Shalom with Iran: 100 Sign Rabbinic Statement

The process of working out the statement and then gathering signatures began four weeks ago.The 100th signature arrived after Shabbat ended on Oct.23, just minutes before breaking news reports came that the Great Powers and Iran had come to an interim agreement toward settling the major differences between them.

Luminaries of the Reform, Reconstructionist, Renewal, Conservative, Modern Orthodox, and Humanist streams of Judaism have signed. Among them are Rabbis Leonard Beerman, Amy Eilberg, Sue Levi Elwell, Everett Gendler, Marc Gopin, Sharon Kleinbaum, Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Mordechai Liebling, Ellen Lippmann, Gerry Serotta, David Shneyer, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Jonathan Slater, Susan Talve, Arthur Waskow, and Sheila Weinberg, Cantor Steven Puzarne, and Rabbi/Kohenet Jill Hammer.

Please see below the full list of signers up to now.

The statement sets forth a balanced path of shalom that protects the peace and security of Israel, the US, and Iran — and is concerned with both immediate practical steps and the deepest of spiritual hopes.

Why do we think it important for Rabbis, Cantors, etc., to make public a statement along these lines?

For the deep past and the deep future — and for the fierce urgency of Now.

First, for the sake of publicly reaffirming, honoring, and embodying the powerful prophetic and rabbinic voice, now millennia-long, that has called on us all to “seek peace and pursue it.” One of the sacred Names of God is “Shalom.” To advance it is one form of making holy the Name – a nonlethal form of Kiddush HaShem.

Second, because in this moment the rabbinic voice can actually matter in the broader world. There is a real question whether the forward momentum of diplomacy so far can be maintained in the face of hostility from ultranationalist elements in Iran and demands for more draconic sanctions against Iran coming from some elements in Israeli and American politics.

The agreement calls for suspension of Iranian nuclear enrichment and reductions of the enrichment level of some nuclear materials, along with a partial easing of some sanctions. That would seem to be the first step – only the first step, but a necessary one – in seeking shalom and pursuing it for all the parties involved – Israel, Iran, the whole region, and the US.

Security for each people to live under its own vine and fig-tree with none to make them afraid.

As the debate intensifies between worsening threats and calming steps, we think the Rabbinic voice can make a difference.

Step by Step toward Shalom with Iran

As Rabbis, Cantors, and other Clergy serving the American Jewish community, we are deeply committed, as Jewish tradition teaches –

§ to the shalom –- peace, social justice, functioning democratic process, and ecological sanity –of the country where we live – all of which would be damaged by still another unnecessary war;

§ to the shalom, peace and security, of the State of Israel, to its democratic character, and to its special relationship with the Jewish people;

§ to unequivocal action by all the Arab-majority and Muslim-majority states to make peace with Israel, and to Israel’s unequivocal action to make peace with all its neighbors, including an emergent Palestine;

§ to our respect and our prayers for salaam, peace and justice, among our cousins in the Abrahamic tradition, Arab and Muslim civilizations;

§ to the peace and prosperity of all the “70 nations” of the world;

§ and to the healing of our wounded planet.

For all these reasons, we welcome warmly the greatly increased possibility of a peaceful resolution of the conflicts among the US, Iran, Israel, and other nations.

We especially welcome the new attitudes toward the Jewish people and toward the nuclear issue set forth by the new President of Iran, and his assertion that Iran will never hold nuclear weapons. We also recall the repeated assertions and fatwas by Grand Ayatollah Khameini that for Iran to possess nuclear weapons would violate Islam.

We urge the US and Iran to move swiftly to agree on a step-by-step process of reducing and ultimately ending sanctions against Iran in accord with steps by Iran to make its nuclear research transparent and to allow verification that its research is directed wholly toward civilian uses of nuclear energy. We believe that such a step-by-step process is the best way to guarantee that both parties are fulfilling their commitments.

We urge Iran to make clear its full acceptance of Israel as a legitimate state in the fabric of international relations, protected like all other states from aggression and attack.

We urge the Government of Israel to welcome steps by Iran to make clear and verifiable its commitment to use nuclear energy and research for peaceful purposes only, not for pursuit of nuclear weaponry, and while this process is under way, we urge Israel to end hostile acts and statements toward Iran.

We urge the peoples of the United States, Iran, and Israel to reject and oppose all statements and actions from whatever source that undermine the swift and thorough achievement of agreements to ensure the civilian nature of Iran’s nuclear program and to end sanctions against Iran.

We urge the American people to recognize and do tshuvah (“turning” or “repentance”) for the ethical errors of our own government toward Iran – particularly, the US Government’s intervention in 1953 to overthrow the democratically elected reform government of Iran; US actions to support the tyrannical regime of the Shah until the Iranian people overthrew it in 1979; and US support for Iraq’s wars of aggression against Iran in the 1980s, including US support for Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons to kill 100,000 Iranians.

We urge the Iranian people to do tshuvah for their government’s demonization of the United States and Israel, for its holding US diplomats hostage for more than a year in 1979-1980, and for the support it seems to have covertly given for attacks on Israeli citizens.

We believe that this combination of governmental acts and public rethinking and re-feeling can move American society, the entire Middle East, and the world toward the shalom that Judaism yearns for.

Signed:

To add your name to ours, please click here – < https://theshalomcenter.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=4&reset=1> and be sure to list your prefix-title (Rabbi, Cantor, Hazan, Maggid, Kohenet) with your name and Email.

Shalom,

Rabbi Amy Eilberg

Rabbi Everett Gendler

Rabbi Marc Gopin

Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer

Rabbi Mordechai Liebling

Rabbi Ellen Lippmann

Rabbi Gerry Serotta

Rabbi David Shneyer

Rabbi Susan Talve

Rabbi Arthur Waskow

Rabbi Sheila Weinberg

Rabbi Rebecca Alpert

Rabbi Ethan Bair
Kohenet Ellie Barbarash
Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

Rabbi Eliot Baskin
Rabbi Renee Bauer

Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman

Rabbi Leonard Beerman

Rabbi Marjorie Berman
Rabbi Phyllis Berman
Rabbi Leila Gal Berner
Rabbi Binyamin Biber

Kohenet Shoshana Bricklin

Rabbi Jason Bright

Rabbi Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus

Rabbi Joshua Chasan

Rabbi Andrea Cohen Kiener

Rabbi Hillel Cohn

Rabbi David J. Cooper

Rabbi Robert Dobrusin

Rabbi Art Donsky

Rabbi Doris Dyen

Rabbi Renee Edelman

Rabbi Diane Elliot

Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell

Kohenet Ahava Lilith EverShine

Rabbi Ted Falcon

Rabbi Charles Feinberg

Rabbi Michael Feinberg

Rabbi Fern Feldman

Rabbi Brian Field

Rabbi Tirzah Firestone

Rabbi Nancy Flam

Rabbi Jeff Foust

Rabbi Ruth Gais

Rabbi Hillel Gamoran

Maggid Andrew Gold

Rabbi Dan Goldblatt

Rabbi Laurie Green

Rabbi Julie Greenberg

Rabbi Moshe Halfon

Rabbi/ Kohenet Jill Hammer

Rabbi Edwin Harris

Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann

Kohenet Judith Hollander

Rabbi Linda Holtzman

Rabbi Shaya Isenberg

Rabbi Burt Jacobson

Rabbi Josh Jacobs-Velde

Kohenet Sharon Jaffe

Rabbi Melissa Klein

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum

Rabbi David L Kline

Rabbi Debra Kolodny

Rabbi Douglas Krantz

Rabbi Hannah Laner

Rabbi Jason van Leeuwen

Rabbi Michael Lerner

Kohenet Carly “Ketzirah” Lesser

Rabbi Richard Levy

Rabbi Annie Lewis

Cantor Abbe Lyons

Rabbi Jeffrey Marker

Rabbi Nathan Martin

Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon

Maggid Melvin Metelits

Rabbi Yocheved Mintz

Kohenet Tiana Mirapai

Rabbi David Mivasair

Rabbi Lee Moore

Hazan Judith Naimark

Rabbi Laura Owens

Cantor Steven Puzarne

Rabbi Victor Reinstein

Cantor Stephen Richards

Rabbi/ Kohenet Margie Klein Ronkin

Rabbi Moti Rieber

Rabbi Brant Rosen

Cantor Aviva Rosenbloom

Cantor Richard Rosenfield

Rabbi Jeff Roth

Kohenet Mei Mei Sanford

Hazan Pamela Sawyer

Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Chaim Schneider

Rabbi Randy Schoch

Kohenet Alumah Schuster

Rabbi Dr. Arthur Segal

Rabbi Jonathan Slater

Rabbi Eric Solomon

Cantor Robin Sparr

Rabbi David Spitz

Rabbi Toba Spitzer

Rabbi Margot Stein

Rabbi Naomi Steinberg

Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill

Rabbi Louis Sutker

Rabbi Daniel Swartz

Rabbi Renae Toben

Rabbi Brian Walt

Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub

Hazan Gregory Yaroslow

Rabbi Barbara Zacky

Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman