Jewish sources & human rights

The Jewish sources are full of comments related to human rights, justice and equality. We have collected some of our favorites below. Please continue to check here for more, as we will be updating regularly.


“‘Love thy neighbor as thyself’ — Why is it written ‘love thy neighbor’ and not ‘love your people?’ Because included in ‘neighbor’ is all of humanity.” – The Sage Elijah Benamozegh, 1863

“It is worse to steal from a gentile than from a Jew because of desecration of [G-d’s] name.” – Tosefta Bava Kamma 10:8

“A pious Jew is not one who worries about his fellow man’s soul and his own stomach; a pious Jew worries about his own soul and his fellow man’s stomach.” – Rabbi Israel Salanter

“Faithfulness and Truth shall meet, Justice and Peace embrace; Truth sprouts from the earth, Justice looks down from heaven.” – Psalms 85: 11-12

“What is hateful unto you do not do to your fellow. That is the whole of Torah. The rest is commentary.” – Hillel the Elder

“Everyone must know & understand that within burns a candle and no one’s candle is identical with the candle of another, and there is no human being without a candle…One needs to ignite one’s candle and make of it a great torch to enlighten the whole world.”
-Rabbi Kook

“Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, profaning the covenant of our fathers?”- Malachi 2:10

“Woe to those who add house to house
And join field to field,
Till there is room for none but you
To dwell in the land”
– Isaiah 5:8


“A little bit of light will dispel a great darkness”- Baal Shem Tov

“These are the things that you shall do: Speak truth to each other; render verdicts in your courts that are just and that lead to peace.” – Zechariah 8:16



“You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.” – Deuteronomy 16:19

“Learn to do good. Devote yourself to justice; aid the wronged. Uphold the rights of the orphan; defend the cause of the widow.” – Isaiah 1:17

“For I am mindful of the plans I have made concerning you — declares the Lord— plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a hopeful future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

“Choose life, so that you and your children may live.” – Deuteronomy 30:19

“Happy are those who act justly, who do right at all times” -Psalms 106:3


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