Seasons of our Joy: Festivals and Lifecycles

Yom Kippur: New Meaning, A New Martyrology

Yom Kippur: New Meaning, New Media, New Martyrology

One of the most painful of all Jewish prayers is "Eleh Ezkereh,” "These We Remember," often called the Martyrology -- the passage we read on Yom Kippur that describes in utter graphic detail the torture and death of ten great Rabbis by the Roman Empire, two thousand years ago. In the video right here, you can share some newer memories not in words alone but in the media of our generation – film and video -- of ten people who were killed during the last 50 years because they were affirming profound Jewish values.

T'ruah 2014 singing

As Reb Arthur Waskow received the first Lifetime Achievement Award offered by T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, he invited those present in New York on Mar 25, 2014 to join him in this song. It's a fragment of Psalm 150, "Hallelu-YAH" -- "Let us praise the Breath of Life." The psalm recites

VIDEO: Yom Kippur & Beyond: The Prophet Isaiah Lives Today

Thousands of years ago, the Prophet Isaiah walked into a crowd that was fasting for Yom Kippur and challenged them to make the day not ritual only, but the first step in a deep turning to heal our world.

Isaiah comes alive again for our generation through a new translation  by Rabbi Arthur Waskow of The Shalom Center, music by Will Fudeman and Cantor Abbe Lyons, art work by Michael Bogdanow, and videography by Tony Ingraham.

To view the video, click on the triangle on the picture above.

VIDEO: Yom Kippur Haftarah -- Isaiah 57:14-58:14 -- midrashically translated by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

We are presenting the Yom Kippur Haftarah -- Isaiah 57:14-58:14 --  in two ways. One is Rabbi Arthur Waskow's slightly midrashic translation, chanted with musical accompaniment by Cantor Abbe Lyons and Will Fudeman and powerfully illustrated by Michael Bogdanow. The other is the written text of the translatiion, which you can find at




Created by Lawrence Bush, editor of Jewish Currents, Shavuos links the festival that celebrates God's revelation of  the Torah at Sinai  with universal human rights and the oneness of Creation. A serious, whimsical, contemplative, eloquent presentation of basic truths that can bring us all together.

April 2011--Mixing Memory, Desire, & Action

Rabbi Arthur Waskow of The Shalom Center addresses supporters of freedom, social justice, and healing for the Earth, linking the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the actions on April 4 surrounding the commemoration of his death, and the  celebrations this year of Passover, Palm Sunday, and Earth Day.

Let There Be

Lawrence Bush, editor of Jewish Currents magazine, has created this quiet but powerful video in memory of three notable people whom we have recently lost: Gabe Zimmerman, community outreach worker for Gabrielle Giffords; Debbie Friedman, singer and composer, possibly best known for her setting of “Mi Shebeirach,” the prayer for healing, used by congregations across America; and Felice Yeskel, founder of UMass's Stonewall Center and, more recently, Class Action.

The Long Narrow Pharaoh and the Pass-over People

Rabbi Arthur Waskow and Rabbi Phyllis Berman read their own telling of the Passover story -- a tale they call "The Long Narrow Pharaoh and the Pass-over People". It originally appeared in their collection Tales of Tikkun: New Jewish Stories to Heal the Wounded World (Rowman & Littlefield). You can find the text of this story at

The Earth Is Not For Burning: Tisha B'Av 2010, Part I

Rabbi Arthur Waskow compares the environmental devastation of the Earth to the destruction of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, and connects our activism to save our planet with the observance of Tisha B'Av in July 2010.


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