We are Free to be Wrong (or Something)


Originally posted on January 18, 2014

I want to start with a big disclaimer. Rabbi Amy misspoke. On the episode she stated that she was the first woman to be ordained a Rabbi by the Masorti/Conservative movement in Israel but she actually was the second. Our apologies to all who failed that round of trivia because they got the name wrong. This shows how raw and uncut and unplanned the whole show is. It is organic, it is natural, and it is prone to have errors from time to time.

All that said, we are excited to have the Rabbi Amy Levin join us for this episode! She was right a good 98% of the time. Amy is the previous Rabbi of Temple Torat Yisrael in East Greenwich, RI but at the time of recording was still the active Rabbi of the Temple.


Speaking of errors, how wrong was Jonathan to think that his understanding of Jesus might lead to problems with the good Rabbi? As he found out, as long as he doesn’t go and hurt others he is free to think whatever he wants. The conversation was focused on supersessionism which basically says that Jesus fulfills God’s covenant with the Jews. This is a basic premise of Christianity and is a very real reason why Christians can enjoy the salty goodness of bacon. Yet being a good, progressive minded Protestant, Jonathan lives with a little bit of guilt because of such a stance. He wants to be nice to everyone, or at least hold up appearances of being nice. According to Amy it is ok. According to Amy Jonathan is free to believe what he wants even though he is wrong (according to Amy, we all know that he could never be wrong).

The conversation took a number of very different, very interesting turns. Perhaps the one point that should be lifted up is connection with the covenant with Abraham. This covenant goes before Sinai, before the law, and reminds us the God is the God of Isaac and Ishmael. There is a universal connection with such a covenant that can open things up.

And… try to avoid a cult of personality when looking at scripture and the people within it.


Jonathan is tired of Facebook pictures that are supposed to make you feel good, that are supposed to be moving, and that are supposed to be powerful but are so prevalent and abundant that they seem meaningless and empty. Stop posting the pictures and lists and other things that will “change my life.”

Amy is angry at the “Holiday” tree. It is a Christmas tree. Call it a Christmas tree. Stop trying to be nice to everyone!

Opening the Word

Exodus 13:17-17:16 – the whole thing! If that is a little too much, try Exodus 15:1-18 every morning for a week. Or try it every morning for more than a week. It is a great, powerful song proclaiming who God is in the Exodus story.


Watcha Into!

Jonathan is actually reading fiction! And not any fiction, but Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. He did finish the book a has a blog post about it here where he takes what was a fun read and makes it dull.

Amy is listening to Salman Rushdie’s Joseph Anton: A Memoir. Before you decide to dismiss someone for something they did without actually learning about watching or reading the thing that has caused such offense, read (or listen to) this book. It is not fun to be labeled and condemned.