“Humans stamp many coins with one seal and they are all like one another; but the King of kings, the Holy Blessed One, has stamped every human with the seal of the first man, yet not one of them are like another” Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:5
Jewish tradition teaches us to honor and respect each individual person. Learning the stories and ethics of Jewish tradition push us to build more empathy for the experience of others.
Hillel the elder was once asked by a potential convert to explain the entire Torah while standing on one foot. Hillel’s response was “That which is hateful to you do not do to another; that is the entire Torah, and the rest is its interpretation. Go study.”
Our Jewish sacred texts have deep commitments to creating empathy and understanding for others. Jewish education and learning are helpful tools to guide us to advocate for the safety and equality of people of color. Jewish education also forces us to turn inward as we face our own biases. In this way, we believe Jewish learning enables us to support a more equitable and just world.
Books and Resource Suggestions from the Baltimore Jewish Council
Dear White America by Tim Wise
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas (Young Adult novel)