Denise Eger -- friend, colleague and FABULOUS rabbi -- preached a wonderful Rosh Hoshanah sermon ... you can read it all here ... (and I commend it to you!) but here's a bit to whet your appetite:
Jewish involvement in civil rights was and is an extension of our Jewish values. “Remember the stranger in your midst for you were once strangers in the land of Israel”, the Torah teaches us. This value propels us to see all as created b’tzelem Elohim, created in God’s image. We Jews have been called to a mission of ensuring human rights in places where there are none because we as a people have known throughout our history what it means to be treated without human dignity. To be ghettoized, marginalized, denied economic access and murdered. We know that there are still many places where Jews are hated for no other reason than our faith. Our people have memory of what it means to not be treated as fully human.
Another great sermon was here at All Saints Church last Sunday, when Ed Bacon welcomed everyone back for HOMECOMING 2009. I don't have a text yet, but this video link will take you to our website. (And here's a quote:)
The American life has been very good for a substantial group of citizens but in the spirit of our interconnectedness we must admit that those ashes from the fires this summer illustrated for us, that not only in fires but in other ways we are all interconnected. Thank God we have a system in this country where firefighters and search and rescue workers work hard to put out fires for ALL people.
Thank God we don’t have some kind of system where you pay firefighters insurance and only the people with firefighters insurance get help from the firefighters. It is in the enlightened self-interest of all of us to have all fires fought with the expenses are paid for out of a common purse. You can call that socialism if you want, but I’m glad that is our system.
Do not seek to know whether those ashes were from your house or someone else’s house, seek not to know where those ashes came from—those ashes represented us all. There is that favorite word of Jesus’s. A-L-L. All. What is it about that word do we not yet get?
Finally, here's the Bishop of New Hampshire answering the question: Where does our devotion and commitment and resolve come from to use our power for good and righteous purposes?
With DEEP thanks to this amazing Trinity of Inspiring Voices -- here endeth the lunch break. Alleluia. Amen!