Statement on Charlottesville from Rabbi Hazzan Myers

The Golden Rule authored by Rabbi Hillel nearly two thousand years ago states the obvious so succinctly:

"What is hateful to you do not do to your fellow."

 

Alas, it did not seem so simple in Charlottesville. Hate continues to rear its ugly head, and this time it resulted in the loss of a beautiful human being and many injured. 

 

God chose us by holding us responsible to teach God's laws to others. Hate is not one of them, yet hate is also being taught. I am reminded of the song from South Pacific, "You've Got to be Carefully Taught." The powerful lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II in 1949 continue to resonate: "You've got to be taught." With two simple word changes, I offer the following:

 

"You've got to be taught to love and revere; you've got to be taught."

 

Noble words and a starting point. Each of us must take the next step to undo what has been taught so that the dignity of each person is respected. Every human being has a spark of the divine, and must be treated so. There is much work to be done, and to paraphrase Pirkei Avot: We are not free to desist from trying.

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