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. 25, No. 2, March/April

A CALL FOR SACRED BIOLOGISTS: Please Announce Yourselves
IF "THE EVOLUTION OE SPECIES IS THE GREATEST SACRED drama of all time," as Art Green claims in his beautiful essay, then we need sacred biologists to help us witness and interpret it.We can certainly appreciate Charles Darwin for his insight into the...
A God We Could Believe In
OUR CREATION STORIES DEFINE WHAT KIND OF CREATOR gods we believe in. The God of patriarchal monotheism was defined by a dualistic, hierarchical universe. Reality was divided between spirit and matter, mind and body, and the power of the first to rule...
An Evolving View of God
IN 1997, I BEGAN TO SEARCH THE BASIC CONCEPTS OF physics to find new metaphors for God. For years I had listened to folks tell me: "Rabbi, with all due respect, I don't believe in God. You know, the whole old-man-with-along-beard-in-heaven thing just...
A Spiritual Perspective on Family Courts
SPIRITUAL PROGRESSIVES BELIEVE THAT PRACTICAL PUBLIC POLICIES FLOW from the application of spiritual principles to national problems. Our spiritual consciousness isn't just some warm glow - rather, it provides practical guidance in a complicated world....
A Universe Struggling to Become Aware?
"GOD" IS ONE WAY OF TRYING TO SAY SOMETHING VERY important, something that ultimately cannot be captured in words. So we can't avoid metaphors, but the idea of God as heavenly Father- as an all-powerful, allknowing, all-loving Creator who wants us to...
Avatar-The Soul in the Machine
IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN AVATAR, DO. PARTICULARLY IN ITS 3-D version, it is a film that will engage your senses. James Cameron has created a product that extends the palette of our filmmakers as dramatically as the introduction of sound to silent film or...
Cash for Credits: Education in a Time of Hardship
AN INTRIGUING BIT OF NEWS FROM MY HOME STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA recently made it into the national media: Susie Shepherd, an elementary school principal in the small town of Goldsboro, suggested that as a way to raise much-needed funds for her school,...
Climate Change and the Question of God
CLIMATE CHANGE DEMANDS THAT WE TURN OUR EYES to the world, to space and place, to the concrete, to asking questions about how to live within the particularities and limitations of planet earth rather than speculating about why we are here. Should religions...
God in the Age of Twitter
IN THE 1998 FILM THE TRUMANSHOW, TRUMAN BURBANKwhose very name yokes the human aspiration for truth with the fictions or mistruths of Hollywood (Burbank, California)- takes a ship to the edge of his film set, Seahaven. Then he climbs a set of stairs...
God, in Whom
THE WORDS THAT COME MOST AUTHENTICALLY FROM the heart when I speak of God are these from one of our most common prayers: "Eternal God, in whom we live and move and have our being." Granted, when Paul used these words in addressing the people of Athens,...
God's Timeless Names
THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD, PEACE UPON HIM, informed us that God revealed the following simple, yet infinitely profound words : "Do not insult time, for verily I am time." In that God encompasses all time, chronologya phenomenon that is relative to our perception...
Hagiopics from Hollywood
[FILM]Hagiopics from HollywoodAVATAR, Twentieth Century-FoxLEGION, Screen Gems, 2010THE LOVELY BONES, DreamWorks SKG, 2009THE BOOK OF ELI, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2010Review by David SterrittRELIGION HAS A CHECKERED history on the silver screen. Most...
Healing in Community
THE PLAYGROUND GREW OUT OF A RECURRING DREAM.Years ago, during childhood, I dreamt a terrifying dungeon, its only window barred: the window of the state psychiatric facility where I'd once visited my mother.I thought Mom was in jail then. I knew she...
Is "Radical Theology" Radical?
EVER SINCE SPINOZA, MANY MODERN JEWS AND Christians have struggled to offer an alternative to Spinoza's atheism or, more accurately, his a-theism (a dis-belief in the personal transcendent biblical God who commands), while essentially agreeing in principle...
Long Live Zinn
MUCH WILL AND SHOULD BE WRITTEN ABOUT HOWARD Zinn's contributions to the world: how his A Peoples History of the United States changed how many of us understand America and, like all great histories, shed the great light of truth upon our present, explaining...
Notes on Silence
IT MAY SEEM LIKE A BETRAYAL TO SPEAK OF SILENCE, TO BREAK an unspoken pact. Yet, whether we are conscious of it or not, it is there, inextricably woven into the fabric of our lives. As the Sufi poet Rumi put it: "A person does not speak with words. Truth...
Reaching for the Moon: A Children's Book Author Challenges the Separation of Science and Religion
CLOUDS OF DUST SWIRL FROM THE YOUNG BOY'S SHOES AS HE RACES through lanes and over the arching bridge, scampering past the donkey that draws a vegetable cart to market. He cannot wait to tell his father what he has heard in school today- that a most...
SACRED EVOLUTION: A Radical Jewish Perspective on God and Science
I OPEN WITH A THEOLOGICAL ASSERTION. As A RELIGIOUS person I believe that the evolution of species is the greatest sacred drama of all time. It dwarfs all the other narratives, memories, and images that so preoccupy the mind of religious traditions,...
Sacred Pronouns
THE ISSUE OF THE ROLE OF MALE GOD-LANGUAGE IN producing and maintaining a male-dominated Judaism was first raised by feminists over thirty-five years ago. From the early 1970s, when Rita Gross argued that Jewish inability to say "God-She" was the ultimate...
State of the Universe Address 2010
Wake Up Laughing, and Wise Up Loving: the Upwising Has Begun!"We're not here to earn God's love, we're here to spend it! "You really had to strain to hear the laugh track in 2009. Certainly, there was plenty to not laugh about. Take our political system-...
The Activist's Dilemma: Reform or Radical Change
THE NEW YORK TIMES FRONT-PAGE HEADLINE on October 24, 2009, read: "No Einstein in Your Crib? Get a Refund." The article described how public health lawyers threatened a class action suit against Disney in 2009 for falsely advertising its Baby Einstein...
The Future of God-And Secularism
THE FUTURE OF GOD DEPENDS ON THE FUTURE OF secularism. Most people will hear in that sentiment a prediction about the growth of secularism: If secularism grows, belief in God will commensurately shrink If secularism stagnates, the world will continue...
The Gap God Opens
GOD AS A HIGHEST BEING- A STEADY HAND AT THE WHEEL of the universe, ordering all things to good purpose, the spanning providential eye o'erseeing all- has had a good run. But in our postmodern condition we acknowledge the instability of traditional foundations,...
The God of a Talmudist
THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD (MENAHOT 29B) SAYS THAT when Moses arrived at the peak ofMount Sinai to receive the Torah, he found God attaching the flourishes to the tops of the letters of the Torah scroll. Moses demanded to know why, with all of Israel waiting...
The Healing Power of Sacred Dance
ONE DAY A YOUNG DOCTOR NOTICED AN ELDER FROM THE LOCAL INDIAN pueblo sitting in the waiting room of his clinic, watching him examine patient after patient. At the end of the day, the doctor, Carl Hammerschlag, then a recent graduate from Yale University...
THE LURE OF LOVE DIVINE: Mystery, Spirit, Process, Liberation
IN 1948 PHILOSOPHER BERTRAND RUSSELL AND JESUIT philosopher Frederick Copleston conducted a famous BBC radio debate on the existence of God. Copleston contended that God's existence was provable, and Russell disagreed. But the two philosophers readily...
There Can Be No Universal Talk of God
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9).AS A PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN, HOW...
The Testimony of Faith to the Ultimate Origin
SCIENCE CAN NEITHER CONFIRM NOR REFUTE WHAT THE two accounts of Genesis proclaim as their clear message: in the beginning of the world is God. So it is not "in the beginning was the Bang," but "in the beginning was the word, the will, and there was light;...
This Is Andalus!
[MUSIC]THIS IS ANDALUS!SIWANAudio CD by Jon Balke, Amina Alaoui, Jon Hassell, Kheir Eddine M'Kachiche, and Bjarte EikeECM Records, 2009Review by David ShashaANDALUSIAN HISTORY REpresents not only one of the great high points of medieval civilization-...
Tunisia, 1942: Humanity amid Inhumanity
TUNISIA, 1942: HUMANITY AMID INHUMANITYTHE WEDDING SONG, Gloria FilmFrance 3 CinemaReview by Ralph SeligerTHE WEDDING SONG BEGINS with a young girl sweetly singing an Arabic wedding ditty. This is followed abruptly by a photo tableaux of the infamous...