Speaking Out For Justice and Parsha D’varim

Finding our voice during these most trying times has not been easy for many. Nonetheless, I have been deeply moved by the growing numbers of educated, credible and extremely articulate individuals that are appearing on talk shows whether PBS, MSNBC, CNN, BBC and others.

We, too, are finding our voices. Both the Am Kolel and Kehila Social Justice Committees, as well as members and allies, are speaking loud and clear about how we move forward. JUFJ, birthed by Am Kolel, is significantly engaged in addressing issues around policing and social inequity in the region.

Members of Am Kolel and some thirty members of Kehila are actively sending attractive postcards to non-registered voters in different states. Initially, 2000 postcards will be sent out over the next few weeks.

Moses also finds his voice in the Book of Deuteronomy, D’varim, which we begin this Shabbat. As you recall, when Moses was first addressed at the Burning Bush, there were serious issues about his ability to speak out. Some say he had a speech impediment. But, in time, he transcended his disability. In Deuteronomy he gives forth incredibly eloquent and, often, poetic farewell addresses to the people. His voice has a clarity that did not exist in the previous Books.

Today, we are seeking such clarity in our leaders and in ourselves. Still, so many of us are timid in our responses to the inequities and the growing fascism in this country. We see the inability of people in this country to listen to each other. D’varim is about communications and listening. “Hearken to the Voice… Listen O Israel…” This week is also called Shabbat Hazon, the Sabbath of Vision, coming just before Tisha B’Av, the commemoration of the most tragic day in Jewish history.

What is our vision? Whatever happened to the vision that Moses repeats in his farewell addresses? Our commentators remark how the text makes it clear that these words were intended for us as well.   Listen…Be safe, Reb David

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