Submitted by Rabbi Arthur Waskow on
This line from the Prophet Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem” goes on ==
Ring the bells that still can ring . . .
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in!
We still can ring the Liberty Bell, but a great crack in the bell prevents our ears from hearing it. It rings in our minds and hearts and souls. The Shalom Center pours light through its crack – the light of the Torah that is quoted on the Bell – the Torah of Leviticus 25, the Shmita/ Sabbatical Year and Jubilee, the light of liberty for all humanity and all the Earth, the liberty of time to rest. Time for humans to rest from crushing debt. Time to let the Earth rest from burning the carbon that burns the Earth.
We devote ourselves to shining new light into and through the cracks in our wounded religious life, our wounded country, our wounded Earth.
And we need your help to do it. With the official “tax year” coming to an end, we need to ask for your tax-deductible contributions for us to go forward in that healing.
Money is frozen energy. It comes from the unfrozen work that you and we do every day. We set it aside, freeze it, ready to thaw and pour into action. To change society, we must unfreeze the energy again. You can unfreeze that money by contributing some to The Shalom Center. Without it, we can’t do that work for change.
I have always made a point of explaining what work we will do with the contributions that you-all send us. I did that in detail a week ago, but I noticed that then the Shalom Report got long and the point got lost. So I want to be brief and pointed:
We put our bodies and our minds on the line. From a spiritual perspective, we inspire new ways of thinking about the great issues of our time. Those new ways of thinking distressed and angered some people, and energized many more.
We don’t stop there. We initiate new actions that fuse “the spiritual” and “the activist” into one, or One. When we put our bodies on the line, we risked arrest and often actually got arrested. Even in the moment of arrest, we reminded the police that far worse crimes than a nonviolent sit-in are being committed by people who work in the White House, and we asked the police to keep that in mind when they act as citizens doing their civic duty. As the Prophet Leonard also sang:
. . . I can't run no more
With that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud
But, they've summoned up
And they're going to hear from Me.
There are two closely related Hebrew words: Tzedek means “justice.” It names the work we do to change an unjust law, to create a just community. Tzedakah means “the money we give to help others work for a just society.” Notice that “tzedakah” adds a breathing sound. It is a softer, gentler word than “tzedek.”
The Shalom Center strives to do tzedek. To do that, we need your tzedakah.
Please click on the maroon “Contribute” bar on the left-hand margin of this page.
Thanks! And blessings of shalom, salaam, paz, peace -- Arthur