As Jews, we have long recognized that it is our moral responsibility to stand up against injustice, hatred and intolerance in society. Messages of social justice are replete in Bible, and the following teachings are just a few of many passages that challenge us to understand the world through a lens of righteousness and truth in every generation.
Thou shalt not stand by idly by the blood of thy neighbor.
– Leviticus 19:16
If your brother becomes poor,…uphold him.
– Leviticus 25:35
Justice, justice you shall pursue.
– Deuteronomy 16:20
This weekend our nation will pay tribute to the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who, through his words and actions, brought these biblical teachings to life. During his short life, the Reverend could only dream of a time when the injustices that surrounded him would give way to a society where the laws of the land protected the freedoms and the rights of all peoples regardless of the color of one’s skin, the beliefs of one’s heart or the origins of one’s heritage.
We share Dr. King’s dream today, and seek to honor his message and his legacy on Friday night with a service reflecting our ongoing desire to eradicate barriers perpetuated hatred and prejudice in society. It is our hope that as we remember him, we will find a renewed sense of courage and strength to fight for what is right in every generation.