Introduction/Editorial Map for this On-Line New Menorah

Introduction/Editorial Map for this On-Line New Menorah

As Rosh Hashanah 5762 approaches, the present explosion of violence between Israelis and Palestinians is a year old. And on Rosh Hashanah we read those archetypal and painful stories about the Abraham who endangers the lives of both his sons — Isaac and Ishmael, according to tradition the progenitors of the two peoples.

In recognition of this confluence and of the importance of this conflict to the future of Judaism and the Jewish people, we have brought together in this special issue of New Menorah a number of comments from different perspectives — Israelis, American Jews, and two members (in different ways) of the family of Hagar and Ishmael.

Indeed, there were so many voices that needed to be heard that we could not fit them all into the space of the printed New Menorah. So we chose a major selection of the articles for publication on papaer, and for earth-mailing to ALEPH members.

And we are putting the entire issue as we had originally imagined it on to the ALEPH Website, in the section called New Menorah/ Rosh Hashanah 5762. This is the first on-line issue of New Menorah.

We begin with a teaching from Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. Rather than recite the names and positions of the authors and articles that follow, I simply suggest you read them. In each article, who they are is explained.

About the Muslim sheikh and the Palestinian-American who appear, a special note: they are of course only two voices in communities that have at least as many different outlooks as there are among Jews. Their two voices are indeed remarkably different from each other. Making their voices heard here seems a tiny crystal of what needs to be done — among and between both peoples — if we are ever to approach the shalom/salaam that our teachings and our souls and bodies yearn for.

Sh'ma, Yisrael!! — Listen, you Godwrestlers! — to the varied voices of the God Who is One, and Whose voice is spoken by both families of Abraham and the other families of the earth beside.

Arthur Waskow, Editor