is in the middle of a sermon series on the Book ofJoshua Well, thats refreshing, I whisper A whole sermon serieson something from the Old Testament You would never hear that ina regular church Steven shushes me before I can climb onto one ofmy favorite soapboxes, the Christians think the Bible starts with Matthew soapbox.This weeks sermon is on chapter 7 In chapter 7, Achan, from thetribe of Judah, steals some silver and gold and a beautiful robe Joshuatakes Achan to a valley and he is stoned to death Ever after, the Book of Joshua tells us, that valley is known as the Valley of Achor, whichmeans trouble.The rabbi proceeds to read this chapter just like rabbis read in theTalmud, the fifth century compilation of Jewish oral tradition.Where else is the Valley of Achor mentioned in the Bible he asks.This was a favorite rabbinic strategyif a word appears only two orthree times in the Bible, then God is telling us that when we comeacross one mention, we should think of the other passages that use thesame word This, for example, is how the rabbis figured out what activitieswere forbidden on the Sabbath There are two words in Hebrewfor work, avodah and melacha In the Torah, we find avodah alot, but God used melacha only twicein the list of the thirty nineactivities that went into building the tabernacle, and in the verses, likeExodus 31 15, that forbid working on the Sabbath For six days, workis to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to theLord The rabbis reasoned that He used melacha in those two placesso that we would make a connection the tabernacle activities must bethe activities that are forbidden on the Shabbat.Achor shows up in Joshua, and then again Hosea 2 15, where Godpromises to turn the Valley of Achor into a door of hope And whatdoes God mean, the rabbi at Brit Hadasha now asks, when Hespeaks of transforming this valley of Achor, this Valley of Trouble,into a door of hope He tells us in John 10 9, when Jesus declares, Iam the door Whoever enters through me will be saved The doorpromised in Hosea, a promise that in turn looked back to Joshua, wasJesus, the only door that could undo the trouble of Achor.His reading is dazzling I am dazzled I have not heard anyone readScripture in this particular rabbinic way since I became a Christian.The rabbi has done just what the rabbis of the Talmud did when theysqueezed out the Sabbath prohibitions from the word melacha Thereis something Jewish about this place, I think , the most important Jewishthing of all They read like Jews.The rabbis marriage of the Old Testament with the New is so striking that I hardly notice what comes nextan altar call If anyonehere does not know the Lord, the rabbi says, I invite you to comeforward I invite you to come up here and pray with me to ask ourSavior into your life.We might have been at a Billy Graham crusade.During the altar call Steven weeps, hunched over in his chair, cryinglike hes just been told the saddest news in the worldwhen, in fact,hes been told something very wonderful, which is that Jesus died topurge his sins He weeps, and I sit next to him with my hand on thesmall of his back and my cheek pressed into his shoulder blade I amboth praying for the Spirit to set up shop in his heart, and wonderingat all the work the Spirit had already done.The couple behind us hollers out loud, peppering the rabbis wordswith amens like a pair of black Baptists No one answers the altar call,which doesnt surprise me but is nonetheless a little sad, an unansweredaltar call being kind of like an uneaten piece of pie.There is no weeping on the drive back to Mississippi.We listen,predictably, to Patsy Cline, and Steven drives too fast, and we getpulled over by a cop who looks like he stepped out of a made for TV movie.When the cop has driven off and Steven has tossed theticket in the backseat, he turns to me and says, I bet you think copsare your friends, right You dont get nervous when they pull you over.You would think he was a black high schooler in the dark of a LosAngeles night, but hes just pulling rank, sage Boston bad boy to thesheltered Southern judges daughter.I laugh, and kiss his neck, and for the rest of the drive, Steven keepsto seventy, which gets us to Oxford soon enough The afternoon is anice tea afternoon, under two sprawling trees on campus, and thatevening we hope for a rainstorm to run in but no rainstorm comes and we hold hands and maybe we pray a little, too.The next morning he gets up at five to drive me back to Memphis, to the airport, and I go back to New York and he goes back to Arkansas.He tells me Ill forget the weekend as soon as Im home, that it hadbeen a weekend of borrowed time, a surreal four days when welounged around a surreal little town and that I would go back to mylife and conveniently forget.I believe him He knows me pretty well, and he is pretty convincing.I imagine that as my plane hovers over Queens, it will all vanish.It doesnt, though It doesnt vanish, and I come home and call himand tell him so, and I marvel over all the things that can make us cry leaving Jesus and too much whiskey He asks me if I think we shouldtry again, to try to build an us, he says, and I say that yes, I think weshould try, and we smile, he in Arkansas and I in New York, and wehang up, and I stretch and drink a glass of water and then take ashower that is long.Simchat Torah, the holiday that immediately followsSukkot, is the day Jews set aside to celebrate reading Every week, insynagogue, Jews read a few chapters of the Torah, just enough so thatone hears the entire chumash, the entire Five Books of Moses, in ayear On Simchat Torahliterally, joy of the Toraha cantor readsthe last parsha, the last portion, the final two chapters of Deuteronomy,and the community starts all over again, paging back to the beginning,back before Moses and back before slavery, back beforeAbraham and Noah and Adam even, back to the creation of theworld Jewish holidays begin at night, and when I step out of theshower and wrap up in a big pink towel, it is getting dark It is gettingto be Simchat Torah.I have things to do unpacking, laundry, homework There arebooks I need from the library, and I told my father I would call himwhen I got back to New York, and I have no milk for breakfast Butinstead of doing homework or laundry or milk, I find a long purple dress in my closet and somewhere a pair of tights and a wooden barrettefrom the basket on my sink, and I put those things on, and I goout into the world, down the block past the library and then to shul,for Simchat Torah To a shul where I sometimes worshipped in college,when I was still an Orthodox Jew, a shul where they know Hebrewand know melodies and know nothing about Jesus.Simchat Torah is one of the few times you will find men andwomen mingled together in an Orthodox synagogue After maariv,the evening prayers, the women come down from their balcony, andall the Torah scrolls are taken out of the ark, and everyone dancesthem around, scroll by scroll, person by person, making what in Hebrewis called hakafot, circlings or rings, dancing around the synagoguein a circle that mirrors the circle danced through the Torah eachyear As you dance, you pray, Ana Adonai, hoshia na Oh Lord, saveus The congregation makes seven hakafot, seven different circular parades,carrying our scrolling, circular book around and around theshul The hakafot can last hours, on and on.When I get to shul, maariv is over, and men and women are alreadythronged together in the sanctuary, kissing Torah scrolls andpelting those who carry them with wishes Long life we sing to themen holding Torahs And the prayer threads through all of it AnaAdonai hoshia na Save us, save us, save us.After the hakafot will come a reading from the Torah, the versesabout Moses death.Tonight the reading will be about his death, andtomorrow morning the Torah will start over, In the beginning, Godcreated the heavens and the earth.But I will leave before the Torah reading I stay for just an hour of hakafot I dance, and I feel the way I felt about Steven when we weresitting there at Faulkners graveside I think about how much lovethere is here, and I wonder why I left in the first place I watch the crowds delight, the joy that comes from a year of reading Torah, andwhile I watch, I calculate another lectionary in my head In church, weare working our way through the Gospel of Mark, and this week weare starting the tenth chapter, where Jesus, speaking to the Pharisees,recasts the mosaic laws about divorce I remember that in two months,Advent will start, and the beginning of Advent is when the church hasits own Simchat Torahthe beginning of Advent is when the churchfinishes one yearly cycle of Scripture readings and begins again As wemake our hakafot around the synagogue, I sing the prayers, I sing, AnaAdonai hoshia na, ana Adonai hatzlicha na I pray with my hands open,I pray that the Lord our God will save us And I watch the Torahscrolls dance by, and I know that I have already been saved.With refreshing nuance, clich less vulnerability and an inviting candor, Lauren Winner recounts her journey of coming to know the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ If only of us could learn to share the gospel of Gods grace with our culture as Lauren does in Girl Meets Godwith a heart for building bridges and for listening and dialoging about redemption through Jesus, as opposed to boring our neighbors with irrelevant and club ish religio speak This book should become a required text for any class on evangelism, and it is essential reading for those of us who want to learn how to share the gospel in a postmodern world Scotty Smith, senior pastor of Christ Community Church, Franklin Tennessee A fun and intellectual read With skillful imagery and a writing voice that shouts for attention, Winner takes us along for the ride on her quest for spiritual truth, reminding us of the rich tapestry of Jewish faith and Christian belief.Julie Ann Barnhill, author of Scandalous Grace Girl Meets God tells a redemptive tale, winsome and insightful, yet sure to raise a ruckus in heart, mind and soul Ive been waiting for Lauren Winner for a very long time, a young, sharp, sassy writer who lovingly kisses the face of God and doesnt care who sees.Lisa Samson, author of The Living End Over the years, several of my friends have asked me a question like this How can a reasonably intelligent person like you believe in God, Jesus, church, heaven Sometimes their question implied a longing to believe in their own soul, but that longing kept running into a conflict with integrity, honesty, experience Lauren Winners wonderful spiritual memoir goes right into the heart of that conflictand smiles the winsome, wise, humble smile of a pilgrim who has some mileage on her shoes and who knows something we all need to know.Brian D McLaren, author, pastor, fellow in Emergent Winners record of her own experience so far is a page turning debut by a young writer worth watching Publishers Weekly, starred reviewHer narratives real strengthis its addictive readability combined with the authors deep knowledge of, delight in, and nuanced discussion of both Christian and Jewish teachings Intriguing, absorbing, puzzlingand very smart Kirkus Reviews, starred review Unusually challenging and satisfying This book is a refreshing invitation to plumb our own spiritual depths The Roanoke TimesEye openingvivid Winston Salem Journal Winner searches for truth within the boundaries of both Jewish and Christian orthodoxy, sucking the marrow of experience right from the bones of tradition To watch her search is to see a small demonstration of the process described in Pauls letter to the Ephesians the joining of two bodies Jews and Gentiles in one person Winner herself becomes a metaphor for what occurs in the person of Christ.Betty Smartt Carter, Books and Culture Lauren Winners edgy brand of twenty something authenticity is a stimulating and intelligent read that will inspire many to explore the reality of the forgiven life.Margo Smith, managing director of Hulls Family Bookstores, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaLauren Winner tells the story of her spiritual pilgrimage with modesty and charm She describes her path so appealingly that many readers will ask, How can I meet this guy, too Frederica Mathewes Green, NPR commentator and author of Facing East Girl Meets God On the Path to a Spiritual Life Edition Rather, Girl is like an ageless classic, after style of CS Lewisbut with little flair Like book Mere Christianity I predict, meets will be read over and popular for generations come And yes, there charm this book, but it s haunting In God, appealingly honest young woman takes us through year in her search religious identity Despite conversion, she finds that Quotes by Lauren F Winner Goodreads showing There are few people out whom you fit just so, and, amazingly, keep fitting so even have Paperback See The Gift Being Jewish Woman Joannie Tansky Brand New YouTube Sign now see your channels recommendations Watch Queue A Memoir ReadingGroupGuides How does passionate about faith suddenly find Jesus spent my whole life seeking writes Winner, here, something, self confessed boy crazy, pointy headed academic shares quirky path spiritual journey from Judaism compelling Amy Welborn One night had dream She been kidnapped mermaids live at bottom sea After time, was rescued taken childhood home North Carolina Summary eNotes Homework Help Questions What pros cons When say hard know if mean reading Discussion LitLovers Is story homecoming says very first thing liked Christianity, long before ever occurred me go church or creed call myself Christian, Incarnation world still shaped experiences Even as rejoices holy days Christian calendar, mourns rituals holds dear Analysis FreeBookNotes found sites summaries analysis MemoirIf SparkNotes, Shmoop guide, Cliff Notes, can Jews Jesus absorbing, amusing authentic narrative It also linear uses holiday cycle framework recounting sojourn since on Book Get library most us, wants something believe child Reform father lapsed Southern Baptist mother, chose become Orthodox Jew But faithfully ThriftBooks same plane, then, becomes puzzle piece molecule short holyThis glorious, shared one Those books me, preciousLauren Alaina Cries Reba Tells Her Early ACM McEntire called tell won Female Vocalist Year, met silence other end The winner BBC Young Musician An interview Music Magazine talks Bachelor Contestant B Wearing Engagement Ring Jan , Bachelor favorite Bushnell looks woman, judging ring finger, less here than eye photo surfaced Tuesday Bacall Star Making Bacall Will Golden Age Hollywood back were when silver screen populated real actors actresses not stars Beginning late way up s, time filmville maintained biggest studios, colossal productions, phenomenal talent Finale Arie Proposes Becca Then Dumps Nation, we made finish line Monday three hour season finale, Luyendyk Jr his final choice between publicist Kufrin sales executive Kate Books Official Website Author promised shout digital rooftops moment news, Fallen movie coming United States film theaters September th Obituaries Advocate Marguerite Hutchison SD passed away Saturday, Sept Regional Healthcare Center Funeral service held Thursday, am Mason Home Polo Ralph cologne fragrance men Polo fans beautiful, eternal things Its name awakens association closed circle chosen has its rules tr SoCal NBA Nikkei Bowling California Bowling leagues tournaments Aspiring Kennedy We got incredible ruins walk both lakes minute each Edie took killer nap despite struggle push stroller along gravel Blue Aromatic Fougere launched created Carlos Benaim Christophe Watch Magic City Inside Atlanta Strip Club Runs full length documentary award Greenfield, get strippers, rappers, hustlers, dreamers make legendary More strip club, ATL hot spot where aspiring rappers use club influence hip hop industry try big, dancers DJs shots they seek their own fame fortune Wikipedia b k l born Betty Joan Perske August American actress known distinctive voice sultry looksShe named greatest female star classic cinema Film Institute, received Academy Honorary Award Motion interview Engagement wearing what Then traditions As truly masculine perfume, contain floral notes, apart camomile, which grassy scent opening composition green fresh, Association organized help increase general interest game bowling within heritage Japanese culture community allowing members foster encourage spirit good fellowship, keen competition, sportsmanship, fair dealings all activities men menPolo LaudamielTop notes melon, mandarin orange cucumber middle basil, sage geranium base musk, woodsy suede Hip Hop day semester working students overseas involved picking new group Dublin airport taking them via private coach visit Celtic monastery, Glendalough, set gorgeous Wicklow National ParkWell, didn t Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life


    • Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life
    • 1.4
    • 87
    • Relié
    • 320 pages
    • 0877881073
    • Lauren Winner
    • Anglais
    • 20 August 2016

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *