Author Archives: Rabbi Joshua

About Rabbi Joshua

I'm a Rabbi, writer, thinker, mountain biker, father and husband ... not necessarily in that order. According to my wife, however, I'm just a big nerd. I have degrees in dead languages and ancient stuff. I have studied in various Jewish institutions, including an Orthodox yeshiva in Europe. I get in trouble for making friends with perfect strangers, and for standing on chairs to sing during Shabbos dinner. In addition to being the Senior Rabbi of Beth Emunah Messianic Synagogue in Agoura Hills, CA, I write regularly for several publications and speak widely in congregations and conferences. My wife is a Southern-fried Jewish Beltway bandit and a smokin' hot human rights attorney... and please don’t take offense if I dump Tabasco sauce on your cooking.

The Shechinah in Exile

A Classic Repost in honor of Tisha B’Av: The concept of a compassionate and personal G-d is not foreign to Rabbinic thought. One particularly interesting example is the concept of “the Shechinah in Exile.” According to the Tanya[1] (quoting the … Continue reading

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Tisha B’Av: A Reenactment of Tragedy, a Glimpse of Hope

Tisha B’Av Tonight, Wednesday, July 29th, begins Tisha B’Av (the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av). The day itself can be summed up in one word: Tragedy. On this day we remember many of the most tragic events … Continue reading

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A Flood and a Tower

Parashat Noach A Flood and a Tower. These are the two central narratives within this week’s parashah. Noach is rich with lessons for our day, connections to other biblical events, and full of historical allusions within the greater ancient Near East. … Continue reading

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Genesis in Context

I love the book of Genesis! Not only as a religious Jew, but as an academic. I value the theological understandings gleaned through thousands of years of Jewish interpretation. However, I also value the rich tradition of Genesis from its … Continue reading

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New Commentary: Letters of John

I’m excited to announce the release of my new book, a commentary, titled: John’s Three Letters: On Hope, Love and Covenant Fidelity. It is already available for pre-order on Amazon and the Lederer website. This is part of a Messianic … Continue reading

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Holy Cow!

Shabbat Parah This week is a special Shabbat, called Shabbat Parah. It is named after the special supplemental reading, called the maftir, from Numbers 19 that describes the process for sacrificing the Red Heifer. This portion is always read before the beginning … Continue reading

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Divine Presence

Parashat Terumah What is the connection between the construction of the Tabernacle, its furnishings and the Presence of G-d among the people of Israel? This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Terumah, centers on the instructions concerning the building of the Mishkan (the Tabernacle) and … Continue reading

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Yahrzeit of Rabbi Lichtenstein

Today is Hoshanah Rabbah, the seventh day of Sukkot, and also marks the yahrzeit of Rabbi Ignácz (Isaac) Lichtenstein, one of our great Messianic Jewish forbearers. Lichtenstein’s Early Life Rav Lichtenstein was born in 1824, and became a rabbi before … Continue reading

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Changes Ahead

For those who have not yet heard … after seven years at Ahavat Zion Synagogue I will be leaving at the end of this month to become the rabbi of Beth Emunah in Agoura Hills beginning June 30th. We will also be moving … Continue reading

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Passover: Redemption Draws Nigh

Passover begins tonight (Friday, March 30, 2018). While living in Budapest, Hungary, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in a Passover Seder with a large group of Holocaust survivors. This special group opened my eyes to a deeper message of freedom and … Continue reading

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