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Proclaim Jubilee throughout the Land

By Rabbi Arthur Waskow

From his book Godwrestling: Round 2 (Jewish Lights, 1996). Copyright 1996 by Arthur Waskow. Excerpt reprinted with the author's permission. The book can be ordered online from Powell's Books.

Since the Torah is rooted in the Land of Israel and the People of Israel, that is the politics, economics, and ecology it explores in depth. When it does, amazingly enough, it puts forward the vision of a social rhythm, the Jubilee cycle, that has spoken to individuals and peoples thousands of years later and thousands of miles away.

Here the Torah whirls time into its loftiest spiral: the fifty-year rhythm of the Jubilee. The Jubilee passage (Lev.  25 and 26) teaches about time and timelessness, about the rhythms of doing and being, wealth and sharing, work upon the earth and healing with the earth, inward ritual and outward action. In it is the verse (Lev. 25:  10) that found an echo in the Liberty Bell: "Proclaim liberty throughout the land, to all the inhabitants thereof."

For several years, as I discovered the Torah, I read and admired this passage in a rather academic way. Then three events in 1975 and 1976 lit up the passage with intensity.

These comments flow from the work of The Shalom Center. It is a division of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, but these thoughts do not necessarily reflect those of ALEPH as a whole.

You can help support The Shalom Center's efforts to bring Jewish wisdom, old and new, to help heal the world. You can purchase the book online directly at Powell Books' secure website.

If you prefer to send a check, please send it to the address below.

The Shalom Center
6711 Lincoln Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19119

With a donation of $72 or more, you will receive a year's subscription to New Menorah, a quarterly of creative Jewish renewal liturgy, art, fiction, midrash, poetry, davvenology, and practice.

If your gift is $180 or more, you will also receive a uniquely inscribed copy of Arthur Waskow's book Godwrestling: Round 2, which received the Benjamin Franklin Award for a book on religion.

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