How Can a Society Apologize?

A Rabbi Asks Whether America Can Bridge ‘the Sea of Society and the River of Time’ to Atone for Its Sins

The Biblical story of the Gibeonites rarely makes it into the classroom of a Sunday School or Hebrew school, but the tale has much to say to 21st-century Americans.

The Gibeonites, a Canaanite group, forged a pact with the Israelites when the Israelites were conquering the land—but, after a series of twists and turns, wound up their permanent servants. The Gibeonites became “hewers of wood and drawers of water for the House of my God,” according to the book of Joshua.

The arrangement persisted for a few hundred years, until Saul became …

Announcing the 10th Annual Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Announcing the 10th Annual Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize

Awarded Annually to the Poem that Best Evokes Connection to Place

Zócalo is delighted to announce that we are now accepting submissions for the 10th annual Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize. The deadline for entries will close on January 29, 2021.

Since …

A Letter From Mumbai, Where Everyday Questions Carry New Weight | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Letter From Mumbai, Where Everyday Questions Carry New Weight

For Muslims in India, Lockdowns May Unleash Something More Dangerous and Discriminatory Than a Virus

On local trains, I used to overhear phone conversations. Fights, flirtations, and often the question: Khana khaya? Did you eat?

Mentally, I’d roll my eyes. If someone asked me, my …

Atheism’s Long, Angry, Anxious History | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Atheism’s Long, Angry, Anxious History

Before There Was a Secular Argument Against Believing in God, There Was a Groundswell of Popular Distrust  

“God is dead,” Nietzsche claimed, “and we have killed him.”

Well, maybe. But who is the we here? Who did the dreadful deed, and when, and how?

The usual suspects include …