Taking Torah to the streets of the U.S. - www.jewishaz.com: Your Voice

Taking Torah to the streets of the U.S.

RABBI JOHN LINDER | Posted: Wednesday, August 19, 2015 10:00 am

Standing with the marginalized, remembering the stranger and recognizing our human interdependence goes to the heart of religion. I was struck last summer, as a participant in an interfaith clergy gathering in Chicago (organized by the Industrial Areas Foundation), when my brother, Pastor Les Shannon, of St. Paul’s Community Baptist Church in Brooklyn shared his simple truth, “You have no idea what it means to be a black man in America.” Those words have been ringing in my ears, weighing on my heart ever since. Of course, as a white man, I’ll never know the experience.  Yet, my Jewish tradition agitates me to recognize that we are all created in the image of God, and we are inextricably bound as brothers and sisters. Jews know what it is to be the “other.”

This is why I have made a commitment to participate in the NAACP America’s Journey for Justice – a 40-day, 860-mile march that began in Selma, Alabama, on Aug. 1 and will finish on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16. The march will focus on justice issues that disproportionately impact the African-American community, and peoples of color; issues like mass incarceration, and the erosion of voting rights and public education funding. Most importantly, we’ll be listening to other people’s stories, learning how we can break down the walls that divide us.

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