Psalms have a unique place in Jewish tradition. They are used to comfort us in a variety of situations, including when sick and at funerals. A different psalm is recited each day of the week to add to our prayer and experience of the flow of the week, and they are used to inspire us. Yet one area where psalms have not been traditionally used is in the area of social justice, which is surprising given the fact that Jewish theology and the Torah are filled with ethical teachings and lessons on the need to stand up to the powerful and to empire, that the world can be fundamentally transformed (i.e., that slaves can be freed), and that God calls for your participation in changing and transforming the world and freeing yourself and others. I embarked on a project to work with one...
Psalm 23: A Psalm to Inspire and Support Social Justice Activists
cat j. zavis, jd, is the Executive Director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. Zavis is also a mediator, teacher of compassionate communication, and co-leader of services at Beyt Tikkun with Rabbi Michael Lerner. In the spring of 2016, Zavis took a course in Psalms with Herb Levine (also featured in this issue). That class, and Levine’s guidance and support, provided the inspiration for this piece.
CAT J. ZAVIS; Psalm 23: A Psalm to Inspire and Support Social Justice Activists. Tikkun 1 January 2017; 32 (1): 47–51. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/08879982-3769090
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