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About Humanity

"A chosen people is the opposite of a master race, first, because it is not a race but a covenant; second because it exists to serve God, not to master others. A master race worships itself, a chosen people worships something beyond itself. A master race believes it has rights; a chosen people knows only that it has responsibilities." Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Not in God's Name, Schocken, New York. 2015.

As someone who does not identify as a chosen people or part of a master race, I ruminate about how to respond to the world, particularly that part of the world I cannot endorse. So I am comforted by the people who have taken on ministry and who feel responsible enough to care for community.

How do I act on a feeling of responsibility without assuming that I know what other people should do, or what we should do? It's very easy to slip into a political preaching that suggests I know, or that my being a good example means that others should follow it. Or worse yet, create a new ideology, which, if successful and influential, would uncover unintended consequences.

The eternal problem for me is, when does the power I have to take responsibility for the world and to act on it - become a power that oppresses another?

Many people who are privileged enough to have the time to think on this have offered good ideas on how we can survive the turmoil of violence and fear. Humanity has a voice. It doesn't have to be a single voice, and clearly it isn't, but I look for the cause of the causes of our problems. Perhaps the original cry for help before we engage in diversions that take us away from our brothers and sisters.

On good days I remember there are no solutions, which does not excuse me from struggling with the questions. I am part of an interdependent web of existence which is a gift and a burden.


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