It was told to me that a child of our congregation commented that it wouldn’t be very Jewish not to remember Dr. Martin Luther King. What he was saying, I think, is not that Martin Luther King was Jewish, but that so much of what we remember about him and what he taught and stood for was very Jewish in spirit. That is to say that the dream of a society in which people judge one another only by their inner character and their deeds; a society in which every person is regarded as valued if not sacred. Those are surely ideals that were first presented to the world through the Torah, and through our Jewish experience of having been slaves in Egypt and then having known freedom.
And so we Jews remember Martin Luther King and the hopes and dreams that he had because they are the same hopes and dreams that Jewish parents have had for their children throughout the centuries. The dream of a world in which people would be kind and just toward each other. A world in which people would be able to embrace each other to the truest sense.
I hope you will join us tonight as we observe Martin Luther King Shabbat. We will be joined by Reverend Merle McJunkin and the choir of the Antioch Baptist Church of Bedford Hills. May we walk together toward a more peaceful and humane time for our world.
Rabbi David Greenberg