A Prophet­ic Peace: Judaism, Reli­gion and Politics

  • Review
By – February 9, 2012

Inspired by his com­bat expe­ri­ence in the sec­ond Lebanon war, Alick Isaacs’s goal in this deeply per­son­al and thought pro­vok­ing book is to chal­lenge con­ven­tion­al per­spec­tives on peace and war and rec­on­cile the bel­li­cos­i­ty found in reli­gion with its mes­sages of peace. And yet, as per­son­al as this book is, A Prophet­ic Peace makes its great­est impact when Isaacs culls through fas­ci­nat­ing rab­binic and philo­soph­i­cal mate­ri­als by Lud­wig Wittgen­stein, Jacques Der­ri­da, Abra­ham Joshua Hes­chel, and Mar­tin Buber, among oth­ers.

Isaacs also wants to show the read­er that there is a place on earth where these ideas are also a mini-lab­o­ra­to­ry. That place is the Talk­ing Peace Project, spon­sored by Mishkenot Sha’ananim in Jerusalem, where reli­gious and sec­u­lar lead­ers with vast­ly dif­fer­ent views come togeth­er to share their vary­ing under­stand­ings of peace. The name Mishkenot Sha’ananim means heav­en­ly or lofty taber­na­cles or peace­ful dwellings. Its source is found in the Prophet Isa­iah 32:18. My peo­ple will live in peace­ful habi­ta­tion, in secure dwellings and in qui­et rest­ing places.”

Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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