I just came from a meeting with a large number of local clergy. Most of the discussion focused upon our local schools, and our children, and the degree of bullying and rejection that so many feel especially among the Latino and African American communities. Truly, it was very saddening to hear about children experiencing severe depression and even committing suicide because of the pain that they experience from being “other.”
We Jews know all about being “other.” It is one of the themes of our history, and it has not disappeared from our current reality, either in this country or throughout the world. And it is with that thought in mind that I say that we need Jews of all generations to feel a part of us, not just to sustain our institutions and synagogues, but we are all needed because of what we have brought and continue to bring to our society and our world.
It has been said that we are a people “intoxicated by a quest for justice:” Justice for us, and justice for all people. And I would add that we are a people intoxicated with a sense of hope that goodness and human decency can prevail. Yes, as we find ourselves in this “election season,” regardless of our preference for one candidate or the other, let us remember and affirm that we are American Jews who cherish democracy and human rights, even as we affirm that each and every human life is sacred and therefore worthy of respect and honor.
We Jews: we share a profound hope that humanity might yet find its way out of the moral desert in which we find ourselves. May we each do our part to realize that worthy vision.
Rabbi David Greenberg