The death of U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone in a plane crash is a tragedy and a deep personal loss. Paul was a beautiful human being and a principled Jewish progressive.

He was a frequent contributor to TIKKUN Magazine and a person who stood with us in our commitment to Middle East peace.

In our frequent conversations with him, Paul consistently articulated a vision of hope that affirmed the best in Judaism and the best in the secular humanist traditions. He stood with the progressive voices in American politics in public, when many others would only whisper to us privately that they agreed with us but dared not say so publicly.

He was a mensch among a Senate filled with mice.

Paul Wellstone was one of most principled and decent people to ever enter American politics. He was one of the very few elected officlals who remained true to his principles and who was not corrupted by the need to appeal to the rich and the powerful.

And he retained a fundamental humanity and modesty that few have been able to sustain in public life.

Paul was proud of his Jewish identity, but unlike the many who kowtowed to the Jewish establishment, Paul spoke out as a progressive and a critic of Israeli policy.

May his memory be a blessing, zichrono livracha.
May his life be an inspiration for all of us.
May his soul be bound in the bond of eternal life.

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