Strong Praise for "Freedom Journeys"-- McKibben, Messinger, Wallis



Make a recurring donation and we'll send you: Freedom Journeys, The Tale of Exodus and Wilderness across Millenia by Rabbi Arthur Waskow and Rabbi Phyllis Berman.

All those people in our headline, plus more -- Rev. Bob Edgar, head of Common Cause; Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun; Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi; Rev. Michael Kinnamon, head of the National Council of Churches;  Laleh Bakhtiar,  first woman translator of the Qur'an; and many more who have seen advance galleys of Freedom Journeys -- now published in March 2011 by Jewish Lights Publishing of Woodstock VT -- say it is terrific! Now you can explore for yourself these creative ideas both about how to read anew and reinterpret the ancient text, and how to apply its profound lessons in our own world crisis.

  • Below is advance praise by an amazing array of leaders in many different communities. One example: "It was the Exodus story that undergirded the civil rights movement; but as Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman demonstrate in this fascinating book, even Martin Luther King didn’t plumb the entire story, which we need now more than ever.”  —Bill McKibben, author, Eaarth; founder,

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or  -- if you make a tax-deductible donation of $180 or more -- we will send you a copy personally inscribed to you by Rabbis Berman and WaskowFreedom Journeys calls us to rethink the story of Pharaoh, the Exodus, Sinai, and the Wilderness --  to learn from it ways we can address our modern-day oppressions --

  •  the new "Plagues" of climate crisis, like the hailstorms Pharaoh's cruelty and arrogance brought upon Egypt;
  •  the attempt to smash labor unions, as  Pharaoh tried to break the will of his "public workers" when Moses, Aarion, & Miriam began organizing them into Brickmakers Union Number One;
  •  our own pharaohs trying to distract us from our own troubles by treating Muslims and Hispanics as scapegoats and pariahs,  as Pharaoh described the ancient Hebrews to distract his people from their problems. 
  •  And above all  -- how we can use the wisdom in these stories to free ourselves and shape new communities to heal ourselves and our deeply wounded planet, as ancient Israel did at Sinai and in the Wilderness.

You can order Freedom Journeys straight from The Shalom Center's on-line bookstore, "Shouk Shalom," by clicking on the "Buy Books" banner on the left-hand column of this page.   Or you can receive a copy personally inscribed to you by the authors, if you click on the "Donate" banner and make  either a $180 outright tax-deductible donation or a recurring donation of $15 a month or more.

PRAISE for  Freedom Journeys “It was the Exodus story that undergirded the civil rights movement; but as Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman demonstrate in this fascinating book, even Martin Luther King didn’t plumb the entire story, which we need now more than ever.”  —Bill McKibben, author, Eaarth; founder, “A powerful retracing of the Exodus story that reminds us all of our obligation to move against oppression and toward freedom in our own lives and in our own time. Waskow and Berman look into our history and use it as a mirror to reflect on the issues of our day.” —Ruth W. Messinger, president, American Jewish World Service

“With fresh, bold, insightful interpretations on the well-known Exodus texts, Freedom Journeys, written by  two of this generation’s most compelling prophetic voices, eloquently invites us to remember and to rethink how our ancient mission addresses the most urgent crises humanity faces today.” —Rabbi David Saperstein, director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism  

“The Exodus is one of the most powerful stories in the Bible, telling of a peoples’ liberation from captivity to freedom.  Waskow and Berman, gifted storytellers in their own right, also show how others see it as an archetype for similar stories in Christianity, Islam, and the southern freedom movement.  Freedom Journeys is a book that will be informative and inspiring for those involved in current movements for justice.”  -- Jim Wallis, president, Sojourners and author, Rediscovering Values “Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman are among the most creative  interpreters of Torah in the past forty years, and Freedom Journeys is  one of the most exciting interpretations of Exodus in contemporary  Jewish literature. Combining very personal takes on the text with a  profound rereading of traditional commentaries, Waskow and Berman have created a book that should be used at every Seder and in every  synagogue in America.”  -- Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor, Tikkun

Freedom Journeys is a prophetic book for the challenges we face in today’s troubled world.   Chapter after chapter contains the Biblical foundation for addressing poverty, care of the earth and living in peace together on this fragile planet as brothers and sisters.  I recommend this book of universal wisdom to people of ALL faith traditions.  --  Rev. Bob Edgar, President of Common Cause; former General Secretary, National Council of Churches; former member, US House of Representatives

"Many of the Hasidim saw the world as God, wrapped in robes of God so as to seem material. Yet they knew that God’s Own Self was fractured in the world we live in, and so both world and God need our acts of healing.  Today, a new paradigm of a Judaism is emerging that is in harmony with Tikkun Olam and will help heal that brokenness for all humanity and all our planet.  Freedom Journeys helps us to bring to birth a new world as God and our forebears did in the Exodus so long ago.  -- Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, co-author of  Jewish with Feeling and A Heart Afire.

"The stories of the Israelites' journey to freedom have inspired Jews, Christians and Muslims throughout the centuries. Waskow and Berman retell the tales yet again, weaving in the voices of  fellow travellers, ancient and contemporary, from among the children of Abraham. The result testifies to the incredible enduring power of these narratives, their connection to the lives of men and women confronting the challenges of their own times.  The authors  answer the  question 'Study or Action?"' with a resounding 'Yes!' --  Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Associate Professor and Director of Multifaith Studies  and Initiatives, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

"Rabbis Berman and Waskow have done it again, now opening the way to fresh, rich and challenging readings of biblical tales of exodus and exile, return and reconsecration. Join these wise guides on this spiritual journey and experience the text renewed and illuminated by their brilliant interpretations and deep,immersion in stories that cross boundaries and bring together all who value and seek freedom. You will be richly rewarded. "--  Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, Union Rabbi and Worship Specialist, Union for Reform Judaism

Freedom Journeys is a deep meditation on the timeless--and timely--relevance of the Exodus narrative. In the grand tradition of mystical exegesis, Waskow and Berman reflect upon Exodus not only as an event that happened "then" and "there", but a paradigm of movement that is happening here and in the now, for all of us, Jew and Muslim, Black and White, male and female.   A joyous, wondrous, and profound classic.  -- Omid Safi, professor of Islamic  studies, University of North Carolina; author, Memories of Muhammad Rabbi

Arthur Waskow has spent a lifetime showing, through study and action, how the biblical tradition calls us to a way of living marked by care for the neighbor and care for the earth.  In this  wonderful little book, he—along with Rabbi Phyllis Berman and several Christian and Muslim colleagues—invites us “to relearn and rethink” the Exodus story in order to grasp its essence as a journey of freedom.  In this way, we see the text’s immediate relevance to the  pharaohs and plagues of our era. -- Rev. Michael Kinnamon,  General Secretary, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA

“This collection is a lush tapestry of visionary, incisive, and inspiring reflections on the Exodus and Wilderness stories. May Arthur's and Phyllis' inspired writing move many to work together for liberation from oppressive structures of our own day, both globally  and locally.  -- Rabbi Amy Eilberg,  Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning; the first woman ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary

“The story of Moses, Pharaoh, and the Exodus is familiar to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, but the familiarity is often superficial. Freedom Journeys encourages us to consider the deeper  meanings of this story, and challenges us to apply the understanding we gain to transform and heal our broken relationships with each other and with the rest of creation.”  —Sheila Musaji, editor, The American Muslim

“It is educational to learn of Freedom Journeys of the past, but awe-inspiring when these authors show how they can be experienced by people of all faiths today.--   Laleh Bakhtiar, Ph. D.; first woman translator of the Qur’an

"In Freedom Journeys Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman have provided those who wish to embrace or encounter a liberal reading of the Exodus story the book theyave been seeking.  In their inimitable words as well as the essays they have collected from Christian, African-American, and Muslim writers, Arthur and Phyllis have created a depository of exegesis and interpretation that will offer inventive, very liberal, and innovative pathways to understanding the narratives and midrashim that have been a part of this ongoing and changing story for the past two thousand years.”  --  Rabbi Steve Gutow,  President and CEO, Jewish Council for Public Affairs

In each and every generation we must learn the story anew:  Freedom Journeys brings the Exodus story freshly and powerfully into our contemporary lives, offering a moving Torah of transformation that will undoubtedly impact many hearts and minds alike.  --  Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author of Surprised By God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion  and editor of  The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism.

Anyone who makes a (tax-deductible) donation to The Shalom Center of $180 or more will receive our gift of Freedom Journeys  personally inscribed by both authors.


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