New Menorah - Spring 5763/2003

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Editorial guide to NM Issue

Dear Readers,

There are many levels of life-giving poetry encoded in Tu B'Shvat, the midwinter festival at the full moon, when trees in the Land of Israel renew their life, and the early-blooming almond actually flowers.
This year it falls on the Shabbat of Crossing the Sea, January 17-18.

This issue of New Menorah focuses on Tu B'Shvat. The articles and prayer and poetry explore various aspects of the festival -- especially in light of its close connection this year with the observance of an American festival, Martin Luther King's Birthday (January 20).

In the midst of a crisis involving dangers of war , terrorism, environmental damage, bad corporate ethics, and various other aspects of shefa and what is usually its opposite -- violence -- the first four articles in the issue take up these questions.

Arthur Waskow of The Shalom Center explains why he would suggest focusing the festival this year on the dangers of war.

Mark Jacobs, director of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, points to the question of environmental justice and the dangers of environmental racism as one way of connecting King's legacy with that of the Tree of Life.

Barak Gale, a tireless veteran eco-activist, speaks  of Tu B'Shvat as a time for a "Declaration of Interdependence" that the Jewish people could offer to the world.

And Richard Schwartz, who has probably done more than any other living Jew to expound the cause of vegetarianism from its Jewish roots, looks at Tu B'Shvat as an expression of vegetarian yearning.

The other, shorter, pieces, include poetry, music, prayers, meditation, and action guides that bespeak among them sweet, ironic,  nostalgic, and mystical approaches to the day.

And finally, our issue ends with Major Resources on Tu B'Shvat that might help all who wish to observe the joyful day.

May your Tu B'shvat be fruitful!!

A Tree of Life she is,
for those who hold her close --
A Tree of Life for Peace.

-- Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Editor,


Shalom, Arthur
You can receive the biweekly "Shalom Report"  by writing
<www.shalomctr.org/subscribe.html>
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director
The Shalom Center <www.shalomctr.org>


New Menorah is a quarterly publication of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal,
distributed free to members of ALEPH. We welcome new members.
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Copyright of this article and all other articles in this issue of New Menorah
is held by the author. Copyright (c) 2003 by Rabbi Arthur Waskow.
Readers who are members of ALEPH may download and print individual copies
for their own use, or electronically forward no more than three other copies
without charge, for non-profit use only. Any such forward must include this notice. 
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please contact the author.
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