Peace in Our Cities: Rabbis Against Gun Violence -- The prophet Jeremiah told the weary and heart-broken exiles of Jerusalem that they should "seek the peace of the city." Rabbis, along with faith leaders of every tradition, teach that a broken society is one in which we fail to take care of others. This book asks some very hard questions of America in the midst of a Gun Violence epidemic, and presents a passionate, hopeful, healing response to a moment of national pain and fragility. The rabbis in this collection ask: How many innocent deaths will it take for our elected officials to respond with moral conviction? How long must America wait to acknowledge that we lose 30+ American lives to Gun Violence every day, scarring our national life? How many tears must be shed? Learn, connect, and be inspired with the voices of today's rabbinic leaders. amazon.com/Peace-Our-Cities-Against-Violence/dp/1482333813
A Manifesto for the Future: Conservative/Masorti Judaism Dreaming from Within -- The future of Conservative/Masorti Judaism depends on voices like those shared in this book, which was created to fulfill the mission of ShefaNetwork: to bring together dreamers from within the Conservative/Masorti Movement and to give their dreams an audible voice. ShefaNetwork was born in December of 2004 to create a virtual community of professional and lay activists in the Conservative/Masorti movement and a place to discuss the movement's direction and ways of strengthening Conservative Judaism for the future. Perhaps one of the greatest strengths of the Shefa enterprise is the way it has avoided strict boundaries between the intellectual and the practical. Shefa has provided a very fruitful engagement between intellectuals and practitioners, many of whom should be described as falling in both categories. This is as it should be, because a religious movement needs both a coherent vision with philosophical rigor and historical perspective, and the practical wisdom to enact this vision. Usually, these two tasks are not done well by the same people, but that too is a bias that leads us to divide the world into "theorists" and "practitioners," as if the two are from different planets. If the Conservative movement is going to succeed in creating spiritual communities in its schools, synagogues and camps, it will have to bring together the theological visions of the movement's intellectual lights with the practical wisdom of professionals and lay people. The most important accomplishment of ShefaNetwork may be that it has begun a conversation that includes all of these essential voices. amazon.com/Manifesto-Future-ShefaNetwork-Conservative-Dreaming/dp/149279712X/
I had a beautiful day today. I stood with my sister, a passionate rabbi serving the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. We remembered our grandfather of blessed memory, who fought for America and shared hard-earned wisdom with his children and grandchildren.
I looked to my right and saw the Washington Monument. Looked to my left at the Lincoln Memorial. I read quotes engraved on massive stones. And I felt, to my core, one sad feeling: too much war.
Too. Much. War.
The quotes and certain retellings of history would have me believe that we fought for pure purposes: we fought for religious freedom, we fought to end slavery, we fought for freedom for all humanity, we fought to end tyranny. But it's also true that we fought (and fight) for economic interests. It&…