[This article was originally posted on Jewcy.com]
By Asaf Bar-Tura
Coordinator, Jewish-Muslim Community Building Initiative
Even in the 21st century, it seems we can still hear the prophetic calls of Jeremiah and Isaiah, of Hillel and Maimonides. We hear their cries for justice echoing these days in the streets of Madison, Wisconsin, as we do every day in devastated communities across the nation’s cities. The challenges are great: an economic crisis that persists with as much endurance as our pursuit to counter it; workers’ rights to safety and protection being questioned; foreclosures that board up not only homes but people.
We struggle. The challenges are great, our opponents strong, and those who still believe that justice matters seek a powerful response. The task is not only to help this or that needy individual. We aim to change long-standing systems of oppression, and to strengthen those healthy systems that were accomplished by previous generations. We don’t want to settle for winning this time around. Rather, we want to change the rules of the game. We want justice, not charity. Respect, not mercy.