Journey for Justice in D.C.

צדק צדק תרדוף!

Justice, justice shall you pursue!
(Deuteronomy 16:18)

“Daily we should take account and ask: What have I done today to alleviate the anguish, to mitigate the evil, to prevent humiliation? Let there be a grain of prophet in every man!”
(Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, “Religion and Race,” 14 January 1963)

 

We have an opportunity before us to take part in fighting for liberty and equality for all Americans, and to stand and march alongside brothers and sisters in need of support.

On September 16 (the day after Rosh Hashanah), the NAACP will be completing America’s Journey for Justice — an 860-mile march from Selma, Alabama to Washington, D.C. The march began on August 1 and will take 40 days to complete, corresponding with the 40 years it took the Israelites to march to self-actualization in the promised land. Over 120 rabbis have participated thus far in the march, carrying a Torah scroll, our lifeblood and freedom, the whole way.

The particular issues for which we are marching are: (1) a fair criminal justice system, (2) uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, (3) sustainable jobs with a living wage, and (4) equitable public education. These are all vital steps on the road towards equality for a people still suffering from the effects of 350 years of slavery and decades of discriminatory laws and mores.

We were once slaves in Egypt, and it was only by help from beyond that we would make our way to freedom. So too must we work on behalf of others suffering from the enduring grip of enslavement so that they can find their promised land and redemption.

The Rabbinical Association in the Heart of New Jersey, with the support of Federation, will be taking a bus down to Washington D.C. on September 16, departing from the Federation office at 8 am and arriving back late in the evening. Limited seating is available at $20 per seat. After the bus is filled, we will have a waiting list that will either result in a second bus or facilitated carpooling.

We will go down to the Capitol together, we will stand in the name of justice, and we will together make history.

Please RSVP to Rosalyn Perrone at Federation: 732-588-1820 or rosalynp@jewishheartnj.org. Respond soon, as seats will fill up quickly!

 

L’shanah Tovah U’mtukah,

 

Rabbi David Z. Vaisberg
Vice President, Rabbinical Association in the Heart of New Jersey
Rabbi, Temple Emanu-El of Edison, NJ

 

For more information on the march, see:
http://www.naacp.org/ajfj
http://action.naacp.org/page/-/How_to_join_AJ4J_rev5.pdf
http://www.rac.org/journey

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davidzvaisberg Written by:

David Vaisberg, originally from Montreal and Mississauga, Canada, serves as Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El of Edison, NJ and lives in Metuchen, NJ with his family.

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