RHR2010: Israel, Exceptionalism, Human Rights and the Road Ahead, Part 1
Hereville and Cairo

RHR2010: links roundup

Over the course of the 2+ days of Human Rights Under Fire: A Jewish Call to Action, Rabbis for Human Rights - North America's third conference on Judaism and human rights, I blogged somewhere inthe neighborhood of 27,000 words. Here they are:

A logistical note on the material linked above: when there were plenary sessions, we were all together listening to one thing; when there were breakout sessions, there were typically four or five things happening at any given time. I chose the sessions which were most compelling to me. (Had I attended the other sessions, you would have gotten a different glimpse of the conversations happening at the conference.)

Throughout the conference, Joshua Bloom was recording videos of participants talking about why we are rabbis for human rights. I meant to go and speak briefly on camera about why I'm a rabbinic student for human rights, but I didn't manage to; the last session I attended ran long, and I had to leave before the very end in order to catch my train home. But here's what I would have liked to have said:

I'm becoming a rabbi because I want to serve God and because I want to serve my community. Torah teaches that we are all created b'tzelem Elohim, in the divine image; each of us is a facet of God, each of us contains a spark of divinity within us. I support the work of Rabbis for Human Rights because when anyone anywhere is denied their basic human rights, then that spark of divinity isn't able to shine.

I believe that my community is best served -- and that the community of the world is best served -- and that God is best served -- when each of us is able to live up to our own unique potential, freely and without discrimination. When there is oppression against any of God's children (those who are in "my tribe" and those who are following other paths to holiness), then there is work to be done. I'm grateful that Rabbis for Human Rights is living out Judaism's prophetic call.

I'm incredibly glad that this organization exists and that I'm able to be a part of it. Thanks for a great conference, y'all! See you in two years.