News

Tikkun group fills spiritual void for vexed leftists

“We are in a spiritual crisis,” said Rabbi Michael Lerner, voicing his concerns about the state of the nation to students, faculty and local citizens last Tuesday. Lerner is national leader of Tikkun Community, an organization that connects people from many faiths and traditions to heal and transform the world, and he spoke on “Why America Needs a Spiritual Left, Not a Fundamentalist Right.”

Many gathered at the opening event of the new UM Tikkun chapter. Tikkun strives to combine leftist political perspective with spirituality and the fate of the environment, as well as explore Israel-Palestine and other national political issues under the Bush administration.

Based on his research on middle income workers, Lerner studied why they would vote for the “Republican Right” when their economic interests are seemingly more leftist.

“There is a double voice going on in people: the notion that we live in a materialistic and selfish world and a deep feeling of revulsion to it,” Lerner said. “Because the political right acknowledged the spiritual crisis, people voted for Bush.”

Lerner stated the need for the creation of a spiritual left that emphasizes ethical sensitivity instead of the current philosopy that seeks money and power.

“We must change leftist politics by not abandoning struggles for equality or simply adding biblical quotes to speeches,” Lerner said.

“The one thing that sticks out in my mind that the Rabbi said is that the political right answers the spiritual crisis that many Americans are experiencing in a way that the left fails to do,” John Redfield, fresman, said. “I think this is what gave Bush the extra edge in the election.”

After reading Lerner’s works, Dr. Ronald Newman, professor of English at UM and a political activist, was inspired to enrich undergraduate lives. Newman established the UM chapter of Tikkun on campus, stating that although the national leader of Tikkun is Jewish, its ideals of being charitable are basic to all religious faiths.

“I hope to have Muslim, Christian, Jewish, students of all faiths in UM’s Tikkun reaching out to form coalitions and make a difference,” Newman said. “By sponsoring letter-writing campaigns, study groups and debates, I want this group to be more than a book club.”

Professor Ranen Omer-Sherman, chair of the Middle East Issues Committee, shares Newman’s passion to enrich student’s lives by political action groups.

“Instead of licking their wounds and giving up UM as an apathetic campus, this is a way to become politically involved on campus in a growing national movement that avoids surrendering spiritual values to the right,” Omer-Sherman said.

For more information about Tikkun, visit the Rathskeller private room on Tuesday, March 1 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Cecille Lucero can be contacted at c.lucero1@umiami.edu.

February 25, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Miami baseball coach Gino DiMare didn’t want his Hurricanes this past Sunday looking ahead to the we ...

When UM spring practice begins in a month, here’s one of many things the coaches need to determine: ...

Jaiden Francois already had a reputation as one of South Florida’s top defensive backs for the Class ...

It could be a fruitful year for the Miami Hurricanes in the 2019 NFL Draft. NFL Draft analyst Mel Ki ...

A quick six-pack off UM coach Manny Diaz’s conversation with Joe Zagacki and Don Bailey Jr. on WQAM’ ...

Students are invited to participate in the second annual Students of Color Symposium this weekend, f ...

The University of Miami connects scholarship recipients with the donors who helped make their educat ...

From eliminating waste to reusable containers, there are simple steps you can take to make UM more s ...

UM public health experts try to help tackle Venezuela’s ongoing health care crisis. ...

The Ring Theatre’s contemporary reworking of Molière’s “The Misanthrope” showcases the skills of UM’ ...

The University of Miami got off to a dream start at the ACC Swimming & Diving Championships Wedn ...

The sophomore first baseman smashed two homers to help power Canes to 4-0 start. ...

The University of Miami track and field team is set to compete at the 2019 ACC Indoor Track and Fiel ...

The Hurricanes will wrap up a four-game homestand with a midweek game against FAU on Wednesday at 6 ...

The No. 14 Miami women's basketball team is set to cap its longest road stretch of the season T ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.