Whose Image is on Our Money?

Personally, do we use our own money in life-giving ways? Politically, does American society channel its abundance for justice and compassion?

According to Biblical tradition, human beings were created in God’s Image.

According to the ancient Rabbis, “When Caesar puts his image on the coinage, all the coins come out identical. When the Holy One Who is beyond all rulers puts that Sacred Image on a ‘coin,’ all the coins come out unique.”

We are unique and sacred persons endowed with unalienable rights    we are all linked in sacred community by the Infinite One Who breathes all life. Those who preach Ayn Rand’s rampant ego-manic individualism, miss the point. Those who preach Mao’s commitment to a community so total that it can erase all individual uniqueness, miss the point.

So –- what image is on OUR coins, our dollars? Is our money helping give justice and community to the world, or misery and destruction under Caesar’s control? (In our generation, one Caesar is Big Banking.)

For Rosh HaShanah 2012/5773, three communities, two in the Berkeley/ Oakland area —  Beyt Tikkun & Kehilla Community Synagogue —  and The Shalom Center, a national network — will join as co-sponsors of Occupy Rosh HaShanah in Berkeley, California,  to call for personal and social transformation in the way we deal with our dollars. Rabbis Michael Lerner and David Jonathan Cooper, West Coast-based, and Rabbis Phyllis Berman and I, East Coast-based, will share leadership of the action.

We will assemble at 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 17, at the Wells Fargo Bank opposite the downtown central Berkeley BART station (on Shattuck Ave and Center Street).
For this action in Berkeley, if you can, please bring signs calling for MORTGAGE RELIEF,” ”FREEZE  HOME EXPULSIONS,” andBANK ON THE 99%: MOVE YOUR $$ TO A CREDIT UNION.”

We will call for people to remove their funds from Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and other banks that have taken advantage of middle-income Americans  and the poor;  and instead to put their money into not-for-profit credit unions.

At Beyt Tikkun, on Sunday evening Sept 16, the morning of  Monday, Sept 17, and during the second day of Rosh HaShanah, Sept. 18, three of these Rabbis  — Michael Lerner, Phyllis Berman, and I – will  lead services in unique transformative ways —

–-  befitting the more hidden meaning of “Rosh Hashanah” – not only “Head of the Year” but also “Beginning of Transformation.”

Wherever you are, please consider coming to Berkeley for these profound ways of linking “personal” and “political” transformation.

For details of time and place and registration, please click or cut-and-paste to —  http://www.beyttikkun.org/article.php/HHDMain

Phyllis & I look forward to seeing you, far from our usual Coast.

And wherever you are in the world, this year, on the birthday of the human race, remember to ask yourself: Whose image is on my coins? Our coins?

With blessings of transformation and healing –-  Arthur

 

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