Jews

Folks, many of you may have seen this, but we have friends in the world who cannot directly access the Jerusalem Post piece. So here it is. Lauren is an amazing interviewer. She interviewed me for nine hours, longest interview of my life:

The lonely man of peace

lonelymanofpeace

By LAUREN GELFOND FELDINGER

21/01/2010

This week, Orthodox American rabbi Marc Gopin saw his coexistence work in Syria bear fruit. What turns a Soloveitchik disciple into an unofficial diplomat to the Arab…Somewhere between the shtetls of Eastern Europe and sites across the Levant, Rabbi Dr. Marc Gopin, 52, has found his calling.

Heading the George Mason University Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution in Arlington, Virginia, he is not waiting for a peace treaty to cause change. Gopin gets on a plane and heads for trouble spots wherever he can find openings. He meets with sheikhs, heads of state …

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By Mallory Huggins

On Speaking of Faith, a weekly public radio program, Krista Tippett focuses on “religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas.” This week, she talked with two women who illustrate the power of interfaith collaboration. Here’s an excerpt from the blog post about the women:

The Power of Listening and Engaging with the “Other”
By Krista Tippett

newsletter-leadshow

Malka and Aziza work with emerging leaders from different spheres of life and from both of their traditions. They make a core commitment “not to be enemies.” And that, of course, is the kind of lofty statement that can be hard to put into practice against the backdrop of reality. The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the dynamics of the post-9/11 world, the rise of Iran as a regional power — these are just a few of the developments that infuse and shape relationships between Jews and Muslims everywhere.

To read the whole article, …

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There has been extensive analysis in the last decade of the genetic origins of Jews and their relationship to other groups, especially in the Middle East. I am still in a state of shock from these many studies.  This research has been overshadowed by the wars of Jews and Palestinians, but the genetic research provides an opportunity for profound reflection on what actually is happening when Jews and Palestinians fight, who they really are, and where these two peoples have been for the past 10,000 years.

In this video I react to that evidence. I explore the relationship between genetics, science, the Book of Genesis, and some basic truths of the Palestinian/Jewish relationship. Below the video please find a genetic map of the Jewish people’s y chromosomes, and where Palestinians and Syrians, and other Middle Eastern groups, fall.

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Here is a short clip from the upcoming video series about Friends Across the Divide. It is a series of stories of pairs o f friends in the Middle East who have worked together for many years to build strong bridges between Jews and Arabs as they struggle together for peace and justice. The power of pairs of friends to change history, to impact deeply rooted conflict, is one of the most important themes of Marc’s new book on citizen diplomacy. See here for a full description of the book and its reviews.

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(Originally published at Sh’ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility, in a very good issue dedicated to Iran. It will give you a good overview of thinking in the American Jewish community right now on the slowly moving crisis with Iran)

Over the past 25 years I’ve developed relationships across the Middle East; in Syria, specifically, over the past five years. While I traveled as a peacemaker, to be cautious I would emphasize my role as a professor and only reveal my role as a rabbi when it felt safe. I never experienced any negative comments because I am a rabbi; rather I heard from some a longing to meet with old Jewish friends. Experiences with Syrians have given me confidence that similar inroads can be made in Iran. What Iran shares with Syria, most importantly, is a historical tradition of religious pluralism and progressive religious thinking. There is still …

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