From Oprah to Gloria Steinem to Reb Arthur
From Reb Arthur to Gloria to Oprah!
Perhaps you’ve heard about it, but did you see it with your own eyes? Gloria Steinem was being interviewed by Oprah. Oprah asked her to describe a transformative moment in her life. Gloria Steinem shared a story from the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago:
“I was giving out farm-workers literature and I thought, ‘Why am I doing this?’ And Arthur Waskow, a wonderful man, comes up to me and says [here she grasps Oprah’s hand], ‘It’s important, what you are doing. Everything you are doing is important!’ And I’ve never forgotten that.”
You can see and hear it for yourself by clicking right here.
Since 1968, Gloria Steinem has transformed our world with her vision, leadership and passion. All that time, she has held in her heart the courage to do this work and never give up that came from our own Reb Arthur decades ago.
A year ago, we — the members of The Shalom Center’s Board — wrote you to ask for help in supporting Reb Arthur’s lifelong transformative work in stirring people to new hope, new strength, and new action. Now we are askingfor your help again.
What Arthur said to Gloria Steinem was a profound message for two reasons. It showed what The Shalom Center is all about: speaking truth not only to the powerful but also to the disempowered and the discouraged, and thus making something new possible.
It also showed how a single word or gesture can have impact for decades. There are many reasons to be glad that in 1968 Gloria Steinem was given the message she needed to hear at just the right time. How many others have been touched and inspired to action by Reb Arthur’s words? Click here to hear and see why he says — “You never know!”
The Shalom Center is committed to illuminating the ”issue behind the issues” and “the truth beneath the issues.”
The first is that top-down, unaccountable corporate political and economic power, the “pharaohs of our generation,” are behind most of what hurts people and the Earth. Wearing masks to hide themselves.
The second is the spiritual roots of passion for social justice and ecological healing. Deeply rooted, hidden beneath the outward action.
Top-down power is what hides behind global scorching, fracking, and the fear that explodes into violence against Sikhs, Muslims, Blacks, Hispanics, gay people, women. Behind the Vatican’s attack on Catholic nuns called to work with poverty-stricken Americans. Behind the greedy grab that turns the middle class into “the new poor.” Behind the attacks on Medicare and Social Security.
The issue of centralized wealth and power is hardly visible in the election campaign that bubbles all around us, but it is the real issue there too. Deliberately left unspoken.
What can you do? One person has but one vote, but together our votes can transform the outcome of an electoral race.
Just so, each of us can give one gift to The Shalom Center. Together, our gifts can speak transformative truth to the powerful and the disempowered.
That is the truth beneath the issues: Speaking truth to the disempowered means nourishing the spiritual root of truth — so that it can rise and grow into a tree of dignity and life.
We need your help to continue offering insight, new heart, new hope to generations of activists—young and old—who need transformative moments to sustain their work, just like Gloria Steinem.
Please click on the purple “Donate” banner to give that gift of Spirit today.
THE SHALOM CENTER BOARD: Arlene Goldbard, President; Rabbi Mordechai Lieblin, Chair Emeritus; Robert Brand; Cherie Brown; Gary Ferdman; Zelda Gamson; Rabbi Jeff Roth; Max Samson; Rabbi Margot Stein; Linda Tobin.