diaspora quote

Being part of a diaspora is the feeling of never wanting to forget, but being incapable of remembering.

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Rav Arnold Jacob Wolf quote

I try to walk the road of Judaism. Embedded in that road there are many jewels. One is marked ‘Sabbath’ and one ‘Civil Rights’ and one ‘Kashruth’ and one ‘Honor Your Parents’ and one ‘You Shall Be Holy.’ There are at least 613 of them and they are different shapes and sizes and weights. Some are light and easy for me to pick up, and I pick them up. Some are too deeply embedded for me, so far at least, though I get a little stronger by trying to extricate the jewels as I walk the street. Some, perhaps, I shall never be able to pick up. I believe that God expects me to keep on walking Judaism Street and to carry away whatever I can of its commandments. I do not believe that God expects me to lift what I cannot, nor may I condemn my fellow Jew who may not be able to pick up even as much as I can.

  • Rav Arnold Jacob Wolf

Judaism is not like other faiths.

Yet there is a subtle Jewish assimilation afoot: because other religious traditions define “religion” primarily in terms of faith, prayer and ritual alone, there are now a significant number of Jews who do so as well with Judaism. By focusing on the mitzvot bein adam la-Makom (commandments between a person and God) as the primary definition of piety, we distort Judaism to fit the foreign contour of Christianity and other non-Jewish faiths. We betray the broad heritage of Torah when we fail to recognize justice and righteousness as primary religious categories of Judaism … It remains to assert—as a matter of Jewish integrity and a rebuttal of those who would tailor Judaism to fit a Christian mold—that ethics and a passion for justice remain the engines driving the entire Jewish enterprise.

-Rabbi Bradley Artson, on Parashat Shoftim

Emma Goldman on gender + sexual equality

“It is a tragedy, I feel, that people of a different sexual type are caught in a world which shows so little understanding for homosexuals and is so crassly indifferent to the various gradations and variations of gender and their great significance in life.”

 

  • Emma Goldman – Jewish American Anarcha-Communist in a letter written in 1923