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Torah of the Earth: Exploring 4000 Years of Ecology in Jewish Thought: v. 2: Zionism


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Rabbi Arthur O. Waskow is recognized as one of the leading thinkers of the Jewish renewal movement. He has been at the forefront of creating Jewish renewal theory, practice and institutions. He founded and directs The Shalom Center, and is a Pathfinder of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, an international network. He is founder and editor of the journal New Menorah, and helped found the Fabrangen Cheder and the National Havurah Committee. His previous books include Godwrestling; Godwrestling—Round 2: Ancient Wisdom, Future Paths, which was named "Best Religion Book of the Year"; The Freedom Seder; Seasons of Our Joy; Freedom Journeys: The Tale of Exodus and Wilderness across Millennia; Torah of the Earth: Exploring 4,000 Years of Ecology in Jewish Thought, Vol. 1: Biblical Israel and Rabbinic Judaism; Torah of the Earth: Exploring 4,000 Years of Ecology in Jewish Thought, Vol. 2: Zionism and Eco-Judaism and Down-to-Earth Judaism. He is the co-editor of Trees, Earth, Torah: A Tu B'Shvat Anthology (Jewish Publication Society).

He and his wife, Phyllis Berman, who is also a leader of Jewish renewal, often join to speak, teach new forms of prayer and lead retreats and workshops in many Jewish and interreligious settings. Together they wrote Tales of Tikkun: New Jewish Stories to Heal the Wounded World.

Waskow lives in the Philadelphia area. He has two grown children of his own, is "associate parent" for two others and has one son-in-law and one daughter-in-law.

Rabbi Arthur O. Waskow is available to speak on the following topics:

Freedom Journeys across Millennia
Jewish Wisdom on the Earth and Human Earthlings
Praying with Our Legs: Social Action Rooted in Spiritual Commitment
Transformative Judaism
The Flow of Jewish Time

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The relationship between Judaism and concern for the environment is exhaustively examined in this comprehensive two-volume anthology. Editor Waskow brings together 39 articles written by 32 scholars and experts. The first volume deals with "Biblical Israel and Rabbinic Judaism" while the second is devoted to "Zionism and Eco-Judaism." The editor, a founder of the Jewish renewal movement, was an anti-Vietnam war activist in the 1960s who "came alive to Judaism" at the age of 34. Twenty-seven years later, in 1995, a committee of rabbis from the Hassidic, Reform and Conservative movements and a feminist theologian who is not a rabbi gave him rabbinical ordination. He has published several books, beginning with The Freedom Seder in 1969. However, his editorial skills leave much to be desired, as evidenced by the irritating repetitions that mar this collection. Its better-known contributors include Norman Lamm (president of Yeshiva University), Abraham Joshua Heschel and Erich Fromm. The names of the other writers are less familiar, but some also make useful contributions to elucidating "Eco-Judaism." Six essays focus on ecological issues in Israel, emphasizing the shared stake of Palestinians and Israelis in environmental protection. The essays examine contradictions in Judaism and Zionism regarding beliefs and behavior affecting nature and the environment. These two volumes probe the roots of the environmental crisis as a looming catastrophe, especially in Israel, and point to a sustainable future path that requires spiritual healing. (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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