Tikkun

Tikkun Magazine: A Bimonthly Jewish Critique of Politics, Culture and Society is published twice a month by Tikkun Magazine. Founded in June 1986, the publication covers world politics and social issues.

Articles from Vol. 21, No. 1, January/February

Absolute Love
If the pure essence of love is like the sun in a cloudless sky, this clear and luminous light shines through relationships most brightly in beginnings and endings. When your baby is first born, you feel so graced by the arrival of such an adorable being...
A Spiritual Dimension for Business
Perhaps you run a business of your own. For years, you've been working impossible hours, neglecting family, friends, and the activities you really enjoy.Maybe you're convinced that a business shouldn't have to treat customers and employees as expendable,...
Blessing
Creator of the Universe, we pray for your spirit of love to be in our midst, for it is that spirit that binds us to the eternal prism of hope. In moments of crisis, it becomes necessary to dissolve the false sense of patriotism in the will of a few,...
Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War
* Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. South End Press, 2005The last time an international scandal rocked a U.S. administration was the Iran-Contra affair of the 1980s, which revealed a clandestine back door to arms...
Choir Boy
* Choir Boy, by Charlie Anders. Soft Skull Press, 2005While reading Choir Boy, the sweet and spirited first novel by Charlie Anders, there is a strong temptation to try to classify it, to try to make it fit. Is it a coming of age novel? A teen transgender...
Current Thinking
Evolution and Science Under AttackSpiritual progressives can easily align with liberal secularists to oppose attempts to teach alternatives to the theory of evolution in science courses. The Religious Right's agenda is transparent: to reintroduce the...
Do We Have Room for Spirit within Ourselves?
Why are you here? Why were you born? Some of you have always been a little bit different. You've been special, you've been sensitive, even as a child you couldn't stand it. You couldn't stand the pain in the house. You couldn't stand the pain in the...
Evolution and Science under Attack
Spiritual progressives can easily align with liberal secularists to oppose attempts to teach alternatives to the theory of evolution in science courses. The Religious Right's agenda is transparent: to reintroduce the biblical story of creation as an...
Exiled from Main Street: Talking with Anarchist Band the Ex
It's past midnight in Amsterdam, but G.W. Sok sounds wide awake. A co-founder of the Dutch anarchist punk band The Ex, he betrays no resentment at having to discuss the band's twenty-five year career at an hour when most people struggle to stay alert....
Holywood: How the Religious Right Is Reshaping the Movie Industry
In November, Sony Pictures released Left Behind: World at War, its first major DVD aimed at the Christian market. With a production budget of almost $10 million, World at War is a hybrid of action-adventure and Christian evangelism. Americans are snatching...
Hostile Takeover: Theocracy in America
The confirmation hearings and debates about Judge Samuel Alito facing the United States in January underscore the immense power of the Religious Right. Fearful that Bush's nominee Harriet Miers was not sufficiently conservative, the Religious Right created...
Israel and the Politics of Muslim Identity
In October2005, at aTehran conference on "The World Without Zionism," Iran's new hard-line president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, declared that Israel "must be wiped off the map." The reaction in the Muslim world was silence. This raises the question: why the...
Is There Room for Spirit in Our Economy?
After the last election I was depressed about my life and my place in it, when a Vietnamese student named Thi came to my office. She said, "I wanted to thank you for the American Literature class you taught last semester. " I replied, "Well, you don't...
Is There Room for Spirit in Our Families?
Our challenge is to create the social conditions that support the realization of our enormous human capacity for consciousness, creativity, empathy, and caring. This is the core of a progressive spiritual political agenda.Most of us share the vision...
Is There Room for Spirit in Our Families?
I thank the God of peace and justice for having sent a holy prophet of peace and justice to us. The night before our government assassinated him, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. summed up the situation we are still in. "The choice," he said, "is no longer...
Is There Room for Spirit in Politics?
American politics already has been transformed by religion and spirit, but not by the religion that most of us find acceptable and not by a spirit with which we're comfortable. In fact, historically there have been several iterations of a religious/spiritual...
Is There Room for Spirit in Politics?
Too often we think of politics as a once-every-four-years event, a round of partisanship, and this candidate versus that candidate. But 98 percent of our shared life in the public sphere happens between elections, not in them.My organization, Pax Christi,...
Is There Room for Spirit in Science?
Over the past two decades, a new conception of life has emerged at the forefront of science. It is a systemic view of life, based in part on new discoveries in complexity theory. In this new view, the biological and the cognitive aspects of life-in other...
Is There Room for Spirit on the Left?
When the war broke out three years ago, the people around me fell into a terrible despair that startled me a little bit. They concluded that we didn't stop the war. But then they started to extrapolate: we didn't stop the war, we didn't have any effect,...
It's Party Time
If the joyous exclamations of Israeli journalists were any indication, the parting of the Red Sea could not have made a bigger splash. In the days immediately following the November 7 surprise victory of Histadrut leader Amir Peretz over party chair...
Jewish Renewal: Toward a "New" American Judaism
It is time to begin thinking about writing the history of Jewish Renewal in America. This is not because the Jewish Renewal movement is over. Quite the opposite: Jewish Renewal, just one generation old, is quickly becoming part of mainstream American...
Killer, Poet, Sage, Boy: Pinsky's David
Killer, Poet, Sage, Boy: Pinsky's David* The Life of David, by Robert Pinsky. Schocken, 2005.From Robert Pinsky, America's former Poet Laureate, one might have expected an exploration of biblical poetry-the prophets, Job, the Song of Songs. But his first...
Learning to Love Sharon
Israel's most influential journalist, Nahum Barnea, wasn't satisfied by reckoning with just the past twelve months. In his October 3, 2005 Rosh Hashanah column in YediotAhronot, "The Man Who Was Hated Twice," Barnea tried to answer the main question...
Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:In Shai Ginsburg's review of Atash, [TlKKUN, November/December, 2005], he briefly notes that Abu Shukri moved his family from their little town in Israel to an abandoned army installation in a desolate valley. What was the scandal? Abu...
Making Room for SPIRIT
When Henry Ford invented the assembly line in 1913, he made it possible for low-skilled workers to get good pay while producing cheaper cars. The only downside was that workers had to perform the same repetitive tasks day after day.What Antonio Gramsci...
MAKING ROOM FOR SPIRIT: The Network of Spiritual Progressives
This past summer, the over 1,300 attendees at Tikkun's Conference on Spiritual Activism ushered in a new project of the Tikkun Community, the Network of Spiritual Progressives. The NSP will focus on challenging the misuse of religion by the Religious...
MASH DOWN BABYLON; It's Party Time
Joel Schalit is managing editor of TIKKUN. He is currently hard at work on his third book for Akashic, Israel vs. Utopia, and enjoying the delights of Ableton's Live 5 looping software.If the joyous exclamations of Israeli journalists were any indication,...
New Keywords: A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Edited by Tony Bennett, Lawrence Grossberg, and Meaghan Morris
Dr. Jonathan Sterne teaches in the Department of Art History and Communications at McGill University. He is the author of The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction.New Keywords consists of short, somewhat etymological entries, organized...
Political Cinema
After John Kerry's defeat in the 2004 elections, some Democrats felt embarrassed at having so severely miscalculated, lashed out at Michael Moore, blaming their defeat on the extremism of his movie Farenheit 9/11. Their criticisms largely missed the...
Reluctant Memory
Sixty years after the liberation of Auschwitz, there remain, among the most powerful and haunting words of testimony, those of Primo Levi. Thousands of words and images, books, documentaries, and feature films have failed to displace, much less replace,...
Sikkum TIKKUN RECOMMENDS
WAL-MART: THE FACE OF TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY CAPITALISMEdited by Nelson Lichtenstein, New Press, 2006For many Americans, Wal-Mart has become as much a synonym for evil as Osama bin Laden is. Hostile to unions, notorious for its use (and abuse) of migrant...
Taking Slavoj Zizek Seriously
"What would be my, how should I call it, spontaneous attitude towards the universe?" asks Slavoj Zizek at the opening of Astra Taylor's documentary Zizek. He continues:It's a very dark one. The first one would have been a kind of total vanity: there...
The End of Public Space: Israel's New Shopping Malls
Shopping malls, I've always found, are difficult places to think-even to think about shopping malls. Is it the buzz in your ears coming from the "mall radio" and PA system? Or the \vindowless symmetry of the malls, designed so that there is no easy way...
The End of the Melting Pot
A virgin world where doors of sunset part,Saying, "Ho, all who weary, enter here!There falls each ancient barrier that the artof race or creed or rank devised, to rearGrim bulwarked hatred between heart and heart! "-Emma Lazarus, "1492" (1889)Quick:...
The Junk Science of Abortion-Breast Cancer Syndrome
Even as pro-choice advocates seem stuck in an endless limbo of outdated language and desperate appeasement strategies, the anti-choice faction has gained strength by being willing to refocus its language and rhetoric. There is no better example of the...
The Language of Politics
The Language of Politics * New Keywords: A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society, edited by Tony Bennett, Lawrence Grossberg, and Meaghan Morris. Blackwell, 2005.New Keywords consists of short, somewhat etymological entries, organized alphabetically....
The Life of David, by Robert Pinsky
Anne Winters is a poet and associate professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of The Displaced of Capital (2004) and The Key to the City (1986).From Robert Pinsky, America's former Poet Laureate, one might have...
The Many Facets of Conservatism
To progressive pundits, the withdrawal of Harriet Miers and nomination of Samuel Alito for associate justice of the Supreme Court represent the triumph of "conservatism." In the progressive worldview, "conservatism" implies a monolithic social and religious...
The Other Side of Israel: My Journey across the Jewish/Arab Divide
Capsule Reviews * The Other Side of Israel: My Journey Across the Jewish/Arab Divide, by Susan Nathan. Nan A. Talese, 2005Although my sympathies are on the Left, I am tired of platitudes about Israel. I understand the allure of being an anti-Zionist,...
The Real Middle East
The Real Middle East* Why They Don't Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil, By Mark LeVine. One World Publications, 2005* The Modern Middle East, by Ilan Pappé. Routledge, 2005As U.S. universities grapple with the forces of globalization, Middle...
The Secret Message of Jesus
The message of Jesus is not what most Christians assume it to be: information on how to go to heaven after you die. Instead, it is a radical message about the possibility of a new social and spiritual order available and possible here and now, evoked...
Western Sahara: The Other Occupation
Imagine an Arab Muslim nation, most of whose people have lived in the squalor of refugee camps for decades in exile from their homeland. Most of the remaining population suffers under foreign military occupation, with a smaller number living as a minority...
Why They Don't Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil, by Mark LeVine; the Modern Middle East, by Ilan Pappe
Joe Lockard is assistant professor of English at Arizona State University, where he teaches early American and African American literature. His book, Brave New Classrooms: Democratic Education and the Internet, co-edited with Mark Pegrum, is forthcoming...
Yom Kippur a Go-Go
* Yom Kippura Go-Go, by Matthue Roth. Cleis Press, 2005Matthue Roth is a San Francisco-based literary wunderkind. He's also an Orthodox Jew who spends more time in lesbian bars than he does with yeshiva bochers. Yom Kippur a GoGo recounts the start of...