Rosh Hashana 5778: Desisting is just not an option

0 Comments 18 September 2017

“It is not your responsibility to finish the work, but you are not free to desist from it either.” – Rabbi Tarfon, Pirke Avot 2:21

Dear Friends and Supporters,

These days, the stakes are high in Israel, in the United States & indeed throughout the world — certainly the highest they’ve been in decades.

lower qualityFounded in Jerusalem during the First Intifada, Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) continues to commit itself to promote and secure human rights and human dignity through these dark days. Despite the fear, both on a personal level & regarding the direction our beloved Israel may be taking, we persist because desisting is simply not an option. This month, as we enter the new Jewish year, we ask you to do the same & join us in the sacred struggle to fulfill our shared vision of a just Israel living up to our highest Jewish values.

Yes, I will commit to making 5778 truly a year for justice and include Israelis and Palestinians in my giving!

The challenge has always been a formidable one, and it shows no signs of waning: Oppression & injustice of Palestinians in the West Bank abounds; new generations of Israelis are trapped in the cycle of poverty; increasingly militant settlers enjoy impunity for their violent acts; & extremist Israeli voices continue to shout out their own radical narratives, trying to drown out the progressive & moderate tones of the majority of the Jewish people. But oppression is not our Judaism. With your support, we can continue to battle those who belittle our traditions & defile the Divine Name by using their Judaism as a fig leaf to obscure oppression.

Rabbis for Human Rights is on the ground in Israel and the occupied territories, making a difference. From our work in the field alongside Palestinians, in Israel’s forgotten neighborhoods & villages, and among young adults absorbing and integrating a human rights education, to our efforts in the Knesset & before the judges of the High Court, RHR is committed to fight for an Israel that loves peace & pursues justice. Our struggle is for a deeply Jewish & profoundly democratic state for our children & us.

In this era, when our leaders seem to be moving further & further from the freedom, justice and peace envisioned by our prophets, our challenges increase. All of us have no choice but to dig in our heels & increase our determination along with it.

We know that you share in our vision too. We are so grateful for the support you have shown us over the years, and we ask you now to renew your commitment to justice and human rights for Israelis and Palestinians by continuing to donate and spread the word of our important work. With your support, together we can remind the world that the path of spirituality, activism, and human rights naturally intertwine with Judaism as well as so many other religious traditions.

May we be inscribed in the Book of Life. May we be found worthy to live lives of justice and love of the Divine’s creations.


Rabbi Ed Rettig
Chair, Shomrei Mishpat, Rabbis for Human Rights

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