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The Conscience of Society

September 26, 2017

At a Saturday morning service many years ago, when I was about 14 years old, I heard our Rabbi speak out against the Viet Nam War. I remember how exhilarating it was to me — how for the first time I experienced the moral authority of the religious pulpit, how for the first time religion was really relevant to me. Then several days later I heard my mother remark to my father at dinner, “I hear people are really upset with Rabbi Malev for talking about the war last Saturday.” It was the first time I understood the pressure religious leaders are under to support the status quo, to not upset the apple cart, to go along with what their congregation wants at any particular time. But Jesus himself upset the apple cart when he overthrew the tables of the money-changers. I think spiritual and religious leadership is supposed to be the conscience of a society, answerable not to other people’s projections (particularly as in today, when the projection is often that spiritual means just going along with anything in the name of being “nonjudgmental” and submissive in the name of being “loving”). I’m going to go along with Rabbi Malev at Beth Yeshurun in Houston and Rabbi Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem. I’m going to remember my ancestors who were thrown in ovens because too few spoke up while there was still a chance. I’m going to cry out with millions of others crying out that humanity has lost its mind and must reclaim its heart. I will do so with tremendous thanks in my heart, that as an American I have the RIGHT to do so. Thank you, Rabbi Malev and thank you, Jesus. Both of you showed the way.

  • Tod Evans

    Yes! Thank you! Our planetary home is desperately crying out for us to awaken our hearts and act from deeper and more authentic place of awareness. The beauty of this time is that the smallest among us has access to the world through our technology and we can choose to add our voices towards the healing that we all are anxiously craving.

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