Rabbi Elizabeth S. Wood

Rabbi Elizabeth S. Wood
Celebrating Havdallah

Friday, May 10, 2013

A question of moral responsibitlity

Often times, the greatest questions of morality and character do not reflect how to achieve happiness or whether something is definitively right or wrong. Rather, the challenge comes from our moral responsibility to care for others, to care for our cherished but broken world, and how to partner with God in continuing the daily renewed work of creation. The Jewish tradition teaches that even the poorest among us is capable of giving to others - whether through time, action, or intention.  In that way, we understand that we are  all privileged and imbued with a spirit that is capable of giving. Moreover, it is is our moral and ethical responsibility, as privileged human beings of God's world, to share in that responsibility to promote equality, to advocate for social justice, and to mend our world. As it states in Deuteronomy 15:7-8, "If among you one of your fellow humans should become poor, in any of the towns of the land which Adonai your God gave to you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against them, but you shall open your hard and give them what is needed, whatever it may be."

As religious and spiritual beings, it is not enough it simply pray for good and expect it to come. We must be continuously committed to the hard and, often, difficult work of speaking up and speaking out and taking action so that all of God's children can live in harmony in our world. Then, and only then, will it be possible to think about calling this place Eden, once again.

No comments: