Articles

Rethinking Religion

Jesus and the Jews

Jesus is not what many people think he is. As a cradle Christian, ordained for nearly forty years in the United Church of Christ, it pains me to see how many people at the gate in need of a healing touch have been driven away from that touch by his identity theft.
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Israel/Palestine

Mourning the Dead in Israel/Palestine

We at Tikkun are in mourning for the three teens murdered in the West Bank. We find this act painful and outrageous. And we also know that the revenge/retaliation acts of Israel will only bring about more acts of violence. To end this cycle, Israel must end the Occupation.
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Two Perspectives on Presbyterian Divestment from U.S. Multinationals that Sustain the Occupation

it’s hard to get the two sides in the Jewish world to sit together and discuss the issues, since anyone who supports even the very limited form of divestment proposed by the Presbyterians is, as J Street’s Jeremy Ben Ami said recently in explaining his opposition to any form of Boycotts, Divestments or Sanctions, crossing “a red line” and hence, in the view of the Jewish establishment, automatically suspect of being anti-Semitic. We believe a public debate is a more healthy way to conduct this discussion,
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Books

Beyond the Narrow Straits of Memory

We must face stories of suffering children, as well as the stories of suffering that we tell to children, in order to understand the religious tropes at work in American culture…. By facing our wounds across boundaries, we can struggle toward the blueprints of rebuilding our memoryscape.
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Film

Rabbi Zalman and the Making of Seeking the 36

In 2007 the two of us—novelist Stephen Billias and filmmaker Dennis Lanson—completed our collaboration on a screenplay entitled The 36 about the Lamed Vov, the Thirty-Six Just Men of Jewish folklore. While trying to sell the screenplay, we decided to make a separate documentary film called Seeking the 36 in which we would look for the Lamed Vov living in the world today.
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Poetry & Fiction

Aubade

It’s easy to pretend / that we don’t love / the world. / But then there is / your freckled skin. A poem by Patrick Phillips.

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Judaism

Shavuot’s Revelation of Self

Shavuot provides an opportunity to peer deeply into the open self, a process embodied in the receiving of Torah at Sinai. The question is: will you choose to go up?
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Books

To Deserve Such Pain

During his lifetime, Leonid Tsypkin, who survived Hitler and Stalin only to face the sterility to post-war Soviet life, was forced to write “for the drawer.” Discovered by today’s audience, his style, which blurs the background while simultaneously capturing the specific, has special resonance in an age of near-total surveillance.
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Books

A Painful Past Remembered from Within: Frederic Tubach’s Book on the German Experience During the Third Reich

At once a crash course in the history of Nazi Germany and a weaving together of non-Jewish Germans’ personal recollections, German Voices conveys a sense of what life was like for the average person living under Hitler. While acknowledging that no amount of understanding or empathy can heal the generational wounds of the Holocaust, Tubach nevertheless brings an identifiable human dimension to a period of history that is often dismissed as too horrific to comprehend.
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Environment

Environmentalist Bill McKibben’s Note to Tikkun and the NSP

The fossil fuel companies aren’t normal companies. In the last few years we’ve come to understand that they have five times as much carbon in their reserves as we can safely burn if the world is to meet its agreed climate target of limiting rises in temperature to below 2 degrees. That is to say, if they carry out their business plan, the planet tanks. What this means in turn is that if you hold these stocks you in effect are wagering that the planet will do nothing to limit climate change.
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Books

Dream-Wizardry: A Collaboration Between Rodger Kamenetz and Michael Hafftka

Jacob and Joseph begat Freud who begat Jung, who begat the poet Rodger Kamenetz and the visual artist Michael Hafftka. Their collaborative wizardry, published in the book To Die Next To You, is stunning. The poems and drawings (always paired) create vivid, waking dreams on psychological and spiritual subjects—dreams that are as resistant and open to interpretation as Pharaoh’s.
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Politics & Society

Generative Justice: The Revolution Will Be Self-Organized

Whereas previous generations of revolutionary activists demonized technology, today’s generation has recognized the incredible opportunities to engage citizens that new technology affords. The emergence of the Open Source movement, which emphasizes continual modification and improvement, points to a future defined by generative justice: the constant generation of value within harmonious local networks.
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Politics & Society

What the Left Needs to Be Heard

To steer our culture aggressively in a different direction, the Left needs what right-wing groups have long used effectively—power, influence, and, perhaps most importantly, money. By utilizing a concentrated and ongoing stream of funding from a diverse group of sources, small voices will again have the chance to speak out and be heard.
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Politics & Society

To Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible: Toward a Visionary Left

In the last forty years, the Left has utterly failed to articulate any viable alternative to neoliberalism’s vision of a fully marketized society. Still, the current global crisis of capitalism has made clear the contradiction of a civilization directed toward profit accumulation rather than human need and thus defined the task of an emancipatory Left: we must master capitalism’s own drive toward universality by making its benefits truly common.
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Environment

Trusting the Water Again: Understanding the West Virginia Chemical Spill

On the morning of January 9, 2014, Charleston residents noticed that the air smelled like licorice and that the water tasted like it too. Inspectors soon traced the odor and taste to a chemical storage facility owned by a company called Freedom Industries. There, near the bank of the Elk River, inspectors discovered that a 48,000-gallon tank was leaking an industrial chemical called MCHM (methylcyclohexane methanol) used to cleanse coal.
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