Melissa Florer-Bixler is minister of nurture at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church in Durham, North Carolina, and a member of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship in Chapel Hill. She blogs at Sign on the Window, part of the CCblogs network.
In the Talmud, there is a story of a group of rabbis arguing over the status of a particular clay oven. Is it clean or unclean? Rabbi Eliezer stands alone against the interpretation given by his fellow sages, and he begins to call upon nature to confirm him.