Rabbi Arthur Waskow  founded (1983) and directs The Shalom Center. He had long before been a founding Fellow (1962-1977) of the Institute for Policy Studies, where he wrote The Limits of Defense, From Race Riot to Sit-in, and the original Freedom Seder, and co-authored with Marc Raskin “A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority,” an influential outcry for resistance to the U.S. war against Vietnam. Feeling called to and by the Freedom Seder into a lifelong engagement with prophetic spirituality, he wrote Godwrestling – Round 2, Seasons of Our Joy, Torah of the Earth, The Tent of Abraham, and Dancing in God's Earthquake: The Coming Transformation of Religion, along with 20 other books.

Posts By This Author

46 Million Reasons for Health-Care Reform

The moral imperatives for change.

We Need an Abrahamic Alliance of the 'Passionate Best'

by Arthur Waskow 10-26-2009

For the next few days in Washington, D.C., 1,200 people are gathering in the name of a "pro-Israel, pro-peace" U.S. policy. Because of my broken leg, I can't be physically there. But my mind and spirit and 40 years of my work are there today.

Israel, Gaza, and the Goldstone Report: A Call for Self-Examination During the High Holy Days

by Arthur Waskow 09-23-2009

During these days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Jews are called on to reexamine our own actions -- our "missings of the mark." The emphasis is on OUR sins -- not those of individuals alone, but of the community -- and the sins of ourselves, not of other people, even our en

I'm Awake at 3 a.m. because My Ribs are Hurting

by Arthur Waskow 08-28-2009
For 25 years I have been a member of a private health insurance plan that seemed to be meeting my needs. My problems were routine, and so were their responses.

From Frozen Rebellion to Flowering Seed

by Arthur Waskow 06-26-2009

As the band of runaway Israelite slaves wander in their search for freedom, again and again they grow rebellious. In the greatest of these rebellions, Korach criticizes Moses, claiming "The whole community is holy -- all of them! Why do you, Moses and Aaron, raise yourselves above them?" (Numbers 16: 1-3ff)

What if the Bible's Ruth Came to America Today?

by Arthur Waskow 05-27-2009
Learning from Shavuot and Pentecost: Can we share our harvest? Can we share our talk and tongues? Can we relearn how to share our work and rest?

God's Image and Caesar's Image: Torture and the Currency of Empire

by Arthur Waskow 05-04-2009

One of the central teachings of Torah is that all human beings are made in the Image of God. That teaching and what flows from it are at the heart of Jewish prohibitions on the use of torture -- and perhaps at the heart of Christian opposition to torture as well.

Indeed, the Rabbis

Swine Flu, Hog Farms, and Piggish Politics

by Arthur Waskow 04-30-2009
There is a lot more to the swine flu outbreak than a virus and a vaccine: There is, surprise surprise, a political-economic context.

Beyond Gaza: An Abrahamic Peace

by Arthur Waskow 01-29-2009
Beyond anguish, what can we say about the massive death and destruction in Gaza and the traumatic fear of falling rockets in Israel?

God's Inaugural Spokespersons

by Arthur Waskow 01-22-2009
I thought God -- the real God, the One who cares passionately about justice, peace, and diversity -- came out rather well in the inaugural ceremonies.

A Question of Tactics

by Arthur Waskow 08-01-2005

Is divestment the right tactic?

Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace, Anti-Occupation

by Arthur Waskow 05-01-2003

Is there anti-Semitism in the anti-war movement?

The Sukkah and the World Trade Center

by Arthur Waskow 11-01-2001

A few weeks ago, the Jewish community celebrated the harvest festival by building "sukkot." What is a "sukkah"?

Radical Shabbat: Free Time, Free People

by Arthur Waskow 05-01-2000
Honorable work and restful renewal are both aspects of responsibility.

Our religious traditions teach that human beings need time for self-reflective spiritual growth, for loving family, and for communal sharing. And the earth itself needs time to rest. Yet today's high-stress, environmentally toxic economy and culture preclude this sort of spiritual deepening.

Indeed, most Americans today work longer, harder, and more according to someone else's schedule than they did 30 years ago. We have less time to raise children, share neighborhood concerns, or develop our spiritual life. This unremitting addiction to "doing" and "making" has intensified many forms of pollution of the earth. This life situation crosses what we usually see as class lines: Single mothers who are working at minimum wages for fast-food chains and holding on by their fingernails to a second job to make ends meet feel desperately overworked; and so do wealthy brain surgeons.

Why is this happening? Because doing, making, profiting, producing, and consuming have been elevated to idols. While corporate profits have zoomed and the concentration of wealth has increased, real wages have remained stagnant for 20 years, and the pressure has intensified to work harder and longer just to stay in the same place.

Biblical "shabbat" is a critique of these idolatries.

Shabbat—the Sabbath—appears first as a cosmic truth in the creation story (Genesis 2:1-4), but seems to have had no effect on human life till just after the great liberation of the Israelites from slavery. In Exodus (16:4-30) Shabbat is made known, along with the manna in the wilderness. This story of food and rest echoes and reverses the tale of Eden.

Brothers Reconciled

by Arthur Waskow 07-01-1999
Sage Ross / Shutterstock.com

Sage Ross / Shutterstock.com

From almost the beginning to the very end of the Book of Genesis, one theme whirls through many variations: war and peace between brothers (and one pair of sisters).

Holy Economics

by Arthur Waskow 09-01-1997

A rhythm of worthy work and reflective rest.

Twice-Promised Land

by Arthur Waskow 09-01-1982

Can the children of Isaac and Ishmael live together in peace?

A Time To Renew?

by Arthur Waskow 06-01-1982

Capturing a rhythm for the present age.