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A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on peace.


Blogs

Applying Jewish Values To Help Heal the World: Review of Rabbi Arthur Waskow’s book, “Dancing in God’s Earthquake”

            Dancing in God’s Earthquake: The Coming Transformation of Religion Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow Orbis Books, 2020 US $25      I looked forward eagerly to reading Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow’s latest book, Dancing in God’s Earthquake, for two reasons. First, as one who has long argued that Jews should be doing far more to apply Jewish teachings in response to current environmental and other threats, I was intrigued by the book’s subtitle, “The Coming Transformation of Religion.”  Second, I have been reading many ...

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A Dialogue Between a Jewish Vegan Activist and a Rabbi

Dialogue Between a Jewish Vegan Activist and a Rabbi It is vital to conduct respectful dialogues within the Jewish community on whether Jews should be vegtarians, or even vegans. I have imagined a dialogue as a means of encouraging readers to conduct such debates with local rabbis, educators, and other Jewish leaders. Scene: A Jewish vegan activist meets his or her rabbi in the latter’s office. Jewish Vegan Activist (JVA): Shalom, Rabbi. Rabbi: Shalom. Good to see you. JVA: Rabbi, I have been meaning to speak to you for some time about an issue, but I ...

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Eighteen Reasons Jews Think They Should Not Be Vegetarians or Vegans (and Why They Are Wrong)

Below are 18 reasons why many of my fellow Jews think they should not be vegetarian or vegan (henceforth veg*an) and my rebuttals to the reasons: 1) The Torah teaches that humans are granted dominion over animals (Genesis 1:26), giving us a warrant to treat animals in any way we wish.Response: Jewish tradition interprets “dominion” as responsible guardianship or stewardship: we are called upon to be co-workers with God in improving the world. Dominion does not mean that people have the right to wantonly exploit animals, and it certainly does not permit us to breed ...

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What Diet Does God Prefer for People?

What Diet Does God Prefer for People? The most basic line of demarcation in the realm of Halacha (Jewish law) is the one between the permitted and the forbidden. Yet, in the realm of the permitted, we also find a further line between the accepted and the ideal. At this point, we do not simply ask what does God allow but what does God prefer.      Within this context, it is essential that we not only ask which foods God permits but that we also consider the diet that God prefers for us. The following arguments are submitted in furtherance of my view that God's ...

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Interview of me about my newest book, VEGAN REVOLUTION: SAVING THE WORLD, REVITALIZING JUDAISM

Shalom,     An interview of me about my just published book, VEGAN REVOLUTION: SAVING THE WORLD, REVITALIZING JUDAISM on “Vegan Stories Podcast’ can be heard by visiting veganstoriespodcast.com. .   The promotion message by interviewer Jeff Rosenblum is:     I am so proud and honored to share Episode 7 of Vegan Stories Podcast (published this morning) with my guest, Richard H. Schwartz, who I interviewed (remotely from Israel) last Tuesday (the day his new book was published).  I'll let the title, subtitle and, of course, Episode 7 (see link below) speak ...

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My latest book, VEGAN REVOLUTION: SAVING THE WORLD, REVITALIZING JUDAISM, just published

Shalom, I am delighted that my latest book, VEGAN REVOLUTION: SAVING THE WORLD, REVITALIZING JUDAISM, has just been published!! I have started a comprehensive, unprecedented, potentially transformative campaign, in conjunction with the book’s publication, to get vegetarianism and veganism, animal rights, health, environmental sustainability, and related issues solidly onto the Jewish agenda (and other agendas), and to help shift our imperiled planet onto a sustainable path. I would VERY much welcome your involvement in this campaign. This would be very helpful in ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 2: Reflections on The Challenges of Living with Fear and Hope

by Maxine Lyons I find new signs of hope and gratitude for the changes that I feel are beginning to surface despite the anxieties and sadness I feel for the families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, and for the heightened consciousness of racism. We are living through a time when many forces are coming together with the potential to change our daily lives, setting in motion systemic reforms to our institutions that could dismantle systemic racism. I feel fearful that social upheaval or outright rebellion could de-stabilize us as a country or alternatively, could ...

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New Year for Animals Zoom Discussion in USA

You are cordially invited to attend a Zoom discussion of the historic, potentially transformative initiative to restore the ancient New Year for Animals and to transform it into a day devoted to increasing awareness of Jewish teachings about compassion to animals and how far current realities are from these teachings. It will also consider how animal-based diets and agriculture seriously violate basic Jewish teachings about preserving human health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, helping hungry people, and ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 1: Elul is here

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen I turned inward with the lockdown. I didn't want to go anywhere. My garden saved me. I worked outside almost every day. In early summer, I started again to lead outdoor services with small groups. But no walks on my own, in nature. After the depths of despair of Tisha B'Av, as the weeks of consolation began, knowing Elul was approaching, I started to turn outward. I spent a week of early mornings in a little-traveled conservation area, before the heat settled in. Reveling in the blooming flowers ...

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Invitation to Zoom event discussing an initiative to renew the ancient New Year for Animals and to transform it into a day devoted to discussing Jewish teachings on compassion to animals and how animals are mistreated today

Shalom, You are cordially invited to attend a Zoom discussion of the historic, potentially transformative initiative to restore the ancient New Year for Animals and to transform it into a day devoted to increasing awareness  of Jewish teachings about compassion to animals and how far current realities are from these teachings. It will also consider how animal-based diets and agriculture seriously violate basic Jewish teachings about preserving human health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, helping hungry ...

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Ten Reasons Jews Should Consider Becoming a Vegetarian or a Vegan

As president of Jewish Veg, formerly Jewish Vegetarians of North America, and author of three editions of Judaism and Vegetarianism and over 250 related articles online, I very respectfully present the following reasons Jews should very seriously consider eliminating, or at least sharply reducing, your consumption of meat and other animal-based foods:

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Earth Etude for Elul 20 — Past and Present Pain

by Rabbi Katy Allen ~ What if...the feelings we have when we pass through...zones of destruction are actually arising from the land itself? What if it is the grief of the forest registering in our bodies and psyches—the sorrow of the redwoods, voles, sorrel, ferns, owls, and deer, all those who lost their homes and lives as a result of this plunder of living beings? What if we are not separate from the world at all? It is our spiritual responsibility to acknowledge these losses. What if this is the anima mundi, the soul of the world, weeping through us? We know ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 14 –Inner and Outer Climate Change

by Rabbi Robin Damsky A local toad finds a home in the pot of a rooting African violet (yes, the leaf got displaced). ~It’s been a year of change. Not just a move, but a move to a new climate zone and a very new culture. I moved from outside Chicago to Durham, NC, the South. The trees here are glorious – pines everywhere, wisteria in April blooming in the wild, crepe myrtle in vivid fuchsia and pale pastels just now. It’s hot. Average days are in the 90s and one can almost swim in the humidity. A long growing season brought daffodils in February, while I just ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 8 –A Year of Travel, A Year of Wonder

by Susie Davidson Photos (from top left clockwise): Louisiana Bayou from Amtrak; Maine foliage; Hills of Mexico, Del Rio Texas; Susie Davidson at El Paso Crossing; Banyan tree, Miami, FL. ~ Over the past year, I've had many unforgettable experiences in different countries and regions, within amazing, varied landscapes. There is nothing like discovering and living in a new environment. The languages, cultures, geography, and people are so different. However, it is within these strange surroundings that I have conversely noticed what is similar. There are common ...

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The Dead Sea Revival Project

Vision- Rehabilitation of the historical water flow to the Dead Sea from the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. Purpose The Dead Sea Revival Project (DSRP) aims to become a leading NGO for environmental education and activism. We want to stimulate the growth of global support for “saving our water treasures” by exciting the imagination of individuals and groups. About The 'Dead Sea Revival Project has been recognized by CNN/VR, National Geographic, the Israeli mainstream news media in Hebrew and English, the Israeli Knesset’s “Committee for Saving the Dead ...

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Which Economic System Is Most Consistent With Judaism?

The pursuit of profit has led to the condition where the great treasures of natural resources are accumulated in the hands of the few individuals who, because of further profits, have brought to tens of millions of human beings pain, hunger and want. Does this not show clearly the wickedness of the present capitalist order, which is in glaring contradiction to the religious ethical tendencies of Judaism? ... The fight for Socialism is the fight for human liberation.... Moral rebirth and not mere economic reconstruction. The fight for Socialism ... must be firstly a fight ...

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Should Jews be Vegetarians: A Debate

This debate initially appeared in the Jerusalem Post on October 25, 1999, but it is still very relevant today. ==================== SHOULD JEWS BE VEGETARIANS? A DEBATE (Richard H.Schwartz, PhD's debate with Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, which appeared years ago in the Jerusalem Report) ========== Introduction: In addition to its benefits for health, animals, and the environment, vegetarianism may be  called for by some of Judaism's most cherished tenets. Is it time to reconsider our dietary traditions? Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, Rabbinic Coordinator of the Kashrut ...

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Chanukkah Chesed Challenge: Acts of Kindness

The evening of November 8 was the first of the month of Kislev, which means Chanukkah (there are many English spellings!) isn't far away - it begins on the 25th of Kislev and ends on the 2nd of the month of Tevet. During these days, from today until the end of Chanukkah, I invite you to be part of the Chanukkah Chesed Challenge. Chesed means "kindness," and the idea of the Chanukkah Chesed Challenge is to work consciously, every day, to do one act of chesed, or kindness, to someone you encounter throughout the day. This act should be something that does not ...

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         Why Jews Should Vote for Democrats in 2018

    The U.S. mid-term elections could greatly influence the future of the U.S., Israel, and, indeed, the entire world. While it is often said that “elections have consequences,” and every national election is touted as extremely important, in efforts to increase voting, there are reasons why the upcoming election is really especially important, a potential game changer.      Why? The Republicans currently hold the presidency, both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court. They have been doing everything they can to retain that power through gerrymandering ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 26 – Returning to The Trees of Life

by Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein~ I am a tree hugger. From long ago. I have planted trees, hundreds of them. I have celebrated Arbor Day as a Girl Scout. I have hiked in the woods from the time I was little. There is a tree that grows in the center of the Merritt Parkway on the way into New York. I passed this tree every week on my way to rabbinical school. It is a beautiful tree with many strong, curved branches coming out of the central trunk. It looks like a menorah. There is another tree like that, a very old tree on the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, ME. Over a ...

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