Recent controversies within Hillel International, the "home" for many Jewish college students of diverse backgrounds and beliefs, have made public in a sharper way a profound spiritual issue confronting American Jews and their "official" organizations.
On Shabbat Hanukkah (this year, Nov. 29-30), we read an extraordinary passage from the Prophet Zechariah. Speaking during the Babylonian Captivity, he envisions the future Great Menorah, taking its sacred place in a rebuilt Holy Temple.
Let's move our money away from the Climate Pharaohs that are bringing Plagues upon our planet and instead to invest both in wind and solar energy, and in projects to empower the poor who are most vulnerable to the ravages of these modern Plagues.
My sense of the meaning of Shavuot, a Jewish holiday that begins in the evening on May 14, has been deeply transformed by an ancient teaching from the Nag Hammadi library, a collection of Gnostic texts.
Forty years have passed since Dr. King and Rabbi Heschel worked and witnessed among us. Perhaps, like a biblical generation that represents a pregnant pause before a major transformation, we may be ready to act for a transformative rebirth in our time.
Both "brothers," Palestine and Israel, today need to make the choice that begins with the new cease-fire, but must lead from there to a long-term truce; the truce must give time for compassion to flower where there was fear and rage.
The article says that although they knew about the discussions, the Israeli government "nevertheless" approved the assassination. The question I think we need to ask is whether the Israeli government ordered the assassination not "nevertheless" but "therefore."
In the light of that Danger of Desolation hovering before us in our generation, let me offer what follows as a supplementary reading for this coming Shabbat, when Jews read the second portion of the Torah about God's decision to reverse and undo Creation with a flood.
On Yom Kippur about 2,500 years ago, Isaiah walked into a crowd that felt good because (having fasted for about 18 hours already) it felt bad. He called out that merely refraining from food and drink was not the point.
As the New Moon glimmered, the Jewish and Muslim communities both entered a solemn month, known to one as Ramadan and to the other as Av. In both, fasting takes on great importance as a way of focusing spiritual energy.