Magpies

A poem in the Fall 2011 issue of Tikkun.

Sword and Plowshare in Jewish Thought

Eisen’s book is written as a series of dialogues between two voices: one that believes Judaism accepts and affirms the use of violence, and one that believes Judaism much more strongly seeks and urges peace. This pattern is useful but could be a lot more useful, were it not for two baffling failings in this review of the multimillennial literature.

The Work of Healing

Mary Jane Nealon’s gorgeous memoir works along that revelatory thread, examining the physical and metaphysical life of a person who became both a nurse and a writer.

From the Beginning of Time to the End of Days

The Tree of Life is a brilliant achievement in almost all respects, bringing the eternal and the everyday, the macrocosmic and the microscopic, and the physical and the metaphysical into graceful convergences that are awesome to behold.

Dr. Seuss’s Progressive Politics

Dr. Seuss was, and remains two decades after his death, the world’s most popular writer of modern children’s books. He wrote and illustrated forty-four children’s books characterized by memorable rhymes, whimsical characters, and exuberant drawings that encouraged generations of children to love reading and expand their vocabularies. But, equally important, he used his pen to encourage youngsters to challenge bullies and injustice. Generations of progressive activists may not trace their political views to their early exposure to Dr. Seuss, but without doubt this shy, brilliant genius played a role in sensitizing them to abuses of power.

Twelve-Step Healing: Beyond Disease Metaphors and God-Talk

While it may be true, as Nicholas Boeving states in this issue of Tikkun, that recovery (the blanket term used to describe twelve-step programs) works for only a minority of addicts, that minority is a rather large number: millions around the world. And because recovery is such a large and growing movement, Boeving’s criticisms—which for the most part are valid—only speak to a certain aspect of the twelve-step paradigm.

High Holiday Workbook

Repentance and Atonement Are NOT Just for Jews: A Note to Our Non-Jewish Readers on How This High Holiday Workbook Can Be of Use to You
Tikkun is not just for Jews—it is interfaith as well as Jewish. This High Holiday workbook is an invitation to all people to join with the Jewish people . . .

Is Addiction Really a Disease? A Challenge to Twelve-Step Programs

For most of America, having a disease means having a foreign body assume residence in the biological tissue, multiplying itself and attacking the surrounding healthy tissue. This idea is a direct result of the discovery of microscopy and the bacterial origin of many afflictions. The metaphor here is war, and all good doctors are on the front lines, battling leukemia, eradicating AIDS and other serious illnesses. Sometimes we cause the war ourselves and sometimes we are simply invaded. But where is the infection in addiction? To what can we actually point?

Fresh Tactics and New Voices in the Movement for Justice and Freedom in the Middle East

From the chambers of Congress to the shores of the Mediterranean, nonviolent protesters are rising up against the Israeli Occupation in surprisingly innovative and effective ways. There’s a buzz, and it’s stirring the hive of the American Zionist establishment like never before as we, young Jews, apply our democratic values to the situation in Israel and Palestine. Young Jews are organizing within the Jewish establishment around the world to speak out against the Occupation.

The Arab Awakening and the Israeli-Palestinian Connection

The stunning failure of the international commentariat to foresee the seismic shifts that are engulfing the Arab world today is reason enough to be guarded about what they are telling us now about the causes and meaning of the uprisings. Until events proved otherwise, many self-appointed experts confidently—sometimes arrogantly—explained that the global movement toward democracy had been spurned by the Arab world simply because liberty and equality were “not part of the Arab makeup.” So it must have come as quite a shock to them that the Arab people turned out to be not so different from the rest of the human race! So while caution is strongly advised, there are certain tentative deductions that I believe we can risk making even now.

The Legacy of Abraham Joshua Heschel

Abraham Joshua Heschel was a singular figure in American Jewish history and, indeed, in Jewish thought. Nearly four decades after his death—his legacy remains towering and majestic in the consciousness of the American Jewish community and beyond. How fortunate, then, that Susannah Heschel has given us a new edited collection, Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings. Not only does this remarkable collection provide a sense of the breadth of Heschel’s interests and writings, but the ordering of the selections and the insightful introductions highlight the deep coherence of the different dimensions of his work.

Recognize Palestine! Recognize Israel!

The Network of Spiritual Progressives, Tikkun’s political action arm, is both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine. We are hopeful that UN recognition of Palestine would persuade Israel to freeze its expansion of settlements in the areas that were part of pre-1967 Palestine. We also hope that UN recognition would lead Israel to negotiate in good faith to create a Palestinian state and reach a just settlement of all remaining issues, ensuring security for Israel and Palestine.

Austerity as Spiritual Depression: The Current Economic Assault on the Middle Class

Our ruling elites believed that it was necessary to squash all hopeful, prophetic, or visionary discourse. They attacked our ability to imagine people caring for each other rather than focusing narcissistically on themselves. Now, however, the loss of faith in each other that generated our society’s emotional and spiritual depression has managed to cripple the rational capitalists as well.