Archive: Arthur Waskow
Can we now say, "Enough, enough!" -- refuse to drink the intoxicating triumphalist wine of celebration, and turn our attention and commitment to end these wars that take on a deadly "life" of their own?
By Arthur Waskow | May 2, 2011; 02:58 PM ET | Comments (0)
We must ask ourselves what it means for Congress to be exposing an entire religious community to "bigotry and persecution."
By Arthur Waskow | March 8, 2011; 04:31 AM ET | Comments (2)
Time to light our nonviolent sparks.
By Arthur Waskow | January 30, 2011; 03:26 PM ET | Comments (9)
According to the Biblical story of the Exodus, Sinai, and the Wilderness, Pharaoh turned workers into slaves, immigrants into pariahs, and tormented the earth until it rebelled in ecological disasters -- the Plagues. He used his domestic police -- overseers -- to harass and punish dissidents and workers, and his horse-chariot army to subjugate an empire. Yet -- or therefore -- inspired by YHWH, the Breathing-Spirit of the World -- a band of runaway slaves created a whole new form of community. Today, what institutions are behaving like Pharaoh, and how do we create new communities that celebrate the intertwining of many different human cultures with each other and the Earth? What could be the role of a transformed and transformative Judaism in that process, alongside other religious and spiritual communities?
By Arthur Waskow | November 3, 2010; 03:09 PM ET | Comments (3)
I was asked by the organizers of yesterday's "One America Working Together," rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to give one of three 5-minute mini-sermons at the interfaith service that kicked off the rally. I was asked to speak on ...
By Arthur Waskow | October 3, 2010; 03:58 PM ET | Comments (0)
"We intend to live the wisdom that God revealed to the Prophet, peace be upon him: That God created the human race as one family, through a single couple, to become many cultures and communities -- not so that we would hate and despise one another but so that we would come to know and understand each other. (Quran 49:13)"
By Arthur Waskow | August 23, 2010; 03:29 PM ET | Comments (0)
"This is America, and we must not talk like that!"
By Arthur Waskow | August 16, 2010; 09:51 PM ET | Comments (3)
For months, in New York City there has been a boiling controversy over plans to build a peace-committed mosque and Islamic cultural center two blocks from the site of the World Trade Centers. Last week, the Anti-Defamation League threw the national Jewish community into this debate by opposing the construction of the planned mosque. The Shalom Center, after consultations with a remarkable array of rabbis and other Jewish leaders from a broad spectrum of Jewish life, supports the building of the mosque and strongly disagrees with the ADL's position. The statement of these leaders, a list of the 30 initiating signers including Rabbis from a very broad spectrum of Jewish life -- Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Reform, and Renewal is below. We invite you to sign, to join a vigil at noon on Thursday August 5, and to call the ADL to urge them to change their stance.
By Arthur Waskow | August 3, 2010; 09:57 AM ET | Comments (12)
About 200 people took part in a unique fusion of political rally, multireligious prayer, and Tisha b'Av observance at noon July 20 on the grounds of the US Capitol. Videotape from the event will be available by Thursday morning on The Shalom Center's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/TheShalomCenter The major slogans of the rally were "Get dirty fuels out of our air and water/ Get dirty money out of our politics."
By Arthur Waskow | July 21, 2010; 04:21 PM ET | Comments (1)
It is not surprising that -- given the majority ethos in American culture, identifying Christianity and perhaps Judaism with good and Islam with evil, alien -- American usage has allowed the description of some terrorists as "Muslim terrorists," but has failed to call IRA killers or those who have killed abortion providers "Christian terrorists."
By Arthur Waskow | July 12, 2010; 09:03 PM ET | Comments (3)
Three months! --- and it is even clearer now we are facing not an oil "spill" in the Gulf, the way water might spill from a dish or oil from a tanker -- a finite amount in the first place, and then we clean up. What we see iis more like piercing, penetrating, raping the deep-hidden places in the body of Mother Earth, a mile beneath the surface of the ocean, with such ultraviolence that Her very guts are pouring out, drenching and poisoning us. But we can take this disaster as a teaching toward a Turning in our lives and action.
By Arthur Waskow | July 8, 2010; 09:47 PM ET | Comments (0)
All our religious and spiritual traditions warn us against this kind of insatiable hunger for material goods -- often called greed -- and urge us to integrate community, calm, and restfulness into our lives along with striving.
By Arthur Waskow | June 2, 2010; 01:16 PM ET | Comments (2)
The religious values held by Justices of the Supreme Court, as they are interwoven with issues of public policy, may matter -- but absolutely not in the sense of "Which religion do you belong to?"
By Arthur Waskow | May 10, 2010; 11:14 AM ET | Comments (0)
Thomas Friedman, columnist for the NY Times, recently wrote that the Israeli government has become a drunk driver, addicted to swallowing up more and more territory at the cost of any decent peace with Palestine. And like a serious drunk,...
By Arthur Waskow | March 22, 2010; 07:12 PM ET | Comments (0)
Tuesday morning - just two days ago - I wrote half a dozen leaders of progressive thought and action in America, each separately, the letter that follows. It proposes creating a grand coalition calling for independence from the corporate &...
By Arthur Waskow | January 28, 2010; 12:33 PM ET | Comments (3)
We have just received a stunning kick in the teeth to Community and a great victory for Domination: the Supreme Court's decision that corporations can pour as much money as they like into supporting the election of candidates for public office.
By Arthur Waskow | January 22, 2010; 04:41 PM ET | Comments (0)
The movie is extraordinary, not only because of its technology, but for its spiritually rooted progressive politics.
By Arthur Waskow | January 12, 2010; 10:31 AM ET | Comments (3)
The Torah teaches that "ordinary" life-concerns of a soldier, as well as what we might call issues of religion and conscience, stand paramount in an army's relationship to its troops.
By Arthur Waskow | November 11, 2009; 11:02 AM ET | Comments (1)
If the reports are accurate, it seems the Fort Hood shooter broke, choosing murder rather than the nonviolent forms of resistance he might have chosen. In that sense he replicated the violence of the war he abhorred and the violence that kept him in the Army against his will -- replicated the violence instead of resisting it in a deeper way.
By Arthur Waskow | November 6, 2009; 08:05 AM ET | Comments (12)
The world has changed, and so has Jewish holy practice. What must we change for the world to come?
By Arthur Waskow | August 4, 2009; 02:13 PM ET | Comments (10)
The effort to prevent climate disaster for Planet Earth is not going well.
By Arthur Waskow | July 12, 2009; 11:04 PM ET | Comments (0)
The Holocaust Museum murder and the murder of Dr. George Tiller at his church in Wichita share several characteristics.
By Arthur Waskow | June 11, 2009; 11:23 AM ET | Comments (3)
Tiller is a religious martyr, killed in his own church as he arrived to worship, killed for acting in accord with his religious commitments and his moral and ethical choices.
By Arthur Waskow | June 1, 2009; 04:51 PM ET | Comments (14)
As we celebrate Shavuot and Pentecost, consider what might happen if the biblical Ruth, welcomed even though she was a foreigner, came to America today.
By Arthur Waskow | May 27, 2009; 12:44 PM ET | Comments (0)
I wish Obama at Notre Dame had said explicitly that women are moral beings, possessed of moral agency and responsibility in this unique situation where their own bodies are intertwined with another's.
By Arthur Waskow | May 19, 2009; 10:57 AM ET | Comments (1)
The choice is whether America is to celebrate the Infinite God or the tyrannical Caesar. To affirm the Image of God in every human being, or to fall at the feet of Empire.
By Arthur Waskow | May 11, 2009; 03:32 PM ET | Comments (5)
The real meaning of charoset on Passover? It's all about love.
By Arthur Waskow | April 8, 2009; 09:48 AM ET | Comments (19)
Religion and domestic violence have, unfortunately, not been strangers to each other.
By Arthur Waskow | February 25, 2009; 04:13 AM ET | Comments (0)
Repairing relations and affirming the legitimacy of Islam in America, by visiting some major Muslim venues; Repairing the bloody wounds of the Gaza-Israel relationship; and making a broad Middle East peace among Israel, Palestine, all the Arab states, Iran and the USA itself.
By Arthur Waskow | February 2, 2009; 06:07 AM ET | Comments (2)
The Shalom Center is creating a 40th Anniversary New Interfaith Freedom Seder for the Earth to help us free ourselves from the greatest dangers of our time: the dangers of global scorching, the climate crisis, enormous disruptions of human civilization,...
By Arthur Waskow | January 26, 2009; 10:55 AM ET | Comments (0)
I thought God - the real God, the One Who cares passionately about justice, peace, and diversity - came out rather well in the Inaugural ceremonies.
By Arthur Waskow | January 26, 2009; 03:52 AM ET | Comments (11)
In mid-January, several sacred American times will flow together in a way that invites us to draw on the movements for freedom, justice, and peace of forty years ago, to reshape America's future as a new President and Congress take office in the midst of war, economic crisis, and ecological danger.
By Arthur Waskow | January 5, 2009; 03:58 PM ET | Comments (0)
Prophet Zechariah shows alternatives for Hamas, Israel, U.S. in Gaza.
By Arthur Waskow | December 28, 2008; 01:32 AM ET | Comments (57)
When it comes to religion, Barack Obama is deaf in one ear.
By Arthur Waskow | December 23, 2008; 03:54 PM ET | Comments (35)
What do the Iraq War, the drowning of New Orleans, the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the great Australian drought, and the Senate's refusal to assist the auto industry all have in common?
By Arthur Waskow | December 15, 2008; 05:16 AM ET | Comments (0)
The Biblical prohibition of same-sex sexual relationships is rooted in three basic rules the Hebrew Bible prescribes for proper sexual ethics. But these rules were not set in stone forever.
By Arthur Waskow | December 14, 2008; 04:18 AM ET | Comments (17)
The new Administration should work to strengthen those in every religious community -- beginning with those in American mosques and Muslim organizations -- who oppose religious violence. And treat terrorism as a crime to be policed and punished, not defeated by war that breeds more terrorists.
By Arthur Waskow | December 5, 2008; 08:20 AM ET | Comments (53)
Relearning Heschel, Rebirthing King, Re-Inaugurating America: Celebrating the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King As a new government takes office, January 19-20, 2009 (Please circulate this message as widely as possible.) As the United States begins a new Administration and...
By Arthur Waskow | November 27, 2008; 11:24 PM ET | Comments (0)
On Sunday, November 23, The Shalom Center and the Workmen's Circle will hold an action gathering in New York City: Jews Uniting to End the War and Heal America.
By Arthur Waskow | November 15, 2008; 10:54 PM ET | Comments (0)
We have taken only the bare first step on that unknown path to an unknown place, the path of hope and change. But that path is the only way to uncover, discover, our truest self.
By Arthur Waskow | November 5, 2008; 09:27 AM ET | Comments (4)
"Obsession" is an attempt to make not a band of terrorists but all Islam the enemy. Bad enough in itself; even worse that it was deliberately sent to millions of homes through newspapers in the major "swing states" of presidential politics. It was an attempt to transform religious fear and ignorance into religious hatred, and hatred into an election tool.
By Arthur Waskow | October 27, 2008; 08:29 AM ET | Comments (3)
So far the whole notion of rhythmically redistributing wealth - a vision at the heart of Biblical economics - is not on the agenda for Wall Street saviors.
By Arthur Waskow | September 22, 2008; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (4)
Not since William Jennings Bryan ("You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!" and William McKinley ("I knelt to pray for guidance on what to do about the Philippines, and heard a voice: Annex them, educate them, Christianize them!") have we had such a choice.
By Arthur Waskow | September 10, 2008; 10:36 AM ET | Comments (6)
A Presidential Aptitude Test.
By Arthur Waskow | September 8, 2008; 05:14 PM ET | Comments (1)
The Madrid Global Interfaith Dialogue: A Report by Rabbi Arthur Waskow and Rabbi Phyllis Berman * MADRID, SPAIN (Saturday night, July 19, 2008 -- The two of us have just taken part in an extraordinary three-day Global Interfaith Dialogue initiated...
By Arthur Waskow | July 19, 2008; 07:55 PM ET | Comments (7)
It's immoral for Obama to pursue a Mideast policy that doesn't strive for peace with the Palestinians.
By Arthur Waskow | July 13, 2008; 10:17 AM ET | Comments (23)
Early in the morning of April 8, 2009, Jewish communities will have a teaching opportunity that comes only once every 28 years: the festival of Birchat HaChamah, the Blessing of the Sun. In ancient rabbinic tradition, it commemorates the moment...
By Arthur Waskow | June 24, 2008; 11:01 AM ET | Comments (0)