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The President of Medgar Evers College invited Rabbi Lerner, editor of Tikkun, to speak to their faculty and students about the struggle for social justice. And the President of Brooklyn College invited Rabbi Lerner to speak to the faculty and student body about his analysis of how best to challenge the hate-filled, racist, sexist, homophobic, Islmaophobic and antiSemitic direction American (and, to some extent, world) society has been moving. While Lerner sees how these tendencies have dramatically accelerated since Donald Trump emerged in the past, his analysis is not narrowly restricted to this moment. You can watch a video that presents some selections from his talk at Brooklyn college by going to John Jay College’s faculty member Jim Vrettos’ media show where he introduces the talk and then gives you an unedited (pardon Lerner’s “um”s) selection at: https://youtu.be/8GHA3AKgr8.
Lerner recognizes that even before Trump, right wing forces have dominated the U.S. Congress and a majority of the state legislatures for much of the past 40 years, and that Democrats have often sought to accommodate them rather than to articulate a fundamentally different worldview. We at Tikkun invite you to listen to a selection from his talk: https://youtu.be/8GHA3AKgr8k. If you find his analysis insightful, please help us get his analysis out into the world by sending this talk to everyone you know and pasting it onto your Facebook or other social media pages, donating to Tikkun at www.tikkun.org/donate, or joining our interfaith and secular-humanist-and-atheist-welcoming Network of Spiritual Progressives (no, you don’t have to be religious or believe in God to be a spiritual progressive–you only have to want our society to be governed by a New Bottom Line of love, generosity, environmental responsibiity and awe and wonder at our wonderous universe).
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You are invited a series of events when Rabbi Lerner speaks in NYC and Rockland County! The President of Brooklyn College has invited him to make a major address Thursday Oct 19 in the series she set up in response to the growth of hate in U.S. politics. That morning he will speak on a panel at Medgar Evers College. And then on Friday night and Saturday he will be the scholar-in-residence at a synagogue in north Nyack in Rockland County where on Friday night he will address “Developing Empathy for BOTH Israel and Palestine” and on Saturday morning he will address the Torah reading (about Noah) and the theme of “Environment and How it is Impacted by Ethics and America’s Spiritual Crisis.”
All of these events are free. Details are below:
1. Brooklyn College. 3:40-5:00 pm on October 19, in the Gold Room of the Student Center. A reception in the Penthouse of the Student Center immediately follows the lecture. Rabbi Lerner’s topic: “Strategies to Combat Racism and Anti-Semitism: The Psychodynamics of American Politics.”
He will discuss the psychopathology in American life that creates the climate in which racism against African Americans and Anti-Semitism grow and strategies to take the country in a different direction. Dinner reception for guests in attendance immediately following in the Student Center Penthouse.
This quarterly issue of the magazine is available both online and in hard copy. The full online articles are only available to subscribers and NSP members — subscribe or join now to read the rest! You can also buy a paper copy of this single print issue. Members and subscribers get online access to the magazine. If you are a member or subscriber who needs guidance on how to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510-644-1200 for help — registration is easy and you only have to do it once.
If you want to taste some of the diversity and complexity in Jewish thought, these four books offer a wonderful way in. Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Geraldine Brooks brings the reader into the mind of Natan, one of Judaism’s earliest prophets, as he tries to make sense of his own life as a collaborator and spiritual guide to a murderous King David who managed to conquer and then create Jerusalem as the Jewish people’s fantasized “eternal capital.” Unlike many of the prophets who eventually had a book written by or about them in the Bible, Natan shows up only in the stories about King David, most significantly when he challenges David for having stolen Batsheva by sending her husband, a commander in David’s army, to a mission designed to be certain death. This was the classic moment of speaking truth to power at the risk of having that power also kill the truth-teller. Building on the Bible, but with her own imaginative creativity, Brooks brings us to the midst of the intrigues that is said to be the family of a future messiah. Eleven hundred years later a similar courage contributed to making Rabbi Akiva, one of the most important figures in the Talmud, a folk hero because of his refusal to abandon the practice and teaching of Judaism commanded by the Roman occupiers of Judea.
A NOTE ON LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
We welcome your responses to our articles. Send letters to the editor email@example.com. Please remember, however, not to attribute to Tikkun views other than those expressed in our editorials. We email, post, and print many articles with which we have strong disagreements because that is what makes Tikkun a location for a true diversity of ideas. Tikkun reserves the right to edit your letters to fit available space in the magazine.
And yes, a new king rose over Egypt
a rabid creature in the shape of a man
without a conscience
a man with small hands
a rubbery pink mouth
that poured lies like oil
emitted hate like carbon dioxide
greedy to devour men, women and children
And the spirits of the women rose up,
and on a determined day they marched
in the capital city and many other cities
they marched for kindness
and dignity in this world
they filled the streets and highways
with love and song
they took photographs of each other’s clever signs
they mocked the king
they marched with babies and men of good heart
they returned to their homes
but the king was still there—the king still sat
on his throne of money
—with a nod to “Paradise Lost,” Book II
A stroke of the pen
what good what harm
a stroke of the pen
like a twist of the arm
a stroke of the pen
like a puppy’s turd
a stroke of the pen
many acts of murder
A stroke of the pen
in the war against women
the smirks of the men
are always well-hidden
Except for the man
most powerful on the earth
finger above the button
he smirks and smirks and smirks
A stroke of the pen—
a keyboard tap
in the devil’s den
the devil’s crap.
The text above was just an excerpt. The web versions of our print articles are now hosted by Duke University Press, Tikkun’s publisher. Click here to read an HTML version of the article. Click here to read a PDF version of the full article. Tikkun 2017 Volume 32, Number 3:18-19
High Holiday Repentance Workbook 2017 / 5778
by Michael Lerner
To acknowledge our own screw-ups is an important first step. But the High Holidays are not about getting ourselves to feel guilty, but rather engaging in a process of change. If we don’t make those changes internally and in our communities and in our society, all the breast-beating and self-criticism become an empty ritual. In many situations and relationships, you are not the only part of the problem—but for the sake of this process, it is your part that you are to focus on, not the part contributed by your partner, spouse, parents, children, friends, etc. Begin to work on your part during these ten days of repentance/teshuvah!
This quarterly issue of the magazine is available both online and in hard copy. The full online articles are only available to subscribers and NSP members — subscribe or join now to read the rest! You can also buy a paper copy of this single print issue. Members and subscribers get online access to the magazine. If you are a member or subscriber who needs guidance on how to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510-644-1200 for help — registration is easy and you only have to do it once.
The Migrant Ship / #refugees welcome: Poems in a Time of Crisis
These two pamphlets from indie poetry presses in the UK showcase how poets across the pond have been responding to the Syrian Civil War, the confrontation with the West staged by ISIS, the refugee crisis that has arisen as a result, plus the immigration nightmare and its consequent social inequalities—all of which are felt more immediately and intensely there than in the U.S.#refugees welcome, which is a short anthology, includes English poets long associated with social action, such as Tom Phillips, alongside many younger voices originating from the Middle East, such as Alice Yousef and Zeina Hashem Beck. The poems vary widely, from verse reportage of working in the refugee camps (Thomas McColl), to spare, rhythmically taut images of violence (Kate Noakes), to the unsettling ironic distances between a world intact and another blown apart (Rosemary Appleton). The poems all evoke the radical American poet, Thomas McGrath’s idea of the tactical poem, intended to move and mobilize people to a cause, in this case social justice for the dispossessed. Murray’s The Migrant Ship works differently, teasing out the psychological implications of diaspora that are at once beautifully spare, allegorically open, and made with tough craft. How to Read the Rest of This Article
The U.S. mainstream media voiced moral outrage when Russian warplanes
killed civilians in Aleppo but has gone silent as U.S. warplanes
slaughter innocents in Mosul and Raqqa, notes Nicolas J S Davies. By Nicolas J S Davies
April 2017 was another month of mass slaughter and unimaginable terror
for the people of Mosul in Iraq and the areas around Raqqa and Tabqa
in Syria, as the heaviest, most sustained U.S.-led bombing campaign
since the American War in Vietnam entered its 33rd month. The Airwars monitoring group has compiled reports of 1,280 to 1,744
civilians killed by at least 2,237 bombs and missiles that rained down
from U.S. and allied warplanes in April (1,609 on Iraq and 628 on
Syria). The heaviest casualties were in and around Old Mosul and West
Mosul, where 784 to 1,074 civilians were reported killed, but the area
around Tabqa in Syria also suffered heavy civilian casualties. In other war zones, as I have explained in previous articles (here and
here), the kind of “passive” reports of civilian deaths compiled by
Airwars have only ever captured between 5 percent and 20 percent of
the actual civilian war deaths revealed by comprehensive mortality