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Yom Kippur as Transformation-time: 3 Keys to Unlock our Hearts

By       Message Rabbi Arthur Waskow     Permalink
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David Nathan "Gypsy" Chain died Sept. 17, 1998, in Carlotta, California, when a tall and ancient tree was felled in his direction because he was defending a steep slope of ancient trees from illegal logging.

Daniel Pearl, overseas correspondent covering the war in Afghanistan and especially interested in understanding the motives of fundamentalist Muslims, murdered in late January or early February 2002 by a group he had arranged to interview in Pakistan.

In Pearl's case, his wife honored his memory with amazing and powerful words:

From Mariane Pearl:

<< I promise you that the terrorists did not defeat my husband, no matter what they did to him, nor did they succeed in seizing his dignity or value as a human being. As his wife, I feel proud of Danny. ...

<< Revenge would be easy, but it is far more valuable in my opinion to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism. ...

<< My own courage arises from two facts.

<< One is that throughout this ordeal I have been surrounded by people of amazing value. This helps me trust that humanism will ultimtely prevail.

<< My other hope now -- in my seventh month of preganancy -- is that I will be able to tell our son that his father carried the flag to end terrorism, raising an unprecedented demand among people from all countries not for revenge but for the values we all share: love, compassion, friendship and citizenship far transcending the so-called clash of civilizations.>>

May the memories of all these tzaddikim [upright and just people] continue as a blessing to us, and may we remember them alongside all the others, Jews and those of other communities, who died for the sake of the justice, compassion, and peacefulness that abide in God's Most Holy Name.

And as Shoshana Waskow teaches, may we remember that the greatest of all Martyrologies will come only when we can say that no more names need be added to the roll of martyrs -- because no one will kill those who act for peace and justice.

Blessings for a coming year of shalom, salaam, peace!   -- Arthur

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Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Ph. D., founded (in 1983) and directs The Shalom Center , a prophetic voice in Jewish, multireligious, and American life that brings Jewish and other spiritual thought and practice to bear on seeking peace, pursuing justice, (more...)

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