Jun 22, 2021

**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: NEW BOOK!** “Fault Lines: Exploring the complicated place of Progressive American Jewish Zionism” is now live!


“Fault Lines: Exploring the complicated place of Progressive American Jewish Zionism” is now live!

My amazing co-editor
Amanda Berman and I are so proud to have shared this creative project with 46 contributors from around the world! And a special thank you to our dear teacher, Professor Marc Dollinger, for providing a powerful foreword to the collection! We hope you'll share this news with your friends and on your platforms, to maximize the positive impact this groundbreaking collection can have. You can find the paperback here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0977X1NLS/. The Kindle version is here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B097M8RDDY. This is how we described the book in the call for submissions, and each piece we received addressed overlapping yet unique responses to the call: It can be very lonely to stand in the world as an advocate for multiple commitments many consider incompatible. One such hybrid stance is Progressive Zionism, deemed racist by many American Progressives and considered suspect (or naïve) by many American Zionists. Those zero-sum approaches of extremist politics and "cancel culture" make even less imaginable a better day for Israelis and Palestinians, for Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews, and for Jewish Republicans and Jewish Democrats. Zionism commits to Theodor Herzl's two-fold vision: securing the right of the Jewish people to a state of our own AND building a national home worthy of Judaism's multi-millennia ethical legacy. The diverse voices collected in "Fault Lines" explore the unique and often-lonely experience of American Jews within all the worlds they consider home. Below, please find Amanda's and my introduction to the book, where we hope you will feel your own contributions echoed and amplified. We are immensely grateful for the community of authors who have shared so freely from their souls. The complete Table of Contents is available here: https://tinyurl.com/FaultLinesTOC The complete list of contributors is available here: https://tinyurl.com/FaultLinesAuthors May you and yours be blessed with health, safety, dignity, and peace. Kol Tuv, Menachem Creditor ______________________________ Fault Lines: INTRODUCTION Rabbi Menachem Creditor and Amanda Berman https://tinyurl.com/FaultLinesBook American Jews are feeling lonely. Lonely because we make up only 2% of the population of this country, 7,500,000 out of 330,000,000 Americans. Our tiny size contributes heavily to our sense of Jewish existential vulnerability, honed over millennia of senseless persecution. Lonely because the vast majority of American Jews identify with the political left, with social justice causes and with the fight for equity and equality for minority groups. But it feels like, far too often, we are expected to strip ourselves of our Jewish and Zionist identities to be welcomed there. Lonely because when we articulate our pain and fear vis-a-vis the efforts to destroy the one Jewish state in the world –– either by force or by narrative –– we struggle to find the words to explain the complexity of the Middle East and our inherent personal relationship to that land and the diverse people living in it. Lonely because when we express our love for Israel and our commitment to its protection, what too many hear is somehow that we oppose the inalienable human rights and dignity of the Palestinian people. Lonely because our progressive values are not exclusive to our domestic views, but while we struggle and grapple with the challenges of the manifestation of the Zionist dream in a sovereign state of Israel, we feel powerless to bring that state more in line with our vision. Lonely because the American political paradigm demands that we subscribe to all-or-nothing, binary ideologies that categorize us as oppressor or oppressed, white or nonwhite, and nothing in between. The Jewish people have never fit neatly into such simple categories. Lonely because we know that the disproportionate focus on Israel, efforts to undermine or delegitimize Israel, and demonization of Israel is a contemporary manifestation of anti-Jewish bigotry. But we also know that Israel isn't perfect and is worthy, as all states are, of criticism –– sometimes quite seriously. The loneliness can be overwhelming. But the truth is that we are absolutely not alone. There are voices who inspire, who empower, who activate, who ideate, who reflect, who grapple, who teach, and who preach. There are voices that confirm our feelings and make sure we feel seen and represented, and voices that challenge our preconceived notions and open our minds to new and complex possibilities. There are voices that express our anger, our frustration, our pain, our fear, our longing –– both for solidarity and for peace. There are so many voices. But sometimes, it's hard to know where to look to find them. There are voices that express our hopes, our dreams, our commitments, our passions – both for the Jewish community and for the world. There are so many magnificent voices calling out these truths. All of this explains why this book came into being. The diverse voices on these pages are some of the very ones most needed if we are to face and address Antisemitism and forced Jewish invisibility by exposing the false dichotomy between Progressive politics and Zionism, if we are to remember and strengthen the Jewish dreams that began the building of a national home worthy of Judaism's multi-millennia ethical legacy. We are deeply grateful to all the contributors of this volume. Thank you for the honor of amplifying your visions of a just world, a safe world, a kind world. May your voices be heard, your prayers fulfilled. May there be peace. Tammuz 5781 June 2021 https://tinyurl.com/FaultLinesBook

Jun 9, 2021

The A Rabbi's Heart #BookTour was amazing!


The A Rabbi's Heart #BookTour was amazing! My deep thanks to each thought-partner who joined me along the way. Their sensitive and sharp questions revealed different aspects of my book, and of my heart. As we recite upon completing a unit of study, #HadranAlach, may we return one day to these holy conversations, and to each other's hearts. It has been an honor.
to purchase your copy of A Rabbi's Heart: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08YS629F4/

Jun 7, 2021

Wisdom from my rebbe, Ruth Messinger:

Wisdom from my rebbe, Ruth Messinger:

"The creation of a more just society is all of our responsibility. It is how we can express our devotion to God, how we can create greater harmony in this broken world. It requires that we understand ourselves as responsible for the other, learn that our actions have consequences for those around us and for those on the other side of the world. We live our values, we honor God when we help those in need, work with them for greater justice in their lives, use the affluence and influence of our community on behalf of everyone."

- from "Justice as a Spiritual Practice," delivered at the Stanford Baccalaureate Celebration on June 13, 2009
for the full text: https://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/june17/messinger_text-061709.html

Rabbi Aaron Brusso on the Proposed the Jerusalem Flag March


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