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Often enough, people are confronted with wickedness and injustice; but instead of standing tall in opposition to the perpetrators of evil, people bow their heads. They lose self-confidence. They think: I am too small and too weak to resist. It’s best to go along or to stay quiet. Resistance can be unpleasant, even dangerous. Thus, evil continues to spread.
At 3 a.m., the train to Washington D.C. stopped in Stamford. I boarded with many congregants. I marched in the front row with Martin Luther King, Jr., and then watched him as he delivered his “I have a Dream” speech. It was an important moment not only in Black and U.S. history, but also in Jewish history. The next year, when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Jews were beneficiaries of newfound rights, along with African Americans.
Our National Scholar, Rabbi Hayyim Angel, published a new Book Review in Tradition (the journal of the Rabbinical Council of America) discussing the interface between religious Bible study and archaeology.
As the United States commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 20, 2020, here are several memorable quotations of Dr. King's that reflect his teachings, and his feelings for Jews and Israel.
Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.
There comes a time when silence is betrayal.
At this historic moment when a visionary religious leadership is so urgently needed…we get, instead, divisive and extreme statements from Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef; divisive and extreme policies vis a vis halakhic conversion; divisive and extreme attitudes that serve to drive people away from Torah and mitzvoth.
The core of Jewish liturgy traces back to the early rabbinic period. Over the centuries, Sephardim and Ashkenazim developed different nuances in their prayer liturgies. It is valuable to learn about the differences that emerged, to see how rabbinic interpretations and cultures shaped the religious experiences underlying prayer.