Among the most enduring texts in all of Judaism is Deuteronomy 16:20: tzedek tzedek t’rdof – justice, justice, you shall pursue. For millennia, these words have defined our view of the world. They sustain us in our ongoing work of establishing communities imbued with peace, compassion, kindness – and justice.
Yesterday [March 19] the Grade 6 and 7 students of Holy Blossom Temple joined up for a special program, the theme of which was justice. They explored the sensitive yet vital issues of refugees and gun control/ownership; and in a hands-on endeavour, prepared haroset for the community Pesach seder taking place at the Temple on April 2. Facilitators were Rabbi Michael Satz, Education Director Debbie Spiegel, Lisa Baumal, Rebekah Houpt, Noa Gordon, Cantor Cheryl Wunch, Rabbi Bill S. Tepper and Rabbi Jordan Helfman.
During the evening, students examined and reflected upon the subject of refugees and engaging ‘the other’ in our midst, as it pertains to the Land of Israel and elsewhere. They experienced the satisfaction of contributing to the Pesach meal being held in response to those in economic need. And they shared thoughts and considered responses regarding the problematic and emotionally-charged topic of gun control and ownership.
By the night’s end, our students had acquired additional tools and an enhanced measure of understanding with which to devote themselves – going forward in their lives – to Judaism’s eternal pursuit of justice.