Marching with thousands

Friends, I had the privilege yesterday of participating in the 1000 Minister March for Justice with a number of Temple Emanu-El-ites and colleagues and friends from the region.

This march, organized on the 54th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, was initiated by Rev. Al Sharpton to express that Dr. King’s work is far from done and the time has come for all people of faith and morality (including the Jewish people with whom he has recently worked to improve ties) to gather, stand, and shout for badly-needed justice in this nation.

It was moving to stand and march with 3000+ clergy of all faiths to express that racism, hatred, and immorality are unacceptable, whether expressed by one or many, by a member of an alt-right hate group, a government official, or an average American. We came to announce that the status quo is untenable, and the current state of affairs unjust.

Together, clergy and lay person, minister, priest, and pastor, rabbi, cantor, imam, and monk, we marched from the MLK Memorial to the Department of Justice to proclaim that we can watch no more as people are kept from their basic dignities and rights because of skin color, religion, ethnic background, or gender status, either from the direct action of government or its palpable absence. We marched to make known that our leadership does not have the option to abdicate responsibility for safeguarding the rights and freedoms of each and every human being living within America’s borders.

One speaker passionately shouted, “if you march today but go home and sit in complacency tomorrow, your day will be wasted.”

Let us not waste any more days in waiting for the next big act to happen. We must actively search, with every waking minute, for each and every opportunity to express morality and love for the other, to act to bridge all divides, and work for the freedom and security of all human beings.

The time for action is here.


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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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