Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rhythm Guitar Rabbi (Ben Sharff): Joe Pa and Judaism

Thanks to my friend and colleague, Ben Sharff, for his reflections on the Penn State debacle. In a week when we read Abraham bargain for the existence of Sodom and Gomorrah, asking to spare the cities if even a minimum of righteous people exist, and exhorting God that the God of justice must judge righteously, we are reminded that too often, Evil goes on justified and unchecked, and the righteous do nothing to protect the innocent.

Rhythm Guitar Rabbi: Joe Pa and Judaism:

But I began reflecting on what Jewish tradition might say. In terms of the performance of mitzvot, rabbis list the minimum one needs to do in order to fulfill a mitzvah. For example, when building a sukkah, it needs to be at minimum, tall enough to sit in and fit at least one person (Shulchan Aruch Orah Hayyim 633:1).But of course the goal is to do so much more than the minimum. The goal is to build a structure where one can truly celebrate this wonderful fall festival. Hence, the bare minimum really is never enough.

Also there is the principle of tzedek, tzekek tirdof, justice, justice, you shall pursue, (Deuteronomy 16:20). One of the classic interpretations of this phrase is we are obligated to seek out justice and to make sure it is done and applied fairly. Not just to pass it on to others to handle.

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