Post-election Questions

Rabbi Arthur Waskow 11/11/2004

Dear friends,

I am feeling both concern about the possibility of election fraud and doubt that it turned the election around. So The Shalom Report and I have held back from the intense focus that some progressives are expressing.

West Wing plus Red Sox equals Kerry: New Readers' Contest

Pinch-Hitter Arthur Waskow 10/22/2004

For years, I have indulged the fantasy of living in a well-governed America by watching the TV "West Wing." Last year, it got increasingly frenzied with derring-do of war and violence often misdirected, just as in "real life" these last few years.

But now TV has turned the corner. The new-season premiere of "West Wing" and the seventh game of the American League playoffs came on the same night. My conclusions about the coming elections are below.

Reader Contest: Karl Rove & the Next Debate

Rabbi Arthur Waskow 10/6/2004

Dear Friends,

After the first Presidential debate I sent out the below message to our Email lists. I invite you to read it and then enjoy some of the creative responses we've received by checking out the Comments section of this Blog entry. We'd love to hear from you with your own ideas. We'll be picking a winner on Friday, October 15th so get those ideas in to us by adding a comment on this Blog or emailing

The Little Boy in the Bright Red Shirt

Rabbi Arthur Waskow 7/28/2004

I have just (7/27/04) returned from three weeks in Israel, where I could taste sweet Torah-study at a leading center, and walk streets that mixed sweet sounds of children chattering Hebrew with the bitter sense of caution about buses and coffee houses that might be bombed.

Two Encounters: Free Spirits and Conservative Jews

Rabbi Arthur Waskow 6/30/2004

Dear folks,

I've had some remarkable speak-out experiences recently. Two of them give me a strong sense of new directions in our spiritual lives:

The 14th Street Jewish "Y" / Educational Alliance in Lower Manhattan invited three practitioners of avant-garde spirituality to have a conversation with each other and those 200+ folks who gathered:

The three were —

The Rev. Billy Talen of the Church of Stop Shopping, who leads groups of people into huge walmarts to startle shoppers and raise consciousness with chants about sweatshop wages, shattered small businesses, and the like, and who once a week leads people to Ground Zero in Manhattan, there to chant, again and again, the First Amendment to the US Constitution. (Look it up; it's a trip!)

Did torture make America

Rabbi Arthur Waskow 5/18/2004

Dear Friends,

Have the photos of American soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners made America "tamei"? (A little further on in this letter, I will explore the meaning of this mysterious Hebrew word.)

Reader Comments on "Did Torture Make America Tamei?"

Nancy Robinson and Phil Anthony, 05/09/2004

Below is a conversation that happened between two readers, Nancy Robinson and Phil Anthony, in response to Arthur Waskow's piece "Did Torture Make America Tamei?

Comments by Nancy are in blockquotes.

On Sun, 9 May 2004, Phil Anthony wrote:

Dear Friends,

R. Waskow goes deeper than I have on this. I wouldn't expect it to speak to those (of any denomination) without a firm spiritual sense, however. The sense of "tamei" that I have, BTW - though I would hardly presume to match my understanding to Arthur's and Phyllis' - would be of the order of "spiritually dangerous to contact". It raises a number of questions that I'll appreciate others' insights into. Perhaps the greatest is the nature of the spiritual danger involved in lovemaking, menstruation, birth, and contact with death; and whether our contact as citizens with the torture in Iraq rises to that holy/separated level.


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