Monday, December 11, 2006

To Do What is Just & Right: A Rock Concert for Social Justice Dorks

Tonight was AWSOME!!!! I got to hang out with Rabbi David Saperstein, executive director and council for the RAC (if just to say hello) Leonard Fine, social action bad-ass (if perhaps just from a far) and to say hello to Rabbi Arik Ascherman, executive director of Rabbis For Human Rights (for real, like for five minutes) at the Rabbis For Human Rights event tonight.

Leonard Fine told us, as he always does, that work isn’t finished. Rabbi David Forman spoke eloquently on the needs for Jews to continue to look to themselves and ask the truly difficult question. If we can’t criticize ourselves, if we can’t take the time to learn from our mistakes, our history, our oppression we are not worthy of our history and legacy as Jews.

There seems to be an on going argument on the Jewschool against Mobius by everyone else that we, as Jews, should be focusing on those who are hurting us as apposed to pointing out that we have problems in our house. While I don’t look to the Talumud much, it is full of wonderful and meaningful leasons for such an occasion.

The Talmud states that if you can stop the crimes or violations of those in your house and you do not stop these crimes or violations, you are guilty of these crimes and violations.

B’tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories also was awarded this evening. B’tselem or “In the Image” works to show the truth. These folks show what the Israeli army is doing. They show the destruction of homes. They show the long lines of civilian Palestinians. They also show radical terrorists. They show the entire picture.

When we all stand up to fight each other, it is extremely important to remember the entire picture. My message to Mobius and Reb Chaim HaQoton is to look at everything when we take the time to point out our own human rights violations. The crimes of our own house must be examined and the violations of our family are our own. But if we simply look to the worst of our worlds we are lost and we lose our meaning.

The Jewish Blogger’s code of ethics is only as strong as those who stand up for it. I have said it before and I am sure I will say it again; no one follows these codes of conduct. Those who commit the most egregious violations of the codes are those who sport the nifty little icon on their websites. We must take for example those who were honored tonight in New York. These men and women who present the facts objectively and state their case subjectively, for Judaism is about the passion that is placed into our actions, are models and Social Justice Rock Stars.

Label Fine said it best, “we must be nudnicks for justice.” But we are only as strong as our weakest nudnick folks. Stand up and point out our flaws. Stand up and point out our enemy’s flaws. But stand up for justice and don’t forget that is at the base of what we are fighting for; not click-through, not cross postings, not ad revenues and not hits by unique users but progressive Jewish values.

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