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Jewish Renewal, a new movement that emerged in the last decades of the 20th  century, has become one of the most significant developments in Judaism in the lives of thousands of American and Israeli Jews. Sometimes described as neo-Hasidism by its proponents, and New Age Judaism by its detractors, this movement has produced a fusion of spiritual intensity in its prayers, astounding creativity in its theology, and a joyous renewal of the love-oriented aspects of Judaism.  It refuses to let Holocaust grief, patriarchal or homophobic practices, or Zionist loyalty define what 21st century Judaism will be about. Its most significant well-known expositors are Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Judith Plaskow, Marcia Prager,  Michael Lerner, Arthur Waskow, Shefa Gold, Tirzah Firestone, Burt Jacobson, David A. Cooper, Yitz & Shonna Husband-Hankins, Shaya Isenberg Bahira Sugarman, Simcha Rafael, Jeff Roth, David Seidenberg, Or Rose, Arthur Green, Shawn Zevit, David Ingber,  Phyllis Ocean Berman, Daniel Siegel, and Elliot Ginsburg. Into this boiling over of creativity we can now add Sheila Peltz Weinberg and Rachel Werczberger.

The World Needs Repentance

Notes from the Jewish tradition that may be helpful to people in every tradition and to people who need to connect to ancient spiritual wisdom

WHAT MAKES THE Jewish approach to repentance and atonement relevant to North American and global politics is that it does not focus only on the ways we as individuals “sinned,” (actually, the real meaning of the word sin is to miss the mark; not some sense of being drenched in evil, but just getting off course) but rather recognizes us as part of a community for which we must take collective responsibility. North Americans are so used to the extreme individualism promoted by capitalist values that we rarely think of ourselves as having responsibility for each other. But that is precisely what is needed. So we at Tikkun, the interfaith and secular-humanist-and-atheist-welcoming Network of Spiritual Progressives, and Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-Without-Walls, have developed a set of confessions in the form of “we have sinned when . .

Life So Good

There was another picture of her at their wedding. Two young boys in coffee-colored suits stood behind them, holding guitars way too big for their bodies, surrounded by a crowd of what must have been a hundred, their priest dressed in white toasting them with a big glass of red wine.