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Rabbi Aryeh Cohen: Occupy Wall Street And The Path Of Righteousness

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Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, Ph.D, is Associate Professor of Rabbinic Literature at the American Jewish University. He is the author of the forthcoming book: Justice in the City: Toward a Community of Obligation (Academic Studies Press) and blogs at He sits on the boards of the Progressive Jewish Alliance/Jewish Funds for Justice and Rabbis for Human Rights-North America.

We have moved into the second stage of OWS, in terms of media perception. Now, the refrain is: "What do they want?" This raises the question: What is the society that we want? What would a just society look like? As a rabbi and a scholar of the classical Jewish tradition, my first instinct is to look for answers in the tradition.

The just society that emerges from a reading of the classic canon of Rabbinic literature, is what I call a "community of obligation."

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