THE BLOG
11/20/2013 07:03 pm ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014

Join 67 Rabbis: "Step by Step Toward Shalom With Iran"

As of Tuesday morning, November 19, 56 additional Jewish clergy have joined with the original eleven signers of the Rabbinic Statement "Step by Step toward Shalom with Iran" -- a path of shalom that protects the peace and security of Israel, the U.S., and Iran. Please see below the full list of signers up to now.

We are hoping to add to this number before making the statement public, and to that end we are inviting Rabbis, Cantors, Rabbinic Pastors, Chaplains, and Kohanot to sign. (At this stage, please, Jewish clergy only.)

Why do we think it important for Rabbis to make public a statement along these lines?

First, for the sake of publicly reaffirming, honoring, and embodying the powerful prophetic and rabbinic voice, now millennia-long, that has called on us all to "seek peace and pursue it." One of the sacred Names of God is "Shalom." To advance it is one form of making holy the Name - a nonlethal form of Kiddush HaShem.

Second, because in this moment the rabbinic voice can actually matter in the broader world. There is a real question whether the forward momentum of diplomacy so far can be maintained in the face of hostility from ultranationalist elements in Iran and demands for more draconic sanctions against Iran coming from some elements in Israeli and American politics.

Though only the negotiators have seen the actual proposals that are close to agreement, it seems they look toward suspension of Iranian nuclear enrichment along with a partial easing of some sanctions. That would seem to be the first step -- only the first step, but a necessary one -- in seeking shalom and pursuing it for all the parties involved -- Israel, Iran, the whole region, and the U.S.

Security for each people to live under its own vine and fig-tree with none to make them afraid.

As the debate intensifies between worsening threats and calming steps, we think the Rabbinic voice can make a difference.

So with a sense of urgency in this moment, we invite you to join in the statement and to invite your rabbinic, cantorial, & pastoral colleagues to do so as well. To sign, please click here -<https://theshalomcenter.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=4&reset=1>

Step by Step toward Shalom with Iran

As Rabbis, Cantors, and other Clergy serving the American Jewish community, we are deeply committed, as Jewish tradition teaches -

§ to the shalom -- peace, social justice, functioning democratic process, and ecological sanity -of the country where we live - all of which would be damaged by still another unnecessary war;

§ to the shalom, peace and security, of the State of Israel, to its democratic character, and to its special relationship with the Jewish people;

§ to unequivocal action by all the Arab-majority and Muslim-majority states to make peace with Israel, and to Israel's unequivocal action to make peace with all its neighbors, including an emergent Palestine;

§ to our respect and our prayers for salaam, peace and justice, among our cousins in the Abrahamic tradition, Arab and Muslim civilizations;

§ to the peace and prosperity of all the "70 nations" of the world;

§ and to the healing of our wounded planet.

For all these reasons, we welcome warmly the greatly increased possibility of a peaceful resolution of the conflicts among the U.S., Iran, Israel, and other nations.

We especially welcome the new attitudes toward the Jewish people and toward the nuclear issue set forth by the new President of Iran, and his assertion that Iran will never hold nuclear weapons. We also recall the repeated assertions and fatwas by Grand Ayatollah Khameini that for Iran to possess nuclear weapons would violate Islam.

We urge the U.S. and Iran to move swiftly to agree on a step-by-step process of reducing and ultimately ending sanctions against Iran in accord with steps by Iran to make its nuclear research transparent and to allow verification that its research is directed wholly toward civilian uses of nuclear energy. We believe that such a step-by-step process is the best way to guarantee that both parties are fulfilling their commitments.

We urge Iran to make clear its full acceptance of Israel as a legitimate state in the fabric of international relations, protected like all other states from aggression and attack.

We urge the Government of Israel to welcome steps by Iran to make clear and verifiable its commitment to use nuclear energy and research for peaceful purposes only, not for pursuit of nuclear weaponry, and while this process is under way, we urge Israel to end hostile acts and statements toward Iran.

We urge the peoples of the United States, Iran, and Israel to reject and oppose all statements and actions from whatever source that undermine the swift and thorough achievement of agreements to ensure the civilian nature of Iran's nuclear program and to end sanctions against Iran.

We urge the American people to recognize and do tshuvah ("turning" or "repentance") for the ethical errors of our own government toward Iran - particularly, the U.S. government's intervention in 1953 to overthrow the democratically elected reform government of Iran; U.S. actions to support the tyrannical regime of the Shah until the Iranian people overthrew it in 1979; and U.S. support for Iraq's wars of aggression against Iran in the 1980s, including U.S. support for Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons to kill 100,000 Iranians.

We urge the Iranian people to do tshuvah for their government's demonization of the United States and Israel, for its holding U.S. diplomats hostage for more than a year in 1979-1980, and for the support it seems to have covertly given for attacks on Israeli citizens.

We believe that this combination of governmental acts and public rethinking and re-feeling can move American society, the entire Middle East, and the world toward the shalom that Judaism yearns for.

Signed:

To add your name to ours, please click here - <https://theshalomcenter.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=4&reset=1>

Shalom,

Rabbi Amy Eilberg
Rabbi Everett Gendler
Rabbi Marc Gopin
Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kremer
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling
Rabbi Ellen Lippmann
Rabbi Gerry Serotta
Rabbi David Shneyer
Rabbi Susan Talve
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Rabbi Sheila Weinberg
Rabbi Rebecca Alpert
Kohenet Ellie Barbarash
Rabbi Eliot Baskin
Rabbi Leonard Beerman
Rabbi Phyllis Berman
Rabbi Leila Gal Berner
Kohenet Shoshana Bricklin
Rabbi Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus
Rabbi Joshua Chasan
Rabbi Andrea Cohen Kiener
Rabbi Hillel Cohn
Rabbi Renee Edelman
Rabbi Diane Elliot
Rabbi Ted Falcon
Rabbi Michael Feinberg
Rabbi Fern Feldman
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone
Rabbi Nancy Flam
Rabbi Jeff Foust
Rabbi Hillel Gamoran
Maggid Andrew Gold
Rabbi Laurie Green
Rabbi / Kohenet Jill Hammer
Rabbi Shaya Isenberg
Rabbi Burt Jacobson
Rabbi David L Kline
Rabbi Douglas Krantz
Rabbi Hannah Laner
Rabbi Richard Levy
Cantor Abbe Lyons
Rabbi Jeffrey Marker
Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon
Rabbi Yocheved Mintz
Kohenet Tiana Mirapai
Rabbi David Mivasair
Hazan Judith Naimark
Rabbi Victor Reinstein
Rabbi Brant Rosen
Cantor Richard Rosenfield
Kohenet Mei Mei Sanford
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
Rabbi Chaim Schneider
Rabbi Randy Schoch
Kohenet Alumah Schuster
Rabbi Dr. Arthur Segal
Rabbi Jonathan Slater
Cantor Robin Sparr
Rabbi Naomi Steinberg
Rabbi Renae Toben
Hazan Gregory Yaroslow
Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman