Remarks by Rabbi Alana Alpert at Michigan United Justice Assembly: Police Accountability & Civilian Oversight.
It’s an honor to be sharing a few words with this powerful gathering
I was asked to speak on the theme of repentance.
Repentance is a concept which sounds a little foreign to Jewish ears…
The closest word we have for repentance is Tshuvah –
it means turning, or to return, or to go in the opposite direction
It operates on the assumption that the person doing t’shuva is GOOD,
good at their core;
that if they just turn around – RETURN,
then they will return to goodness and righteousness.
The word sin also does not translate easily to the Jewish faith.
it seems to assume intentionality.
Our word for sin, Chet, means “to miss the mark”
it assumes we meant to do right.
We aimed for goodness and we missed. Read more »
“Dad, I have had enough. I don’t really want to talk about 9/11 any more.”
So said my older son a couple of weekends ago, just a few days after the tragic attacks in France. Our family had headed to New York City for the weekend, to take advantage of my work trip there. With a hotel room in Midtown as a base, my wife and I were determined to show the kids
more of the city than our friends’ living rooms and favorite coffee shops.
But for all of our big talk about new and exciting destinations like the Natural History Museum, MOMA, and the Empire State Building, as we neared the Holland Tunnel, my wife and I found ourselves agreeing on a slightly different destination.
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
Crossposted from Moriel’s personal blog, The Leftern Wall, where you can find his prose and poetic writing about Israel-Palestine, the Occupation, non-violent resistance, and more.
This morning, I was scanning Twitter, and stumbled across this odd tweet from the IDF Spokesperson (click link).
At the beginning, the soldier says: ”איום של חדירה”, which means, in this context, “the threat of infiltration.”
The video’s translation: Read more »
by Salem Pearce
Editor’s Note: This post is the tenth in Jewschool’s series of reflections on Judaism, Jewish identity, race and the events in Ferguson and beyond.
“We forfeit the right to worship Gd as long as we continue to humiliate Negros.”
Using the language of his time, so said Abraham Joshua Heschel in a telegram to Pres. John F. Kennedy, just before their meeting. Heschel was talking about the structural racism of the 1960s: He had just met the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King at a conference and was getting more involved in the civil rights movement. With this message, he signaled his desire to move the religious community to take action and make personal sacrifice in solidarity with the black community. “Churches and synagogues have failed. They must repent . . .The hour calls for high moral grandeur and spirituality audacity.”
Heschel was a poet as well as a rabbi and a scholar, and even though — or maybe because — his medium was a telegram, I know he chose his words carefully when he made this radical statement. On the one hand, “forfeit” can have an active connotation of relinquishing, or letting go. In this sense, “forfeiting” means you surrender a claim: When you plead guilty to a crime, you forfeit trial by jury. On the other hand, “forfeit” can have a more passive connotation, of something being taken. In this sense, you are deprived without your assent: When you are convicted of a crime, you forfeit your freedom. I think Heschel wanted to say both. Moral action is a prerequisite to relationship with Gd. For Heschel, racism means that we are saying no to Gd. And it also means that Gd is saying no to us. Read more »