middot separation rabbi paul saal
rabbi paul saal

rabbi paul saal

Rabbi Paul L. Saal is the founding spiritual leader of Congregation Shuvah Yisrael. He received smicha (ordination) through the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations and served over a decade on its Steering Committee. He is the current vice president of the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council. Rabbi Saal is a trustee and affiliate faculty member of the Messianic Jewish Theological Institute. He is a former editor of Kesher:A Journal of Messianic Judaism and is the author of many published theological papers and articles. He and his wife Robbie are the parents of four daughters and one grand daughter and reside in West Hartford, CT since 1994.

Friday, 22 April 2011 20:24

finding your strike zone

art-strikezoneYeshua is clear on decision making, Let your word be “Yes, Yes” or “No, No”; anything more than this comes from the evil one (Matt. 5:33–37). This command has simpatico with the cannon of Jewish tradition. Rabbi Elazar gave this simple model of clarity, “No is an oath, and yes is an oath.” (Shevit 36a) and Rabbi Ishmael ties sage advice to the narrative of Israel’s national identity as the people of Hashem.

Friday, 15 April 2011 17:56

Shema: 4D approach to life

art-shemaDo you like to make choices?  Whether you do or not, it seems as though for each of us there is a never-ending stream of options that place demands upon our time and threaten the normal and easy flow of our lives. With the blessings of the information age, come even more options, more choices and a still greater demand upon our lives.

Friday, 01 April 2011 04:30

face fear, live life

art-procrastinationForget about it! Just get over it! How does one achieve equanimity? Certainly not by ignoring those issues in our lives that create anxiety, fear and imbalance. Such a philosophy is akin to pretending that the check engine light on our dashboard is not lit. Anxiety can be a valuable warning signal indicative of issues that need to be considered and perhaps confronted. If nothing else, awareness is often half the battle.

Friday, 25 March 2011 04:33

a spiritual inventory

art-broomsI have always thought that cheshbon hanefesh, literally a reckoning with one’s own soul, was a practice most appropriate at the beginning of Elul, the month that precedes Rosh Hashanah. To this end Rabbi Israel Salanter, founder of the nineteenth century Mussar revival, undertook a forty day period of silence annually, from the beginning of Elul through Yom Kippur, to review his past year’s patterns of speech, to atone for wrongful speech, and to recapture the awe and sacredness of each word uttered.

Friday, 11 March 2011 19:39

staying in calm

art-hurricaneIn the fall of 1985 Hurricane Gloria worked its way up the eastern coast of the United States, eventually crossing the Long Island Sound and passing over Milford, Connecticut where I resided with my family. To the best of my knowledge, I had never before seen a category 4 hurricane or anything close to it.  So as the storm was developing over the small beach community, I drove to a public beach and parked in the empty municipal lot. As I trudged toward the beach, I fought through my way through the torrid winds and driving rain. I was able to get within about 100 yards of where low tide should have been before being hit with the spray of the crashing waves. This was the end of my misplaced bravado, and I ran back to my car and drove toward home and high ground.

Thursday, 03 March 2011 06:21

the syntax of silence

art-silentheavenRecently I heard of the business failure of a friend. This was not just anybody, but one of the most generous men I know. Though he is not a wealthy man, he has always been generous giving large sums to charity and always donating his time and talents to the body of Messiah. At times like this it is easy to ask, “where is God?” and “why is He so silent?”

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