Dear Friends,

The great sin of the Holocaust is that so many people stood idly by while such cruelty and savagery were being perpetrated upon innocent human beings. So have the rallies and demonstrations of the past week been a welcome sign that at least some of humanity has learned a lesson from the past. Regardless of the title given to the demonstrations, at the heart of some 40,000 people coming together in Boston was a protest against racism, intolerance and bigotry. Ordinary people who said “no” to those who would teach and promote hatred of those of us who are perceived as the “cause” of the deterioration of the ideal society they envision, distorted as is that vision. The great sin of the Holocaust is that so many people stood idly by while such cruelty and savagery were being perpetrated upon innocent human beings. So have the rallies and demonstrations of the past week been a welcome sign that at least some of humanity has learned a lesson from the past. Regardless of the title given to the demonstrations, at the heart of some 40,000 people coming together in Boston was a protest against racism, intolerance and bigotry. Ordinary people who said “no” to those who would teach and promote hatred of those of us who are perceived as the “cause” of the deterioration of the ideal society they envision, distorted as is that vision. 
                 
The Torah commands us: “You shall not stand idly by…” So are we all called upon to be lights of goodness and love, realizing that we do have the capacity to affect our society and those forces that compromise the ideals in which we believe:  liberty, justice for all, and the holy calling that is life. 
     
I very much like the statement of an unknown writer: “My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” So do we need to stand up for Jewish identity. So do our children and grandchildren need to see us stand up for goodness, righteousness and tolerance in a world in which we yearn for those values to prevail. Yes, Judaism has always been a religion of protest:  protest against ignorance, protest against acts of inhumanity, and protest against those who would stand for intolerance and bigotry. May we all proudly be a part of that protest.

Shabbat shalom,   

         Rabbi David Greenberg