January 9, 2012
Love the Stranger as Yourself – Racism in Halacha’s Name
We Jews are like all people, only more so. Our talents are immense. Our hearts are huge. Our generosity as a people is probably the most pronounced of any people on earth. Our accomplishments are second to none. Our motivation to heal the world is not only a profound religious principle, but it becomes an obsessive fixation on the need for justice and compassion in the world. This is all to the good.
But, our stupidity is also legion; our fear, though justified by experience, leads us to say and do things that are self-defeating; our hatred and rage at the world as deep as any on earth; and of late our racism in Israel is a growing source of national shame.
The Reform movement’s Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), based in Jerusalem, has taken the lead in calling out racist attacks on Arabs, misogynist policies against women, and irresponsible hate speech from ultra-Orthodox Rabbis against their perceived enemies.
Anat Hoffman (the Director of the IRAC) recently announced the publication “Love the Stranger as Yourself – Racism in Halacha’s Name”. The following is from the report’s preface:
I applaud this work and this commitment to action, and I urge you to read the report in its entirety.