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Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun and national chair of the Tikkun Community/ Network of Spiritual Progressives.
People are invited to subscribe to Tikkun magazine or join the interfaith organization the Network of Spiritual Progressives-- "both of which can be done by going to www.tikkun.org
Chanukah and Christmas as we approach a Trump presidency
The bad news is that the world is not yet redeemed, and our religions have at times acted more like the oppressors than like the embodiments of the liberatory humanitarian loving energy they set out to embody. The good news is that there are many people in both of these religions who are capable of reclaiming the hopeful and loving and justice-oriented instincts.
Saturday, May 28, 2016(2 comments)
What's Really Best for Israel?
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump went before AIPAC this year and pandered to those who blindly support Israel's hard-line policies, but Bernie Sanders's more evenhanded approach is better for Israel, says Rabbi Michael Lerner.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016(8 comments)
Bernie: Create a Tea Party off the Left Within the Democratic Party Now
But there is something you can do, and it's not to get a few planks put on the Democratic Platform that will immediately be ignored, as all the party platforms always are, immediately after their conventions are over.
What you can do is organize a force within the Democratic Party that has the same determination to change the direction of that party as the Tea Party had within the Republican Party.
Sunday, September 27, 2015(3 comments)
Save the Pope's Radical Prophetic Message from Media Trivialization
Recognizing the Pope's prophetic role at this historical moment doesn't mean that we can't also urge him to rethink the Church's stance on women, on homosexuals, on abortion, and on birth control. We must do what we can to bring his radical message to the attention of a society whose media are already hearing a trivialization of the Pope's message as they try to transform him into the world's latest momentary celebrity.
Thursday, September 10, 2015(2 comments)
We All Should Be Repenting for the Suffering of the Refugees
The economic catastrophe led many to flee the violence of gangs and the hunger that US policies had created for millions of people in the global south. To escape that condition, millions risked their lives to get to the US where eager employers could use them to break the backs of trade unions, guaranteeing wages would remain depressed even as the rich and their corporations were going through ever new financial booms.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Baltimore Riots Against Police Violence--Tikkun and the Baptists Response
Police violence, particularly though not only against African Americans, requires immediate and forceful response at every level of our society. People should be protesting in the streets of our country wherever an ethical consciousness has not yet been snuffed out by cynicism, surplus powerlessness, indifference, or inability to focus due to mind-destroying absorption in the distractions that abound in cyberspace, the media
Friday, March 27, 2015(2 comments)
Israel Faces Moses's Demand to Pharaoh
The racist dishonesty of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has challenged Judaism's humanistic principles, as many young Jews will now flip the Passover script, putting the Palestinians in the position of Moses demanding "Let my people go" -- or give them the vote in one state, writes Rabbi Michael Lerner.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015(2 comments)
The Militarists and Haters Win in Israeli Elections
Though the Israeli president has said he will ask for a government of national unity, it will be unity around the policies which Netanyahu put out clearly in the last days of the election: No Palestinian state, no deal that would allow Iran to develop nuclear energy, no willingness to count Arab Israelis as "real Israelis."
Wednesday, March 4, 2015(3 comments)
Benjamin Netanyahu's Fantasy World
Netanyahu's speech to Congress was brilliantly deceitful because it played to the fantasies that Israeli propaganda and right wing militarists in the United States have been popularizing for the past thirty years.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Making Thanksgiving Real
Taking time to give thanks for all that we have -- our lives, our health, the incredibly awesome universe in which we live, the love that we have in our lives -- all this deserves genuine thanks. Yet celebrating our many blessings should not preclude us from addressing the pressing need for healing and transforming the world.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014(3 comments)
Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel
Please don't be silent when rabbis refuse to acknowledge their idol-worship and their blind support for Israeli policies. Insist that they take into account when judging Palestinians the psychologically and ethically destructive impact of living under Occupation.
Friday, July 18, 2014(5 comments)
Israel: Stop the Invasion of Gaza, Stop the Bombing of Gaza, Free the Palestinian Prisoners
But not only is the war stupid from the standpoint of Jewish self-interest, it is also immoral in the extreme. None of this would have happened if Israel had been serious about negotiating an end to the Occupation. But as Prime Minister Netanyahu made clear in his press conference last week, he never intends to give the Palestinian people an independent state of their own.
Saturday, December 7, 2013(11 comments)
Nelson Mandela: A Jewish Perspective
Jews love and loved Nelson Mandela. He inspired us with his insistence that the old regime of apartheid would crumble more quickly and fully when faced with revolutionary love and compassion than when faced with anger and violence.
Mandela also challenged us to think deeply about whether the current situation in Israel/Palestine reflects the ethic of compassion that is so central to Judaism.
How to Stand in Solidarity with African Americans this weekend After Trayvon Martin
I'm writing to YOU to urge you to either come with me on Sunday or go to a nearer African American church this Sunday and let the African American community in your neighborhood or town know that they are not alone, that we understand their fear and stand in solidarity with them. No matter where you came out on the Zimmerman trial, you can still stand in solidarity with African Americans, support them in their grief...
Sunday, July 14, 2013(16 comments)
Trayvon Martin: A Jewish Response
Where is there justice in a world in which so many people suffer oppression and in which those who choose to use violence as a way to address and deal with their hatred and fear often seem to triumph?
Jewish theology holds that there is a karmic order, so that evil actions will not always run the world. Justice and compassion are both essential to the survival of the planet.
Thursday, November 22, 2012(1 comments)
Making Thanksgiving Meaningful
Many families take a moment to go around the Thanksgiving table to ask each person to say what they are grateful for. But too often there are some hidden injunctions that weaken the meaning of this practice, like "don't talk for more than a sentence" or "be sure to say that you are grateful for something your parent, partner, child, etc. has done..." or "don't go beyond...
Spiritual Progressives have a more expansive practice
Monday, November 12, 2012
In Praise of the American People
It would do well for the political Left to put a lot more energy into publicly celebrating the fundamental goodness and decency shown by the American public in the November 2012 elections. It's time to rejoice in that and celebrate the core goodness and decency of all Americans.
Sunday, November 6, 2011(4 comments)
Praying With Our Feet at Occupy Oakland
no movement is perfect, and we have our problems and distortions. But the key is to have compassion for our distortions, compassion for everyone including those who right now don't support us, and use this moment to thank the universe for the opportunity to overcome cynicism and fight for the world most people really want.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Praying With Our Feet At Occupy Oakland
a powerful reaffirmation, celebration and manifestation of the life and love energy of the universe
The tens of thousands of people who streamed through the various parts of the day were there to affirm life, to manifest love, and to challenge the injustice and unrighteousness of our economic and political system. And they did so with remarkable energy, creativity, beauty, and intelligence.
Sunday, October 16, 2011(2 comments)
The Message and Strategy that is Needed by Occupy Wall Street
The big problem facing us is how to take the millions of Americans who are ready to in this new direction to work together coherently. Yet we can rejoice the first step has been taken: Americans coming out of the closet of despair and calling for a world of justice, peace and caring for each other and for the planet.
A Reflection on Obama and the Current Crisis
Instead of being such a wimp,Obama could simply announce what will happen if the debt limit isn't reached:he will pay the social security, medicare and other benefits to those Congressional districts whose representatives voted to raise the debt limit and not to those which did not. And all other federal services. They play hardball, so could a progressive Democrat, if we happened to have one in office, which we don't.
Our Outrage at Shooting of Jewish Congresswoman Giffords
Why does what Hillary Clinton once quite accurately described as "the vast right-wing conspiracy" get a free pass when its rhetoric can easily be seen to contribute to the climate of hate from which the actions of this "lone gunman" can be easily understood to have emerged?Don't underplay the anti-Semitic elements either. When Jews are targeted, it's rarely "by chance." Right-wing haters particularly hate Jews, since Jews were
Save Obama's presidency by challenging him on the left
With his base deeply disillusioned, many progressives are starting to believe that Obama has little chance of winning reelection unless he enthusiastically embraces a populist agenda and worldview - soon. Yet there is little chance that will happen without a massive public revolt by his constituency that goes beyond rallies, snide remarks from television personalities or indignant op-eds.
Why Jews Should Rejoice at the Overturning of Prop 8
The rights of homosexuals are supported by an overwhelming majority of the American Jewish community. That support is not only based on a memory of shared victimhood, but also on the core values of our own Jewish tradition.
After Attack on Rabbi Lerner's Home: What you Can do to Help?
The media once again has failed to cover attacks on the Left from the Right. This time it came in the form of an assault on the home of Tikkun Magazine's editor Rabbi Michael Lerner. Lerner had announced that Tikkun would give the prestigious Tikkun Award for Human Rights at Tikkun's 25th anniversary celebration in the Spring of 2011 to Judge Richard Goldstone.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010(1 comments)
Rabbi Lerner's Home Attacked by Right-Wing Zionists
The attackers used a powerful form of glue to attach posters to his door and around the property of his home attacking Lerner personally, and attacking liberals and progressives as being supporters of terrorism and "Islamo-fascism."
Why I Disagree with Hedges and Nader on Obama
Many of the specific failures highlighted by the article I sent out yesterday by Chris Hedges criticizing the performance of the Obama Administration are legitimate points. But the way Hedges's positions are stated, and the conclusions drawn from them are not the path of spiritual progressives, in my view.T
Monday, February 22, 2010(5 comments)
Healing from Post Traumatic Abandoned-by-Obama Syndrome
A Strategy for Progressives which includes an Environmental and Ethical Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to limit corporate power, and steps to strengthen the backbones of decent but weak liberal elected officials
Wednesday, January 20, 2010(5 comments)
We tried to warn Obama, but he wouldn't listen
The defeat of the Democrats' choice to succeed Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate is being treated as though there is a decided shift of mass opinion to the Right in the U.S. But it is the Obama Administration, not the people who supported him in 2008, which moved to the Right--in the name of being pragmatists or realists-- in the process emptying their own agenda.
World's Religious Leaders Mourn the Obama Escalation in Afghanstan
Many of the world's religious leaders at the Parliament of World Religions in Australia are in partial mourning for the dream of a new world that President Obama promised, and decisively torpedoed in his announcement of major escalation of military forces in Afghanistan. There's widespread disillusionment with Obama.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009(13 comments)
Obama's Declining Popularity
While Obama is still hailed around the world in almost messianic tones, recent polls indicate his approval rate is below 50% in the U.S. How could a man who aroused so much hope be losing support so dramatically? And what lessons can be learned for politicians all around the world?
A Spiritual Guide for Economic Bailout
The Democrats are wasting the opportunity this crisis gives us to deeply reexamine and transform our economic system. There is a lack of spiritual vision in imagining the economics we need. Let's remedy that lack!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009(13 comments)
I have cancer. . . and yes, you can help me deal with it
In late January the results of a biopsy showed that I have a relatively rare form of lung cancer (I've never smoked). The doctors believe that this cancer may be "stage one" and hence could be treated through surgery, and I might be able to avoid chemotherapy or radiation treatment. People have started to ask if they can help me in some way. Well, yes, there IS something you can do that would be very helpful.
Friday, January 2, 2009(17 comments)
Israel in Gaza
Israel's attempt to wipe out Hamas is understandable, but dumb.
...just as Hamas' indiscriminate bombing of population centers is a crime against humanity, so is Israel's massive attack against civilians
Why is Obama Losing
...Obama handlers pushed him to be "realistic" and buy the same boring strategy that has lost most Democratic candidates their elections in the past thirty years: abandon your base and put your post-convention energies focused on an elusive "center" that barely exists.
Thursday, August 21, 2008(3 comments)
150 Clergy Appeal to Obama
In an open-letter to Senator Obama, over 150 American clergy appealed to the Democratic candidate for President to retain the ethical and spiritual vision that won him the nomination in the first place. Rejecting the "inside-the-Beltway" wisdom that a Democrat must "move to the center to win the election," the clergy disputed the very notion that this is an accurate understanding of American politics.
My Talk with the Saudis, and What I Learned from Them
I had expected the World Conference on Dialogue convened by the King of Saudi Arabia to be little more than a photo op for the King, a cheap way to buy good public relations... Imagine my surprise, then, to hear the Saudi King in a language that, as one Muslim observer pointed out to me, sounded more like the New Bottom Line of the Network of Spiritual Progressives than it did like a speech of a self-absorbed monarch.
Why They Are Seeking a Blockade of Iran
Rabbi Michael Lerner responds to questions about the sanctioning of Iran, and discusses Dick Cheney and the oil companies, the "Strategy of Domination" versus the "Strategy of Generosity" and pending legislation as the best way for the U.S. and Israel to achieve homeland security.
Friday, May 2, 2008(13 comments)
African-American perspective on Reverend Wright
This article by Rabbi Michael Lerner discusses the fact that black opinion on Barack Obama and the Rev. Wright issue covers a wide range of thinking and is not some kind of monolithic bloc.