Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Lord is My Shepherd 2

Please re-read Psalm 23, perhaps in an unfamiliar translation.

Please re-read Chapter 2.


(Please remember these are merely the questions that occurred to me. Please feel free to raise the issues that interest you.)

1) At the bottom of page 14, Rabbi Kushner writes about having the mind-set of a shepherd as part of the basic assumptions about life in Israel. Got me to thinking... What contributes to the basic mind-set of us Americans? The Pilgrims? Revolutionary War? Manifest Destiny? Shot'Em Up, Cowboys? How different is that from the mind-set of a shepherd? What does a shepherd do? Does adopting the mind-set of a shepherd change the way you might read this Psalm or even the rest of Scripture?

2) pg 15: What is the primary message of Ps 23? How does that tie in with the mind-set of a shepherd?

3) pg 15 again: How does the rabbi define "religion"? How does that tie in with the mind-set of a shepherd?

4) pg 16: What is it Kushner's congregations have taught him that they really want? How is it different from what he says is the lesson of Ps. 23?

5) Over the next several pages he discusses our very human search for security and safety. Where does this search take us? Is it ultimately positive or constructive?

6) on page 21: What is the skeptic's question? Has it been yours? Under what circumstances?

7) also pg 21: Rabbi Kushner writes of Jacob. maybe it would be helpful to read the whole of the passage in Genesis 31. What are the responsibilities of the shepherd? What are the limitations? What does this metaphor reveal to us about God?

8) pg 22- 24: What are the 4 things Kushner says might be God's response to His challengers? What do you think of these responses?

9) pg 24: In about the middle of the last paragraph that begins on that page, he tells us a principle upon which commentators of old operated. What is that principle? What is your reaction to it? How does this principle affect your answer to #8?

10) pg 25 and 26: He discusses the Pieta by Michaelangelo. What is his interpretation of it? How does this emphasize his conviction that Ps 23 tells us that while we may never be safe, we are never alone? What is it the psalmist would teach us?


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