Toward Passover & Holy Week: Action for Jobs, Not War; What are Pharaoh & Caesar today?

Action Description: 

We propose a two-level action effort aimed at renewing the deep meaning of Passover (April 18-26); the Holy Week from Palm Sunday to Easter (April 17-24); and the Quran's retelling of the stories of Exodus and liberation.

One level: "Jobs, Not Wars." Demanding that the resources now poured into the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan wars and attacks, along with other wasteful and destructive military spending, be redirected to meeting the mounting needs for jobs and social repair in American society.

The second level, "the issue behind the issue": Naming the institutions responsible for our decline as a nation and a prosperous society. "Who are the Pharaohs/ Caesars of today?"

Naming (with evidence) as Pharaoh/Caesar such major holders of top-down, unaccountable, and destructive power as the Military-Corporate Complex, Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Banking, and their governmental allies, that have imposed massive disemployment, the climate crisis, and a hugely swollen military budget on our society.

Crucial to this effort will be the development of materials — factual reports on corporate power, alternative budgets, model sermons, prayer and celebration forms, art, music, dance -- that can be used by religious and spiritual communities and congregations during the spring. If you are interested in helping create these, please write & explain what you have in mind.

Background Information: 

Though Islam this year does not have a festival during the spring that would parallel Passover and Holy Week, the rich references to the Exodus and to the origins of Christianity in the Quran, plus the experience of Islam's own birth in resistance to the power elite of Mecca and its deep commitment to social justice, offer a parallel path for such education.

We will also pursue the possibility of multireligious public action growing out of this educational process, to challenge corporate domination and demand the necessary transfer of money and creative energy from military uses to meeting urgent civilian needs.

By working together, the campaign will also shape new kinds of community connecting our present forms of community, just as Ancient Israel, Rabbinic Judaism, Christianity, and Islam built new kinds of communities in response to the oppressive top-down powers of their day.

Jewish and Interfaith Topics: