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January 23, 2020

01/23/2020 12:34:12 PM

Jan23

Rabbi Kozlow

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Dear Friends,

This past week, we, as a country, honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and I can't help but notice in my own heart how this important day has taken on an even deeper meaning for me since Dr. King was killed. Somehow, I can’t help but believe that we were so much more innocent during the tumultuous days that he lived. I think I actually believed that his murder would somehow result in his dreams coming true sooner. As if the tragedy of his death would inspire the world to elevate itself to become more just, more compassionate, in the face of the loss of such a relentless warrior of justice.

We cannot know if the world is a better place today than it was then, too many variables to take into consideration that only God can calculate, but I do know that my respect for Dr. King comes from his relentless commitment to Torah values that inspired his life. Oh yes, it may have been the Old testament to him, but his life was lived out loud and drenched in Torah values. It was simple really, serve, give, care, and help make the world a place where Justice guides human relations, where everyone counts the same, because in the eyes of God, we do. Without equal opportunity we cannot measure true potential and we must all be committed to insuring, in every way possible, that the life of humanity be fair and just. That’s Torah.

Now it is true that there is slavery to be found in the Torah which would mean to some that inequality is acceptable to God, but its not that we find slavery in the ancient world of the Torah, its that the Rabbis refused to call that Torah. No they said, it may have been the way it was but it is not the way God wants it to be. In fact the Rabbis, crafted Judaism in complete rejection of all things war, violent and unjust, and believe me, all of which can be found in the Torah. The pursuit of justice is the loudest voice to echo from Torah and it has crafted our sacred heritage into the spiritual discipline of righteousness that it is.

I pray that I will be able to live every moment of life that God gives me, in the service of goodness. Dr. Martin Luther King was thoroughly dedicated to the call that relentlessly pursued him and that kind of commitment IS the message for me this year. Am I living in the service of others? Am I uplifting the world with my actions? Am I allowing my compassion to subdue my judgment? I am driven to answer yes to those three questions every single day of my life and I know that so many of you join me.

Its so wonderful to have a community as we have that cares so much. In the contentious and harsh world in which we live, having such a loving community is priceless indeed. 

Wed, 27 May 2020 4 Sivan 5780