by: Rebecca Shimoni Stoil on November 7th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
In this week’s elections, the majority of Jews once again voted for candidates advocating more progressive economic policies (higher taxes and more government support for the poor) – 69 percent according to one poll, 65 percent according to another.
Why did even wealthy and upper middle class Jews, whose own narrowly defined economic interests might better be served by tax cuts, lean progressive? Because the legacy of Jewish religious teachings, Jewish history, and Jewish culture all push Jews to side with the oppressed even at the expense of personal financial or other forms of sacrifice. Even the grandchildren of assimilated Jews carry with them the message of the Torah that we have a special obligation toha’ger (the stranger or “other”) and the Torah’s call to “love the stranger and remember that you were strangers in the Land of Egypt.”
I’ve acknowledged in my books Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation and Embracing Israel/Palestine that there is a counter-strand in the Jewish tradition – I call it “Settler Judaism.” These two strands often appear in tandem as though the editors of our holy books could not fully decide upon which of these two voices to confer legitimacy. It’s a dynamic apparent within most cultures throughout history. In the Jewish context, both strands alternate, and which gains legitimacy depends on many extrinsic factors. What’s remarkable is how strong the voice of caring for the “other” has remained given all the traumas of Jewish history and the pressures of a capitalist ethic pervading most aspects of contemporary capitalist society. It’s true that under conditions of perceived threat, many Jews find themselves unable to apply this message to the Palestinian people. But they nevertheless apply it to domestic politics in the U.S.
by: Tikkun on November 6th, 2014 | No Comments »
As you know, the fundraising drive is heating up and we are getting closer to our $5,000 goal. The “Hour for Our Campaign” asks that you donate the equivalent of what you earn or charge an hour per month to the NSP as a bold statement that you want to build OUR world – a world based on a New Bottom Line.
The average american works more than 160 hours a month. Would you be willing to put one of those hours toward building our better world? To succeed, we need your financial support and involvement – we need each other, we cannot build this world unless we do so together. We hope you will join us.
As part of our campaign and in hopes to double our membership, we ask that when you join (or if you’ve already joined) that you ask 2 friends to join this campaign as well and ask them to ask two friends, and so on and so on! Through this effort, we will easily meet and ideally exceed our goal of doubling our membership. Won’t you join us with one hour to help build our world?
(Click Here To Donate)
And if you need another reason to support us, here is one more thing Tikkun is doing to help change the world: organized conference calls.
These can be costly and time-consuming–after Skype failed us during one call, a valiant Cat Zavis continued the international conference on her cell phone, which isn’t the cheapest method–BUT we are dedicated to our cause and letting peoples’ voices be heard, and we want to continue bringing you quality conversations that are free for you to listen to and even join.
So please consider clicking here to donate (donations are tax-deductible since we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit).
by: Kevin Daugherty on November 5th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
Credit: The Hampton Institute
Growing up, I was often exposed to the idea that capitalism and Christianity go together. Profit and wealth were not simply compatible with Christianity, but were a sign of God’s blessing or your personal piety. I remember going to the Christian bookstore once or twice and seeing large piles of books with that topic specifically in mind, usually by Dave Ramsey, who was recently on the 700 Club for a new book of his. In that interview, one of the first things mentioned is how Ramsey and Robertson agree that wealth is a good thing, and that those who see wealth as bad are wrong, even “gnostic.” I don’t think the heretics here are the “gnostics” who believe that wealth is wrong; rather, I think the heretics here are Ramsey, Robertson, and others in their camp, who seem to have forgotten what the New Testament and early church taught concerning economics.
by: Neil Arya on November 5th, 2014 | No Comments »
Credit: Creative Commons/Makaristos
I am writing after seeing a series of letters from fellow practicing physicians justifying acts of brutality during the most recent conflict in Gaza. What concerns me more than any particular political position is finding empathy in such short supply among those within the healing professions.
To begin with the numbers of killed and injured on each side are not as Stalin would have put it mere statistics. They DO matter, first and foremost because they represent real people, each of whom has grieving and aggrieved brothers, sisters, mothers, and children, but also because proportionality is an element of international law. According to various sources, during Operation Protective Edge Israel lost sixty-six soldiers and six civilians including one child while just over 2,100 Palestinians died in Gaza with over 75 percent as non combatants, six times as many were injured, 17,000 had housing damaged, and more than a quarter were displaced. The economic cost with damage to civilian infrastructure is estimated at 6 billion dollars, and even with the influx of international aid, it would take decades to repair. This tally appears remarkable when one of the most sophisticated (and reputed “moral”) army in the world faced off against reputedly callous, terrorist groups. Neither side appeared to hesitate prior to launching rockets or indiscriminate attacks in areas with no places for children to hide — in schools, daycares, playgrounds or beaches — spawning nightmares and lifelong fears.
by: Isaac Luria on November 4th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
Exodus 33: 13-14
13 [Moses said], “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
14 G-d replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Credit: Creative Commons/ Guido van Nispen
On a late Spring afternoon two years ago, I vividly remember watching my colleague Macky Alston hold a room of multifaith movement for justice activists spellbound when he recounted his remarkable religious journey. Macky had grown up religious, realized he was gay, and then worked his way back to Christianity.
While I listened, I felt myself grow jealous, wishing I had a compelling story like Macky’s. Then, I felt empty. I may have joined Macky at Auburn Seminary a year earlier, but I still didn’t have a great understanding of why I had taken this new job in progressive religion.
I knew the answer wasn’t simple. My journey was different, my story hidden from view.
by: Aryeh Cohen on November 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »
Credit: Creative Commons/ Ken Zirkel
It is election season, and here in California that means that it is time for direct democracy. As in every election in California this year we are called on to vote for or against a pallet of good, bad, and indifferent laws. Proposition 47 changes the California code so that certain low level felonies (e.g. petty theft, shoplifting under $950, and small amounts of controlled substances) are reclassified as misdemeanors. This would lead to less or no prison time, and the resulting savings would be redirected to schools and institutions, which work with drug addicts and people trying to leave gangs.
Proposition 47 (which is being called Safe Neighborhoods and Schools) is personal for me. This is not because I will directly and personally benefit from either the reclassification of some felonies as misdemeanors, nor will I gain from the redirection of monies saved to schools and rehabilitation projects. Proposition 47 is personal because California’s judicial system in which all Californians and I are implicated is broken. In our name and by our (in)action the penal system is committing injustices on a daily basis.
by: Rabbi Richard F. Address on November 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »
Credit: Creative Commons/pixabay
Reverend Dr. Jade C. Angelica introduces us to her approach to caregiving for people with Alzheimer’s by reminding us that it is about “the power and potential of true encounter.” That “true encounter”, inspired in many ways by Buber, Heschel, and a host of others, is a motif that is unpacked in her readable and informative narrative about her personal journey with her mother. Where Two Worlds Touch: A Spiritual Journey Through Alzheimer’s Disease joins a growing list books and articles that have begun to address the growing challenges to families and society that are emerging with the aging of the baby boomers.
by: Tikkun on October 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Tikkun Daily Winter Fundraising Drive is in full swing- and we would like to extend a huge thank you to those who have begun to help us reach our goal. We’ve raised 20% of our goal in the first week of our campaign and we couldn’t have done it without your help.
Another vital aspect of keeping Tikkun alive is memberships. Have you joined our movement? Our memberships are on a sliding scale, but if you make a donation of at least $50 you get a free subscription to our print magazine. We are also willing to work with recurring monthly donations, as a steady source of help is much more sustainable in the long run. With the membership, you get access to exclusive web-only offerings and the full web versions of our print articles, along with insider updates on trainings, conferences, and events!
PLUS, Our Special (Musical) Gift to You!
As an incentive we’re offering you a free downloadable album with your donation or NSP membership. Radical Amazement is a collection of songs by a diverse array of artists, all with a message of love, kindness, and generosity. Politics and spirituality blend to create an enjoyable and inspiring musical selection. In one week members of the Network of Spiritual Progressives and donors to our Fall fundraiser will be able to download the full album. So please, if you haven’t already done so, donate here! Trust, us you don’t want to miss out on this musical experience.
Are you curious as to how your donations to Tikkun will bring change to the world? This week we’d like to look at the first reason:our Israel/Palestine Workshops.
We have been leading workshops on “Grieving and Mourning What’s Happening in Israel and Palestine and Learning to Communicate Across Differences” in response to requests from folks throughout the country. This is what some have said about these trainings:
“It was a powerful, life changing workshop”
Or from another:
by: Thandeka on October 29th, 2014 | No Comments »
Below is a snippet from an article we’ve presented to you here on Tikkun.org. Because of its quality and importance in these times, we wanted to include a piece of it here on Tikkun Daily as well.
America’s New Spiritual Pioneers
An Unfolding Political Story About Emotions Lost and Found
We are at the dawn of a new era in progressive faith and politics in America.
This new era has not yet emerged because most of its members – millions strong – are spiritually leaderless and do not have a shared identity. Moreover, they lack the institutional gravitas of sanctuaries networked together to create a force field in American politics.
Presently, these folk simply get tallied in religion surveys and in the media as a subset of the “Nones,” namely, as the 17 million self-identified spiritual folk among the 46 million Americans without religious affiliation. But they are more than this.
They are America’s new spiritual pioneers. And 80% of them are politically moderate or liberal.
by: Tikkun on October 28th, 2014 | 4 Comments »
We invite you to join Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives on a conference call with Michael Nagler regarding ISIS and whether non-violence is still a plausible political principle in an age of fundamentalist terrorism. You can call in Wednesday, October 29th at 12:30 p.m. PDT or 3:30 p.m. EDT
Many peace-oriented activists have had moments in the past few months in which we wished we could stop the genocidal behavior of ISIS and the kidnapping and raping of young women by Boko Haram–by any means necessary. It becomes harder to resist war policies of the Obama Administration when we know of these crimes being committed by fundamentalist terrorist groups. In such a world, has non-violence lost its relevance?
We’ve asked Michael Nagler to address this question, in dialogue with Tikkun editor Rabbi Michael Lerner, in a conference call for subscribers to Tikkun and currently paid-up members of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. Michael Nagler is the director of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, founder of Peace Studies at U.C. Berkeley, and author of The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, our Families, and Our World. He was the co-chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association (2009-2011). There will be an opportunity for listeners to submit questions and comments too.