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Tikkun | Roundup of Recent Articles April 30, 2014

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Sue Bell Cobb: WWJD? Reform Alabama’s horrible criminal sentencing laws [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/25/wwjd-reform-alabamas-horrible-criminal-sentencing-laws/ ] Apr 25, 2014 01:30 pm | Sue Bell Cobb

As the former Chief Justice of Alabama, I am proud to have devoted my career to the cause of justice in our state. But as a lifelong United Methodist, it shames me to know that if Jesus came to our state today, he would chastise me and every other Alabama Christian for our nearly complete silence on a terrible injustice taking place under our noses and in our names every day: ineffective, absurdly harsh sentencing laws that lead to overcrowded, dangerous prisons that breed more crime. What would Jesus do? Fix our criminal sentencing laws.

Rabbi Howard Cooper: The Last Temptation of Noah [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/09/the-last-temptation-of-noah/ ] Apr 09, 2014 08:00 pm | Rabbi Howard Cooper

I once gave a sermon, at the Jewish New Year, during which a thunderstorm broke out and water started to pour through the synagogue roof. I’d like to claim that this was a cleverly-orchestrated special effects stunt that I’d managed to engineer; or even an example of my special relationship with what our tradition calls “Our God in Heaven”.

David Harris-Gershon: Racists Worse Than Cliven Bundy Who Actually Demand Our Viral Scorn [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/24/racists-worse-than-cliven-bundy-who-actually-demand-our-viral-scorn/ ] Apr 24, 2014 07:30 pm | David Harris-Gershon

Cliven Bundy – the freeloading rancher who hates America – always seemed to be a fairly despicable, self-interested person. Despite this, Fox News and right-leaning conservatives desperately celebrated him as a brave insurgent fighting government overreach.

New Monastic — Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove: NC Clergy Send Open Letter to State Government Leaders [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/24/nc-clergy-send-open-letter-to-state-government-leaders/ ] Apr 24, 2014 06:48 pm | New Monastic — Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

As Jews and Christians across North Carolina celebrated Passover and Holy Week, clergy from our Forward Together Moral Movement in North Carolina sent the following letter to our General Assembly leadership. Last summer, over 100,000 people came to the General Assembly to protest extremism and call for a new moral center to our common life. As we prepare for another legislative session this year, we pray for those in authority, that they might have ears to hear.

Anna Challet: Young Muslims Choosing to Wear the Hijab Despite Rising Tide of Islamophobia [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/24/young-muslims-choosing-to-wear-the-hijab-despite-rising-tide-of-islamophobia/ ] Apr 24, 2014 03:13 pm | Anna Challet

A generation of young Muslims grew up in the shadow of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the rise of Islamophobia in America. Some have personal experience with hurtful speech and ignorant comments about their faith. Yet many still choose to show their faith through practices like prayer and fasting, wearing a hijab (head covering), or growing a beard.

Ayana Nir: The Crisis in Israel’s Holocaust Education [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/23/the-crisis-in-israels-holocaust-education/ ] Apr 23, 2014 07:43 pm | Ayana Nir

Israeli Minister of Education Shai Piron’s plan to introduce Holocaust education to Israeli public schools starting as early as the first grade has been controversial. Alongside the concern voiced by many parents about traumatizing young children with gruesome details of systematic ethnic cleansing, many begin to question how the continued rehashing of communal wounds shape the development of national identity and what political interests the perpetuation of historical trauma might serve.

Tikkun’s Spring 2014 Issue: Does America Need a Left? [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/23/tikkuns-spring-2014-issue-does-america-need-a-left/ ] Apr 23, 2014 05:17 pm | Tikkun Staff

The sprawling American Left knows what it opposes, but it rarely articulates a shared vision of the world we want. Don’t miss the fierce debate put forth in Tikkun’s Spring 2014 Print Issue: Does America Need a Left?

Warren J. Blumenfeld: No “Honor” or Respect in Colonizing Native American and Jewish Culture [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/23/no-honor-or-respect-in-colonizing-native-american-and-jewish-culture/ ] Apr 23, 2014 02:46 pm | Warren J. Blumenfeld

The continued use of American Indian likenesses and images by sports teams has resulted in widespread racial, cultural and spiritual stereotyping which promotes hatred and disrespect of American Indian people. Using American Indian slurs like ‘Redskins’ is no different than the use of Black Sambo which offended African Americans or the Frito Bandito which is offensive to the Hispanic community.

Ibrahim Sundiata: Hirsi Ali, Islam, and Cultural Relativism: The Brandeis Controversy [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/23/hirsi-ali-islam-and-cultural-relativism-the-brandeis-controversy/ ] Apr 23, 2014 01:53 pm | Ibrahim Sundiata

In an age of identity politics can we criticize the formerly colonized or semi-colonized “Two-Thirds World” (in the faculty letter’s terminology)? How to address female genital mutilation in Somalia, slavery in Mauritania and the lynching of gays in Kenya? Especially when such occurrences are clothed with the authority of religion, how do we respond?

Elizabeth Cunningham: Resurrection Garden, Resurrection Feast: A Post-Easter Reflection [http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/22/resurrection-garden-resurrection-feast-a-post-easter-reflection/ ] Apr 22, 2014 05:42 pm| Elizabeth Cunningham

In John’s account of the Resurrection, Mary Magdalen mistakes Jesus for the gardener. Or perhaps it is not a mistake or not just a mistake but also a poetic truth. In any event, John’s Gospel makes clear: the Resurrection takes place in a garden!

Annie Pentilla: Jeff Gipe’s “Renegade Art”: Protesting Development Near Rocky Flats Plutonium Plant [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/21/jeff-gipes-renegade-art-protesting-development-near-rocky-flats-plutonium-plant/ ] Apr 21, 2014 06:00 pm | Annie Pentilla

When artist Jeff Gipe talks about the renegade sculpture he created to protest the construction of a housing development near the former plutonium plant Rocky Flats, what he has to say sounds incredible. The entire Rocky Flats’ story reads like a made-for-Hollywood movie, replete with leaking drums of nuclear waste, FBI raids, and so-called government cover-ups. Gipe grew up near the mysterious facility, leaving him with experiences he’ll never forget.

David Harris-Gershon: How the Progressive D.C. Community Helped Me Defeat the Right-Wing, ‘Pro-Israel’ Silencing Machine [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/19/how-d-c-helped-me-defeat-the-right-wing-pro-israel-silencing-machine/ ] Apr 19, 2014 12:01 pm | David Harris-Gershon

On February 6, my inbox was inundated with messages from people I did not know. I’m so disgusted, they read; You’re going to hear from us again, they read; We’re going to fight this, they read.

Warren J. Blumenfeld: Jews as Racialized Other as Reflected in the Kansas Murders [http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/18/jews-as-racialized-other-as-reflected-in-the-kansas-murders/ ] Apr 18, 2014 08:29 pm | Warren J. Blumenfeld

Why did a self-described “white supremacist” target apparent white people at Jewish community centers? The answer is quite simple: Though Jewish people are members of every so-called “race,” even Jews of European heritage (Ashkenazim) have been and still continue to be “racially” othered by dominant Christian European-heritage communities in some quarters.

Alex Kane: A Challenge to the Jewish Mainstream: Will You Stand Against Islamophobia? [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/17/a-challenge-to-the-jewish-mainstream-will-you-stand-against-islamophobia/ ] Apr 17, 2014 05:19 pm | Alex Kane

What’s the ideology undergirding opposition to the construction of mosques in the United States? How are anti-Muslim groups funded? How have Jewish groups reacted when confronted with issues like the proposed construction of the Park51 Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York City? Elly Bulkin and Donna Nevel answer these questions and more in their new book “Islamophobia and Israel”, a sobering analysis of the Jewish establishment’s dalliance with anti-Muslim bigotry.

Timothy Villareal: America’s Fork in the Road: Endless War or Democratic Reform? [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/16/americas-fork-in-the-road-endless-war-or-democratic-reform/ ] Apr 16, 2014 08:27 pm | Timothy Villareal

Add a 227-year-old Constitution with a 60-year-old collective military defense treaty, like the NATO Charter, and America could be at war in the blink of an eye. Will we reform our Constitution before getting dragged into another pointless war?

Saadia Faruqi: When One of Us is Hurt, We All Feel Pain [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/15/when-one-of-us-is-hurt-we-all-feel-pain/ ] Apr 15, 2014 02:15 pm | Saadia Faruqi

Make no mistake, the attack on the Jewish Community Center was an attack on all of us, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs – people of every religion and no religion. The perpetrator, apparently a former KKK member with ties to Nazism, is not just a person, but an embodiment of the hate culture rising around us.

Rabbi Howard Cooper: The Challenges of Seder Night [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/13/the-challenges-of-seder-night/ ]Apr 13, 2014 12:00 pm | Rabbi Howard Cooper

The challenge of Seder night is not just to remember the past, not just to recall the extraordinary longevity of our story with its roots in servitude and its mythos of the Jews as a people liberated into a different kind of servitude – servitude to a vision of how things could be, how freedoms of many kinds could be the inheritance of all peoples.

Uri Avnery: In One Word: Poof! [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/11/in-one-word-poof/ ] Apr 11, 2014 06:22 pm | Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery’s analysis helps cut through the cloud of lies and distortions in the American, Israeli, and Palestinian media so we can understand and face reality.

Donna Schaper: Book Review – From the Psalms to the Cloud: Connecting to the Digital Age [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/11/book-review-from-the-psalms-to-the-cloud-connecting-to-the-digital-age/ ] Apr 11, 2014 05:01 pm | Donna Schaper

You don’t have to be an environmentalist to wonder about technology. Will it be our great savior or will it be another thorn in the flesh, another opportunity to hear Thoreau’s lament? “Human beings”, he says, “have a tendency to become the tools of their tools.”

Jill Goldberg: The Art of Revolution: The River and the Sea, A Documentary Play by Danny Bryck [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/10/the-art-of-revolution-the-river-and-the-sea-a-documentary-play-by-danny-bryck/ ]Apr 10, 2014 09:06 pm | Jill Goldberg

When it comes to Israel/Palestine, Actor and Writer Danny Bryck isn’t the first to consider this question: “When everyone tells a different story, how do we tell the truth?” He may, however, be the first to work so hard to hear quite so many different stories that come from the thin strip of land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.

Special Passover Seder Messages

If you had been subscribing (for free) to our Tikkun Daily blog, you’d have recieved these messages in time for the holiday. To subscribe to the Tikkun Daily blog, go to: www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/join-tikkun-daily/

But save these articles for next year. They’ll still be relevant!

Selected by Rabbi Michael Lerner and useful for thinking spiritually about Judaism or Christianity or Islam.

Three writings by three spiritual progressives-Jonathan Granoff, Shari Motro, and Rabbi Arthur Waskow-who further elaborate on universal messages emerging specifically from Jewish customs and practices. Also read the articles below by Robert Cohen, Ariel Vegosen and Rae Abileah.

Robert Cohen: “In Every Generation…” How Mainstream Approaches to Passover Lock Shut the Jewish Imagination [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/11/in-every-generation-how-mainstream-approaches-to-passover-lock-shut-the-jewish-imagination/ ]Apr 11, 2014 02:02 pm | Robert Cohen

Via mouthfuls of bitter herbs, salt water, nuts and raisins mixed with wine, and unleavened bread, do mainstream approaches to Passover promote the damaging mindset that tells us that we are the world’s eternal victims?

Ariel Vegosen and Rae Abileah: A Seed on the Seder Plate [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/13/a-seed-on-the-seder-plate/ ]

Apr 13, 2014 01:00 pm | Ariel Vegosen and Rae Abileah

Returning in springtime, with Passover on the horizon, has given us time to reflect on the liberation story of our ancestors and ask what needs liberating in our current world. Control over seed means a control over our lives, our food and our freedom: a dangerous and deadly business. It’s time we collectively stand up for seed freedom, which is why this year we are proposing adding a seed to the Seder plate.

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