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Heed the Prophets

When in doubt as to the proper ends of political and social reform, heed the prophets. The poor must be fed. The homeless must be housed. Murder must be stopped. The planet and its species (a newly relevant imperative) must be protected. Again, it is up to us figure out how best to do these things, weighing one injustice against another and justice against compassion. Our world is such a mess. We are tempted sometimes to do nothing or to wait for God to fix it for us. But this our tradition forbids—and besides, so much that needs doing is entirely clear. The prophets repeated the agenda over and over: Feed the poor, house the homeless, stop murder and genocide, free slaves, guard the Earth.

Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen is the seventh chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary. This quotation is taken from the Radical Torah Pesach 5769—Changing the World, With God from 25 March last.

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