Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

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Zalman Schachter-Shalomi in 2008

Meshullam Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, commonly called Reb Zalman (28 August 19243 July 2014), was one of the founders of the Jewish Renewal movement and an innovator in ecumenical dialogue.


  • Eggs are generally considered kosher, but what about eggs from chickens who spend their entire lives imprisoned in a cage one cubic foot in size? Food pellets are brought to them on one conveyor belt; their droppings and eggs are taken away on another. The Bible forbids us to torment animals or cause them any unnecessary grief. Raising chickens who can go out sometimes and see the sky or eat a worm or blade of grass is one thing, but manufacturing them in the concentration camp conditions of contemporary "poultry ranches" is quite another.
    • The First Step: A Guide for the New Jewish Spirit, with Donald Gropman (New York: Bantam Books, 1983), p. 74.
  • I realized that all forms of religion are masks that the divine wears to communicate with us. Behind all religions there’s a reality, and this reality wears whatever clothes it needs to speak to a particular people.
    • The December Project: An Extraordinary Rabbi and a Skeptical Seeker Confront Life’s Greatest Mystery, with Sara Davidson.

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