Ordained from Hebrew College of Boston in 2014, Rabbi Alana Alpert serves a dual position as rabbi of Congregation T'chiyah and as a community organizer with Detroit Jews for Justice. Because they have been working closely together on the Michigan Poor Peoples Campaign, she invited Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann to share the teaching for Rosh Hashanah.
Tom Engelhardt argues that Donald Trump will be remembered as the President who committed one of the greatest crimes in history: the destruction of our environment.
This past week the Jerusalem District Court decided that the Mitzpeh Kramim settlement—which no one denies was built on private Palestinian land, and no one contests that that land was taken from the original Palestinian owners by extra-legal means—can remain in the hands of the current settler residents. The reason the court gave was that the deal that was made between the settlers and the World Zionist Organization, who had been given ownership over the land by the army, was executed in “good faith”—tom lev in Hebrew, pure or whole heart. “Good faith” as we shall see, is nothing more than a legal term of art rather than a phrase which describes the actual intentions of any of the parties between the initial Palestinian owners and the current Jewish settler owners. It being the week before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the idea of good faith or pure heart is in the front of peoples’ minds. Maimonides in his Laws of Repentance writes: “Anyone who confesses verbally but does not commit in their heart to abandon [their previous actions], behold this is like one who ritually immerses [in a mikveh for purification purposes] and is holding vermin [which is radically impure] in their hand, and the immersion is not effective until they throw the vermin away.” This powerful illustration sets in stark relief the type of “good faith” that the court was satisfied with.
David Lehrer, who headed the West Coast ADL for 27 years, and now runs Community Advocates, Inc., a non-profit since then, sent Rabbi Moshe Levin this piece he published. Rabbi Levin adds: "I can not imagine a better expression/response to the Jewish establishment who say, Sha, Shtil, don't be political - we just want religion from the pulpit. " Rabbi Lerner adds: For those who use the High Holidays to address everything except the destruction of the life support system of planet earth, the immoral treatment of refugees, the vast economic and political inequalities in this society, the reactionary nationalism that Trump's election has promoted both here and around the world, and who instead focus on narrowly theological questions or urge a spirituality that is focused on being present to the present moment in their lives, but never includes in that present moment what is happening to the tens of millions of people who are being badly hurt by what the U.S. is dong and what Israel is doing at the present moment [implicitly denying that we are all ONE and part of the unity of all being and that the pain of others around the world and in our society ricochets into all of our lives creating depression and despair in ways of which we need to become conscious), I say: please read and re-read the Haftorah for Yom Kippur in which Isaiah, 3500 years ago, standing outside the ancient Temple in Jerusalem to those going to worship God while ignoring the evils and suffering around them. (Isaiah 57, sentences 14 to ch. 58: 14). The Obligation to Speak Up in the Age of Trump
By David A. Lehrer
Community Advocates, Inc., 865 South Figueroa St., 3339, Los Angeles, CA 90017August 2018
Many in the Jewish world has been fascinated by the internecine discussion on the role of our leaders, from Federations to rabbis, regarding speaking up about Donald Trump.
Tikkun's Berlin correspondant Victor Grossman reports on the growing neo-Nazi movement in Saxony and Berlin and the factors leading to their rise.
[Editor's note: this article appeared in Mondoweiss, an important cite presenting frequently accurate critiques of Israeli policies. It is written by an author who has never been willing to write for Tikkun, perhaps because we address not only the suffering of the Palestinian people but also the ongoing PTSD of the Jewish people as well. Nevertheless, his criticisms of those who critique leftist critiques of Israeli policy are often on target. In presenting his views, we do so not to endorse them but to alert our readers to this debate about Corbyn's antiSemitism. While I do NOT accept many of the arguments put forward in this article, I do agree with its major thesis--Corbyn, the head of the British Labor Party, is not an anti-Semite, and it is a disservice to the Jewish people to raise that claim against progressives whose primary sins are that a. they have strong criticisms of Israeli policy toward Palestinians, and b. that they refuse to allow the pro-Israel lobbies around the world to define what is or is not acceptable criticism of Israel.
THE NORMALIZATION DILEMMA
by Yoav Peck
With the death of Uri Avneri, we have lost one of our bravest and clearest voices. I knew Uri and liked him, we met several times in the last few years. In one of his last written statements, Uri writes: "We must decide who we are, what we want, where we belong. Otherwise we will be condemned to a permanent state of impermanence." In this neighborhood, impermanence is a pretty permanent state of affairs.
A Death in the Family:
David McReynolds, Pacifist, Socialist, Ailurophile
by Judith Mahoney Pasternak
A great force for a peaceful world left the planet when David McReynolds, who for decades was the best-known voice of American radical pacifism, died August 17 of injuries from a fall in his East Village home. He was 88 and had spent almost 40 years on the staff of the War Resisters League as a self-described “movement bureaucrat.” He ran twice for the presidency and once for Congress, traveled the world promoting nonviolent resistance, wrote one book and innumerable articles and pamphlets, came out as gay long before most people in public life did, and documented the movements of his time in indelible photographs. He was one of the last (and youngest) of a heroic generation of pacifists who resisted war and militarism between World War II and the Vietnam War and went on to help forge a vibrant peace movement in the aftermath of the wars.
Life Before WRL
Born in 1929 into a comfortable Baptist family in Los Angeles, McReynolds early on evinced his commitment to pacifism and Marxism, saying much later that he “didn’t see how one could be one without being the other.” Equally apparent by his adolescence, if not before, were the outsize contradictions that would characterize his adult life. A tall, gangling teenager, aware of his homosexuality from the age of ten and, as he later wrote, “haunted” by it, in high school he joined the World Fellowship Club to oppose U.S. Cold War policies.
Editor's Note: Thanks to our media ally TomDispatch.com for sharing this article with Tikkun. Can Donald Trump Unite the World (Against Himself)? The Rise of an Anti-Trump Movement Globally -- and on His Home Turf
By Dilip Hiro
One thing already seems clear in the Trump era: the world will not turn out to be the American president’s playground. His ultra-unilateralist, rejectionist policies on trade, the Iran denuclearization agreement, the costs of defense, and climate change are already creating an incipient anti-Trump movement globally (and in the United States as well). To a remarkable degree, the countries he has targeted are banding together to oppose him and his policies. That still inchoate but gathering opposition assures that, whatever Donald Trump’s view of America may be, it is no longer -- in the phrase coined 20 years ago by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright -- the “indispensable nation.” Abroad or even at home, with the president facing increasingly strong headwinds on climate change at the state and local level, we’re entering a new world order on the heels of the collapsed American domination of the past three-quarters of a century. Let’s consider the opposition Trump has generated on an issue-by-issue basis.
Palestinians Fearing “Normalization” of the Occupation–A critical perspective by Yoav Peck of the Sulha Peace Project
For 18 years, the Sulha Peace Project has brought together Palestinians from across the territories with Israelis from around the country, in order to hold people-to-people dialogue and solidarity-building. Of late, many of our Palestinian activists have endured harsh anti-normalization criticism from their friends and relatives, and some have been dragged into long, humiliating interrogations at the hands of Palestinian security. The director of a site where we held a recent gathering was harassed by the Palestinian Authority for renting us space. As we rumble into the 62nd year of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, it may be useful to revisit the contention, strident in various sectors of the Palestinian public, that cooperation with Israelis represents “normalization” (tatbiyah) and is thus forbidden. How is normalization defined?
Read the full story at : https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-arabs-to-lead-tel-aviv-march-in-protest-against-nation-state-l-1.6365103
Tens of Thousands Gather in Tel Aviv for Nation-state Law Protest Led by Israeli Arabs
Protesters waving Palestinian and Israeli flags, chanting: 'Nation-state is apartheid' ■ Netanyahu: There is no better testimony for the necessity of the law'
Bar Peleg and
Jack Khoury 11.08.2018 22:07 Updated: 10:39 PM
Thousands of demonstrators protesting the nation-state law in Tel Aviv, August 11, 2018.Tomer Appelbaum Tens of thousands of demonstrators protesting the nation-state law gathered in Tel Aviv Saturday night in the wake of last week's mass march, which drew tens of thousands of Israelis to protest in solidarity with the country's Druze community.Demonstrators marched from Rabin Square to the plaza of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, which began at 8:00 P.M. Protesters gathered at Rabin Square. A rally under the name "Abolish Nation-state Law – Yes to Equality" took place after the march.Some protesters came waving Israeli and Palestinian flags, despite the organizers' request not to bring flags in order to avoid conflict. Demonstrators held signs emblazoned with statements such as "Nation-state is apartheid." "There is a law here and a government that wrote a fascist, discriminatory law... Netanyahu thinks he will succeed in discriminating, but we have made progress," an marcher from the southern, Bedouin-majority city of Rahat told Haaretz.
BREAD AND ROSES - NEW PARTY ESTABLISHED
A new political party has been formed in Maryland, ahead of the November elections. It’s being spearheaded by philosopher Dr. Jerome Segal, a conflict resolution expert at the University of Maryland, who received over 20,000 votes in his run against Ben Cardin in the Democratic Senate Primary in June.
Earlier this week, Segal submitted 19,500 petitions signed by Maryland residents to the state Board of Elections, in support of the establishment of the socialist “Bread and Roses” party. Under state law, ten thousand signatures are required to organize a political party.
Segal spent more than $1.4 million on his campaign against Cardin in the Senate primary.
Adolf and Amin by Uri Avneri
BINYAMIN NETANYAHU is a perfect diplomat, a clever politician, a talented leader of the army. Lately, another jewel has been added to his crown: he is also a gifted story-teller. He has provided an answer to a question that has perplexed historians for a long time: When and how did Adolf Hitler decide to exterminate the Jews? There was no agreed-upon answer. There were those who thought that it happened already in his youth in Vienna, others guessed that it happened after World War I in Munich, or when he wrote his book Mein Kampf in Landsberg prison in 1924.
Michael Nagler describes how we can make the necessary shift in our vision and strategy in order to "liberate our imagination to describe the ideal world we're working for, a world based on that higher image of humanity."
Reflections on Fasting (and not Fasting) of Tisha b’Av (2018)
I am lucky. I fast pretty easily. I always have. Once in 1978 when I was a steadfast macrobiotic and living in Albuquerque, New Mexico I fasted 52 hours, no food, no water, just to see what it would be like. It’s a story for another time.