Isaiah is just as relevant today as he was in his own time, in the 8th century BCE. His words of com fort and hope -- and his reminder that we need to put social justice at the heart of our Jewish lives-- are as vital and meaningful for contemporary Israeli society as they were in the past.
This past Saturday, I was scheduled to lead Torah study in Mishkan Shalom. Actually, I don't "lead" it so much as I "weave" it, choosing the specific passage we read and then encouraging the participants to explore their own thoughts and feelings about it.
This personal and institutional modesty appeals to many U.S. Catholics, especially those who had been put off by the seeming arrogance of the Vatican. Reflecting this change 88 percent of U.S. Catholics think Francis is doing a good job in his role as Pope.
Earlier this month -- just in time for the holidays -- an automatic cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) decreased food aid to 47 million Americans who struggle to afford food on a daily basis.
Can this world be saved? The prophet encourages us to answer, 'Yes.' If we 'lay aside the works of darkness,' we will see that violence is a problem to be solved and not part of God's plan to destroy the world.
Speaking to power through song was a common practice among the prophets of Israel. In Isaiah 5:1-5, the prophet who writes switches to the role of ballad-singer, introducing his listeners to a song titled "My Dearest Friend's Vineyard."
As a minister, I want both reconciliation and justice. If you think there is no racism in this nation, you are willfully blind. If you believe there has been no progress towards racial justice, your eyes are not open.
This corporate triage is what lies behind the arrogance of the 1 percent in their treatment of the 99 percent. The result of this triage is societal unrest, instability and an inevitable increase in violence, poverty, disease and war.