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Rabbi Michael Lerner
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Entries by Rabbi Michael Lerner

Israel: Stop the Invasion of Gaza, Stop the Bombing of Gaza, Free the Palestinian Prisoners

(19) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 9:22 AM

According to Ha'aretz correspondent Amira Hass, the IDF has been conducting mass arrests in the West Bank, between 10 and 30 every day. Twenty-four of the arrested are members of the Palestinian parliament from Hamas' Change and Reform party. The number of those arrested since the kidnapping and murder of...

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Israel's 66th Birthday Celebration: a Spiritual Progressive Perspective

(9) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 9:14 AM

I still celebrate Israel's existence even while I deplore its racism and oppressive policies toward the Palestinian people, just as I celebrate the existence of the U.S. even as I deplore the genocide of Native Americans and the enslaving of African Americans which accompanied the creation of my homeland here...

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Why the Kerry Middle East Peace Framework Will Fail

(23) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 10:13 AM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, perhaps prodded by private discussions with Secretary of State Kerry, has taken a bold move in peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority by acknowledging the possibility that Jewish settlers could remain in the West Bank, but as citizens of a Palestinian state, just as hundreds...

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Banning Guns Is Necessary But Not Sufficient

(208) Comments | Posted December 15, 2012 | 3:31 PM

Some thoughts and a prayer after the latest mass killings, this time of elementary school students:

Banning all guns is necessary but NOT sufficient in light of the increasing violence in our society. We need a fundamental transformation as well as banning guns. Otherwise, we will now revert to the...

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Israel and Gaza: Enough Is Enough

(34) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 11:29 AM

All the usual suspects are cheering on their respective sides in the latest struggle between Israel and Palestine being fought out at the expense of some Israeli and more Palestinian civilian lives. I've been overwhelmed with sadness at the tragic loss of lives and harm to the bodies of Israelis...

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In Praise of the American People

(99) Comments | Posted November 11, 2012 | 8:00 PM

Every time right-wing forces in ascendency manage to grab hold of Congress or the presidency, liberal and progressive commentators, editorialists and blogs are filled with analyses blaming the outcome on the racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, or stupidity of "ordinary Americans." They are usually wrong, and these analyses usually provide grist...

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Occupy Rosh Hashanah

(5) Comments | Posted September 14, 2012 | 8:25 AM

Last year a thousand young people gathered at the Occupy demonstration in NY to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. That will happen again this year in N.Y. and at a service sponsored by Beyt Tikkun synagogue-without-walls in Berkeley, California (at the Pacific School of Religion Sept. 16-18. I'll be co-leading the High...

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Tell President Obama: Don't Capitulate to the War-Makers

(213) Comments | Posted March 1, 2012 | 7:50 AM

President Obama is under immense pressure from Netanyahu and his allies in the U.S. Congress, AIPAC, Christian Zionists and Republican candidates for the presidency to give Netanyahu private assurances that if the U.S. strategy to stop Iran from developing the capacity (not the actuality) for nuclear weapons doesn't work, the...

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Create a Passover Seder or Easter Gathering for the 99%

(10) Comments | Posted January 12, 2012 | 11:11 AM

Both Passover and Easter have a message of liberation and hope for the downtrodden of the earth.

And today, it's important to understand that the "downtrodden" -- those who are hurt by the materialism and selfishness built into the very ethos of global capitalism -- are NOT...

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Occupy Hanukkah and Christmas

(89) Comments | Posted December 16, 2011 | 9:22 AM

Hanukkah was the first recorded national liberation struggle against Greek imperialism, and Christmas celebrates the birth of a hoped for messiah to free the Jewish people from Roman imperialism. The symbolism of a homeless couple who give birth in a manger surrounded by animals because the more comfortable people have...

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Praying With Our Feet at Occupy Oakland

(51) Comments | Posted November 11, 2011 | 8:14 AM

When my teacher and mentor at the Jewish Theological Seminary Abraham Joshua Heschel told me and others that he had been "praying with his feet" when he participated in the Selma Freedom march in 1965, he confirmed for many a way of overcoming the dichotomy between my religious practice and...

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The Message and Strategy That Is Needed by Occupy Wall Street

(120) Comments | Posted October 18, 2011 | 8:03 AM

This past weekend, Occupy Wall Street demonstrations were held in over 951 cities in 82 countries as people around the globe joined in an international day of solidarity against the greed and corruption of the 1%.

The media, trying to discredit all the demonstrators, say we don't know what we...

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Recognize Palestine and Reaffirm Israel As a Jewish State

(319) Comments | Posted September 14, 2011 | 8:07 AM

American diplomats acknowledge that they do not have the votes to prevent the General Assembly of the United Nations from recognizing Palestine and granting it some of the rights of member states. The U.S. can block full membership only by exercising its veto in the Security Council, an...

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Being With the Dalai Lama

(1) Comments | Posted July 21, 2011 | 9:43 AM

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The Dalai Lama speaks with Rabbi Michael Lerner, Jewish theologian, chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives SpiritualProgressives.org, and editor of Tikkun magazine Tikkun.org, and Ingrid Mattson, former president of The Islamic Society of North America and professor at...

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The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden: A Spiritual Response

(94) Comments | Posted May 3, 2011 | 11:05 AM

The Jewish tradition has much to say on the killing of our vicious and even murderous enemies.

When Pharaoh's troops were drowning in the Red Sea as they sought to re-enslave or kill the Israelites, the angels began to sing praises (the Hallel prayers: Psalms 113-118). According to the...

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A Passover Haggadah Supplement 2011

(31) Comments | Posted April 14, 2011 | 11:02 AM

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In this year of uprising in Egypt what does the Passover story have to say to us? What would liberation throughout the world mean?

For your Seder, here is a Haggadah supplement -- not a replacement. If you don't normally do a...

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Why Jews Around the World Are Praying for the Victory of the Egyptian Uprising

(83) Comments | Posted February 1, 2011 | 11:32 AM

Ever since the victory over the dictator of Tunisia and the subsequent uprising in Egypt, my email has been flooded with messages from Jews around the world hoping and praying for the victory of the Egyptian people over the cruel Mubarak regime.

Though a small segment of...

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When Generosity, Love, and Kindness are Public Policy, the Violence We Saw in Arizona will Dramatically Diminish

(7) Comments | Posted January 18, 2011 | 2:29 PM

The attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords and the murder of so many others in Arizona has elicited a number of policy suggestions, from gun control to private protection for elected officials, to banning incitement to violence on websites either directly or more subtly (e.g., Sarah Palin's putting a bull's-eye target...

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Why Progressives Should Run Against Obama and "Blue Dogs" in the 2012 Democratic Party Primaries

(429) Comments | Posted December 12, 2010 | 9:43 PM

While making a deal to protect billionaires from $145 billion in taxes that they might otherwise have used to solve pressing domestic problems or to create over 3 million jobs at $30,000/yr., some Democrats and their advisors pointed out that the progressives who dissented from the deal Obama had worked...

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The Spiritual Messages of Hanukkah and Christmas ... And Their Downsides

(2) Comments | Posted December 7, 2010 | 12:45 PM

Christmas and Hanukkah share a spiritual message: that it is possible to bring light and hope in a world of darkness, oppression and despair. But whereas Christmas focuses on the birth of a single individual whose life and mission was itself supposed to bring liberation, Hanukkah is about a national...

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