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Rabbi Michael Lerner

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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

OpEdNews Member for 811 week(s) and 6 day(s)

74 Articles, 0 Quick Links, 1 Comments, 0 Diaries, 0 Polls

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(28 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, September 11, 2008
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.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 3, 2010
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
From ImagesAttr
(16 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, July 14, 2013
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.
From ImagesAttr
(6 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Fr. Roy Bourgeois may be excommunicated for supporting female ordination Take action to defend priest who founded School of the Americas Watch.
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, February 22, 2010
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
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, December 13, 2010
Why Progressives Should Run Against Obama and "Blue Dogs" in the 2012 Democratic Party Primaries There is a huge rebellion going on against the Democrats by their own supporters. Close to half of all Democrats voted with their feet in 2010 -- by not even bothering to vote. Many feel angry at specific policy betrayals.
Mandela, From ImagesAttr
(11 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, December 7, 2013
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.
Refugees with nowhere to go, From ImagesAttr
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, September 10, 2015
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.
(13 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, February 10, 2009
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.
(13 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, November 24, 2009
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?
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, July 20, 2008
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.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 4, 2015
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.
(14 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, December 4, 2010
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.
Israeli behavior toward Palestinians is destroying Judaism and creating a new kind of hatred of Jews by people who never before had any issue with Jews., From ImagesAttr
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, August 5, 2014
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.
Bernie Sanders, From FlickrPhotos
(8 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, April 27, 2016
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.
(8 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, February 26, 2009
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!
(29 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Elliot Spitzer and America's Ethical Perversity This shows just how far the Right-wing sexual moralizing has been able to trump any other kind of ethical reasoning in American society. Going to a prostitute is legal in some states and some countries around the world, and is often the very arrangement that saves families from splitting up whose sexual energies have diminished but whose love is intact.
Charlton Heston (as Moses) confronting Yul Brynner (as the Pharaoh) in
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, March 27, 2015
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.
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, September 30, 2010
Obama (and Biden) Have No Clue About What's Bothering Their Political Base Explains how Obama is out of touch with his base
(10 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, June 11, 2010
Why Are Jews Organizing a Memorial for Muslims Killed in Israel's Attack On the Gaza Flotilla we're meeting to make some needed changes happen
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, August 21, 2008
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.
Egyptians Rally in Cairo to protest the Mubarak Government, From ImagesAttr
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Why Jews Around the World are Praying for the Victory of the Egyptian Uprising Why many Jews support the Egyptian uprising
Benjamin Netanyahu Wins, From ImagesAttr
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 18, 2015
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."
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, March 20, 2007
A Bedtime Meditation Prayer of Forgiveness sometimes, when I am about to go to sleep, I am filled with the troubles of the day. I remember the terrible things being done by our government or the pain of so many on this planet who do not have enough food to eat because of the global economic system we've created and sustained. Or I remember the ways that our environment is being systematically destroyed. So I say the following prayer/meditation
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, January 20, 2010
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.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, December 14, 2009
Responding to Hitchens on Chanukah Rabbi Michael Lerner discusses the distortions in Christopher Hitchen's article attacking religion and religious holidays.
Baltimore police, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        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
Death toll mounts as Israeli bombs hit Gaza strip, From ImagesAttr
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, July 18, 2014
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.
From ImagesAttr
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, December 24, 2016
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.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016., From ImagesAttr
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, May 28, 2016
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.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, October 16, 2011
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.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, May 7, 2010
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.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, February 11, 2011
Jews and Spiritual Progressives Welcome Mubarak Resignation; But Not a Military or "Security" Force Coup to Replace Him Jews and Spiritual Progressives of every religious community are rejoicing at the triumph of the democratic uprising in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities and at the resignation of President Mubarak. But we have no illusions that the struggle for democracy has been won.
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, July 1, 2008
What Kind of a President Does America Need?
(13 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, May 2, 2008
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.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, January 19, 2011
When Generosity, Love, and Kindness are Public Policy, the Violence We Saw in Arizona will Dramatically Diminish When Generosity, Love, and Kindness are Public Policy, the Violence We Saw in Arizona will Dramatically Diminish.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, May 26, 2010
American Liberals and Progressive Never Miss an Opportunity to Miss an Opportunity -- or Are We ready to Change Directio Progressives have been blessed in the past two years with three significant opportunities to change the fundamentals of American society. We've already blown the first and are missing the second and third.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, August 8, 2008
The Enduring Universal Theological Relevance of the 9th of Av and the Prophetic Warnings about the Coming Potential Destruction of Human Life and Perhaps All of Life on the Earth!
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, August 9, 2010
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.
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The Obama Phenomenon The Phenomenon is not Barack Obama. Senator Obama is a masterful organizer and teacher. But this editorial is not about Obama as much as about what he elicits in others...
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, September 15, 2011
Obama and UN: Recognize Palestine AND Re-affirm Israel's Right to Exist as a Jewish State The Palestinian state that is now emerging should be recognized as an affirmation action state, recognized by the United Nations before it has control over any territory of its own as a way to alleviate the special suffering of the Palestinian people.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, November 22, 2012
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
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's website quickly took down a dep, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, January 10, 2011
Shooting of Congresswoman is more than a Tragedy Shooting of Jewish Congresswoman Giffords is Not Just a "Tragedy"--It's Part of a Right Wing Assault on Government and the Liberals & Progressive Who Support It
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden: A Spiritual Response The struggle against terrorism will not be won through killing, no matter how many people we assassinate. You don't fight malaria by seeking to kill every mosquito on the planet, but rather by draining the swamps.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, November 6, 2011
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.
From Pope Francis, From Images
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, September 27, 2015
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.
Rabbi Michael Lerner, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        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.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 7, 2007
The Occupation:Immoral & Self-Destructive--How to End It and Build Lasting Peace From the moment that it started, Israelis with a desire for peace and reconciliation with the Palestinian people urged the Israeli government to allow the Palestinian people freedom and national self-determination. It was not Israel, but Jordan, who occupied Palestine in the early years after Israel had been created, from. And it was not the Palestinian people, but Egypt, Syria....
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, April 1, 2010
After the Health Care Legislation: the Challenges Facing Progressives in the Age of Obama Obama will not succeed in fending off the Sarah Palin led Tea Party revolt against this progressive vision without the decisive emergence of a different kind of progressive voice into public space, ...this is very complicated...
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, October 7, 2008
The "hate" people are back--will it work again? against Jews, against Muslims, and against Obama? The "hate" people are back, spreading disgusting lies about Obama, about all Muslims, and about all Jews. We even have been told by the American mainstream media that Sen. McCain's campaign has decided to try to make their focus on assaulting the character of Barack Obama. Some media also report that Obama is going to respond in kind.
(17 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, January 2, 2009
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
From ImagesAttr
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, July 19, 2013
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...
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, September 10, 2009
Building on the Hopeful Aspects of Obama's Health Care Speech and Helping Him Get Beyond the Incoherency of Parts of His President Obama has not enamored himself to progressives whom he asked to trust him. Health care reform without a public option is no reform, just profit protection for some of the greediest corporations in the land.
SHARE More Sharing        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.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, September 9, 2013
How to Slow Down the Rush to War: What Obama Should Do About Syria The tragic dilemma we now face is that the murderous Assad regime in Syria should have been overthrown long ago, but the U.S. has no moral standing or credibility to be the agent of that overthrow.
(15 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, June 30, 2008
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.
From Images
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, December 2, 2010
The Spiritual Messages of Chanukah and Christmas -- and Their Downsides Rabbi Lerner discusses the revolutionary spiritual message in Christmas and Chanukah.
SHARE More Sharing        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.
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Thanksgiving Meditation 2006 In my daily life, I'm often distracted from noticing the marvels and miracles that surround me. There is so much to accomplish, so many hurdles to jump, so much that I feel needs attending. I sometimes get so involved in the immediate tasks that I lose sight of the larger amazing realities that abound in my life. That danger lurks for this Thanksgiving-- that I'll become immersed in the details, the event of it...
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, December 3, 2009
World's Religious Leaders Mourn the Obama Escalation in Afghanstan Rabbi Michael Lerner discusses Obama's decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, December 3, 2009
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.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, November 25, 2006
Thoughts on Thanksgiving A little late but still worth reading. While you're still digesting your mammoth Thanksgiving weekend meals, a little food for thought...
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Obama's Error--and What It Would Really Take to Rectify It A continuing irony of American politics is that the candidates of the ruling elites have been able to convince many Americans that the candidates who seek to redistribute wealth to the less fortunate, provide health care for all, and provide jobs and housing for the poor are the real elitists.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, January 29, 2007
I want to share with you my experience and reflections on the D.C. peace march and rally Jan. 27 I want to give you a bit of the flavor of the peace demonstration in D.C., particularly since the media coverage was so predictably inaccurate.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, July 17, 2006
End the Suffering in the Middle East The people of the Middle East are suffering again as militarists on all sides, and cheerleading journalists, send forth missiles, bombs and endless words of self-justification for yet another pointless round of violence between Israel and her neighbors.
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, July 1, 2006
When will they ever learn...that violence is not the path to security? Today we write those words about Israel and Palestine, yesterday about the U.S. in Iraq, tomorrow about China in Tibet, and it goes on and on. And the only solution is to break the chain of pain and say, "No more-we will not respond to violence with violence. We will follow the teaching of the Torah that says ‘love the stranger' and Jesus that says ‘turn the other cheek' and we will stop this madness forever.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, February 2, 2007
There is no New Anti-Semitism What's "new" about the alleged New Anti-Semitism?
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, December 17, 2006
How the Jews and Secularists Did Not Steal Christmas Some leaders of the Christian Right have decided to make an issue of the secularization of Christmas.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, September 11, 2006
Social Repentance on 9/11 5 years after 9/11--America and the world have some serious repenting to do! Lets begin. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could use this time period to ask every institution in American society to dedicate ten days to reflection on the degree to which it is currently living up to its own highest ideals, how far we have "missed the mark" and what we need to do to return to our highest vision and make it real in our lives

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