Post-Election: T’ruah Statement
About T’ruah: “T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights brings together rabbis and cantors from all streams of Judaism, together with all members of the Jewish community, to act on the Jewish imperative to respect and advance the human rights of all people.”
Please sign this pledge if you are a rabbi or cantor.
” קְרָא בְגָרוֹן אַל-תַּחְשֹׂךְ, כַּשּׁוֹפָר הָרֵם קוֹלֶךָ
Cry aloud; do not be silent. Lift up your voice like a shofar.–Isaiah 58:1
As rabbis and cantors, we fervently pledge to raise our voices, and those of our communities, to hold the new administration accountable for protecting the human rights and civil liberties of all people as precious creations in the divine image.
Jewish history has taught us that fascism arrives slowly, through the steady erosion of liberties. And we have learned that those who attack other minorities will eventually come to attack us. To our great dismay, we learned this truth again when, during this election campaign, anti-Semitism rose to the fore, along with racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, and homophobia.
For some Jewish leaders, there will be a temptation to accommodate the new administration in the hopes of protecting our own community’s “interests.” As Joseph learned long ago, and as the Jewish community has learned time and time again, proximity to power does not guarantee protection in the long run. Nor can we ignore the fact that our Jewish community includes people of color, immigrants, women, LGBTQ people, people dependent on the social safety net, and others at risk for reasons beyond Jewish identity. Jews will not be safe until every one of is safe in a just and democratic society.
As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, “This is no time for neutrality. We Jews cannot remain aloof or indifferent. We, too, are either ministers of the sacred or slaves of evil.”
The UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 as the world’s response to the Holocaust. Today, we recommit to fight for these human rights, and our constitutional protections, because we remember that too many of our own family members died when fascism arose in Europe, when the U.S. and other nations refused to accept refugees, and when much of the world looked away.
We have inherited a Torah that concerns itself with the fate of humanity, and a sacred tradition that demands building a just society. We pledge to fight for the human rights of all of us. We stand in solidarity with all vulnerable populations, despite and because of fear for our own safety. We call on the entire Jewish community to stand with us in this struggle.”