Rabbi Ron Symons on August 17, 2017
Elie Weisel taught us:
One of the Just Men came to Sodom, determined to save its inhabitants from sin and punishment. Night and day he walked the streets and markets protesting against greed and theft, falsehood and indifference. In the beginning, people listened and smiled ironically. Then they stopped listening; he no longer even amused them. The killers went on killing, the wise kept silent, as if there were no Just Man in their midst. One day a child, moved by compassion for the unfortunate teacher, approached him with these words: “Poor stranger, you shout, you scream, don’t you see that it is hopeless?” “Yes, I see,” answered the Just Man. “Then why do you go on?” “I’ll tell you why. In the beginning, I thought I could change man. Today, I know I cannot. If I still shout today, if I still scream, it is to prevent man from ultimately changing me.”
This timeless message is even more timely today. We are living in very challenging times. Protesters, advocates and politicians are trying to spin our moral compasses in such a way so that we have little sense of which way to step. They might be trying, but we know in which direction we should march: The moral direction that is taught by all of our faith traditions, the direction of “love your neighbor as yourself” and “do not stand idle while your neighbor bleeds.” Our fathers and mothers marched in this direction, so must we so that our children will in their day and create a world where hate, bigotry, racism and discrimination have no place in society, no matter the voice speaking them nor the unspoken words of those in power.
Grant Oliphant recently posted:
Call this beast what you will—whatever the politicians may say, it is not difficult to name. It is ethnic and racial hatred and bigotry. It is domestic terrorism, white supremacy, violent extremism. It is the damage in the human heart that looks for scapegoats and finds grim solace in the diminishment of others, holding them down, punishing them for wanting to share in the basic dignities we ourselves hold dear.
(I highly recommend reading his whole post.)
Please join me with compass in hand and voices ready to scream. We will be among the righteous journeying further than the beast on the arc of history that bends towards justice.
Image courtesy of https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20131223194529-46951391-success-with-a-moral-compass