Letters on Kucinich and the ESRA, Saving the World from Corporate Greed, Beyond Government, Hamas and Palestine, Gay Spirituality, Hindu Spirituality, Saints Perpetua and Felicitas, "Assimilationist" Politics, Pragmatism or Morality, and God and Theology.
Fiction & Poetry Articles
Fasting for Tom Zipper
I sent a text to my rabbi, asking whether I would have to give up coffee for Yom Kippur -- but my cell phone "corrected" my message, assuming that "Yom Kippur" was my typo-laden attempt to thumb-type "Tom Zipper." My rabbi texted me back, asking (reasonably enough) why this Tom Zipper fellow would want me to give up coffee.
Vol 25.6 NovDec 2010
Education. Consumerism. Incarceration. Henry Giroux's new book identifies these as three key forces in binding contemporary youth to the social structures of neoliberalism.
Analysis of Israel/Palestine
Jewish opposition to the State of Israel arises partly from the sense that Judaism is a religion of introspection rather than political action.
A Great Yearning Fills Them All…
The search for an aesthetic and epistemological language of representation out of the shards of lives that were destroyed first by "progress" and then by two world wars becomes increasingly elusive and desperate. "Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz" by Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer is one of the most eloquent culminations of that search and a powerful indicator of the physical and cultural traces that survive into the twenty-first century.
Racial Justice: New Structures and New Selves
In his famous March 2008 speech in Philadelphia, then-candidate Obama asked us to move beyond a racial politics that demands a perpetrator and a victim and instead to begin to embrace the full complexity of race in this country. Yet, as we enter the winter of 2010, this rhetoric of hope and change has given way to an administration that has been disappointingly silent on race, as well as milquetoast in its policy prescriptions, even as multiple populist movements stir up white fear and anger.
Latin America’s Rising Left
Oliver Stone has provided a great antidote to mainstream U.S. media coverage of Latin America with his latest film, "South of the Border."
Tell us, poet, what you do—I praise / Only, instead, the grave rasp of Kohelet / praising the dead, which are already dead / more than the living, which are yet alive.
Vol 25.6 NovDec 2010
Strange Land, New World
I am the first Jew to live in this cloistered Benedictine monastery. I don't blend. I wear a kippah everywhere I go, and I observe the Sabbath and all Jewish holidays. I'm studying to become a rabbi, and I live here in this remote community of Catholic monks vowed to chastity and obedience.
Elements of a Philosophy for Diaspora Judaism
Why be Jewish? Why join temples? Why bother to introduce our children to Jewish ideas and practices? Answers to these questions vary from person to person and from age to age, but the questions persist. The questions seem as perpetual as the Jewish people itself.
Iranophobia: The Panic of the Hegemons
In the United States as in Israel, much of the hawkish fearmongering against Iran comes from the Right. How can the moral panic theory explain that? Moreover, the same kinds of fears now directed toward theocratic Iran were aimed, just a few years ago, at the secular government of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
Justice & Prisons
Oscar Grant or Lebron James? The Systemic Devaluation of Black Life in America
On the same day that millions of people watched Lebron James announce he was going to Miami, twelve jurors in Oscar Grant's case decided that, unless he can put a ball through a hoop, a black man's life is worth little in America. Two decisions -- both resulting from five hundred years of white supremacy.
Obama: The Fear of Assassination and What You Can Do About It
Why has President Obama let us down? How come he lied to us? Why has he not kept his campaign promises? These are questions I frequently hear from people who attend my speeches and book signings.
JFK, Obama, and the Unspeakable
The military-industrial complex, more powerful today than ever, imprisons the president. When he accepts the power to kill everyone, the president becomes a prisoner morally and politically to the demands of our national security state. Once the president accepts nuclear power over the world, his permissible movement is confined to a very tight space -- tighter than we as citizens might imagine.
War & Peace
Not My Priorities: A National Campaign to Decrease Military Spending
At $708 billion, the Pentagon gets nearly 60 percent of our discretionary budget (the money Congress is free to allocate). Meanwhile our schools are in crisis, lacking the money for teachers and books, and social welfare programs are weakening, depriving the most vulnerable members of our community of vital support and health care.