Oregon State University

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Event Details

On the Pathway to Reconciliation: Redeeming Troubling Sacred Texts

Rabbi Sheldon Lewis

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Like other faiths, Judaism reveres as sacred some texts that include passages that are very challenging to a global vision of reconciliation and peacemaking, as they give voice to aggression, insularity, and chauvinism.

This presentation will show how through the centuries many of these passages have been moderated up and transformed through determined reinterpretation by eminent Jewish sages.

Sheldon (“Shelly”) Lewis attended the University of Chicago and then moved on to the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, where he studied under the legendary philosopher and theologian, Abraham Joshua Heschel.  After being ordained, Rabbi Lewis served as an Army chaplain in Vietnam.  He was also active in various civil rights and human rights campaigns.  From 1974 until his retirement in 2007, he was rabbi to Congregation Kol Emeth, in Palo Alto, and he remains Rabbi Emeritus.

Rabbi Lewis is an active member of Rabbis for Human Rights and has worked extensively for reconciliation projects in the Middle East.  In 2012, he published Torah of Reconciliation, a study of passages in the Torah and other Jewish texts that speak of peace and healing.  This work was a personal response to the events of September 11, 2001 -- indeed, he began writing it the day after -- as he sought “a way of acting in the world beyond anger and vengefulness.”

Memorial Union (campus map)
Room 206: Asian/Pacific-American
Robert Peckyno
robert.peckyno at oregonstate.edu
School of History, Philosophy, and Religion