Jewish Journal

The Human Concern

by Rabbi Mark Borovitz

November 16, 2012 | 11:33 am

I am struck this week with 2 events, one global and the other personal. Remember, as I think and write about these events, I am Addicted to Redemption.

The global event, of course, is what is happening in Israel. While I have issues with the way the deterioration of peace talks, I have no issue with defending oneself! Israel is engaged in a war for its survival. No country would put up with rockets being fired into their cities over and over again, nor should Eretz Yisrael! My question is, how can Israel and the Arab countries be redeemed? How can they extricate themselves from this distress they are in?

It will take combined support for redemption rather than "winning a war" of military strength and PR. There is no moral equivalency to hiding behind/with civilians while you fire rockets. There is no moral equivalency to sending rockets into a neighboring area without warning vis-a-vis sending leaflets that a bombing is going to occur. War is messy and I commend Israel for making it less messy. I do also call on Israel to work with its allies to find a way to redemption, and to move toward getting out of this messy situation. I understand it takes partnership by the Arab nations, yet it has to begin with us, the Jews. We brought redemption to the world's consciousness through T’Shuvah and we have to take our place as the moral leader of Redemption again. I don't have the solution; I only know that the path is through redemption, not more war and death.

The second event is dealing with the healthcare system in our country. A young member of our community, a pro-social, tax-paying young woman was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The hoops that she has had to go through in order to get the best care are ridiculous! In this country, the fact that people who have no medical training are deciding what procedures are allowable is ridiculous! The fact that some doctor decides that the same procedure done in a small rural area should cost the same in Los Angeles is stupid! Jewish law calls for us to judge each case on it's own merits. Yet, our healthcare system says everybody and each illness is the same. WE HAVE TO REDEEM OUR HEALTHCARE delivery and system. We have to extricate each other and ourselves from the distress of fighting "the system" as well as the disease we contract.

Rabbi Heschel teaches that God is concerned with humans. Are we concerned enough with humanity to redeem our friend and ally Israel and ourselves and our fellow American’s healthcare? I pray we are and will spring into action immediately.

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