by Avi Dabush (Translated from the original Hebrew)
The use of Judaism and Zionism to slander, trample and harm entire communities: LGBTQ people, secular, Arabs, leftists and anyone who does not align, is a blasphemy. This is a true call for mobilization: those for whom human dignity, human rights, humanity and Judaism are important must get off the fence and join the struggle.
The idea of blasphemy is about how people harm [religion in general] good name of Judaism through what they do. I always think about this, of course when I see defendants who, on a daily basis, do not wear a kippah put one on as they are being arraigned or remanded in court. It should be the opposite. Continue reading →
Right-wing Jewish supremacists must not be allowed to distort Torah teachings and crush foundations for long-term prosperity in this Land we hold dear!
“The attempt by the Jewish supremacist right wing to weaponize Judaism and Zionism in order to attack anyone who refuses to fall into line with their fake patriotism is nothing new. This is a well-known practice of violent and dangerous right-wing forces throughout history.”
Rabbi Lana Zilberman Soloway shares testemony from a soldier in the IDF as well as her own observations from a visit to the historic city of Hebron in the West Bank where up to 800 soldiers are stationed to protect settlers.
Many things happened to our mother Sarah during her lifetime, but the the greatest impact she had on the Jewish future was in her death.
“Sarah died at Kiryat Arba, that is Hebron, in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her”. (Genesis 233, 2)Continue reading →
Read RHR’s most recent newsletter HERE. Former Knesset Member and friend of all those fighting for social justice, Ilan Gilon, is remembered by Rabbis for Human Rights and Rabbi Ruti Baidatz. Also read about RHR’s support of the Hebrew Israelite Community who are currently facing deportation orders and RHR’s involvement in the Alternative Independence Day Torch Lighting, with Becky Cohen Keshet representing their commitment to economic justice.
If you would like to donate to BFRHR, you can find more information on the Donations page
Some people believe that the challenges, dilemmas and hopes that engage humanity are permanent and eternal, that “what was, will be” and that “there is nothing new under the sun”. This perspective is especially prevalent in the traditional world. The search for spiritual intentionality through the regular reading of the weekly portion, even through the lens of creative commentaries, can contribute to the sense of continuity and meaning but it might also paper over the burning issues that are present, the ones that are found outside of the traditional text. Continue reading →
As the holiday approaches, Rabbis for Human Rights share a special Shavuot edition of their newsletter.
The Calling of Shavuot: Standing Again at Sinai & Standing for Justice Rabbi Michael Marmur, Chairperson, Rabbis for Human Rights
Shavuot Sameach! This year the festival of Shavuot will be experienced in a different way than usual. In various stages of post-lockdown, puzzling over the cultural, institutional and economic impact of this global crisis, Continue reading →
Avi Dabush, Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights, spoke at the British Friends of Rabbis for Human Rights AGM last December. This speech, discussing peacefully bringing together the different cultures and peoples of Israel, is reproduced here with his kind permission.
Avi also wrote a reflective piece on Human Rights, on the occasion of Tu B’Shvat this year, before RHR went out to plant olive trees in the West Bank where they had previously been burnt and uprooted. Read In the Shadow of an Uprooted Olive Treehere. Continue reading →
“The tribes of Reuben and Gad approached Moses and the leadership saying ‘If we have found favour in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession; do not bring us over the Jordan.’ And Moses said to the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben: ‘Shall your brethren go to the war, and shall you sit here?” 32:5,6
This question asked by Moses of the two cattle owning tribes is one that resonates so poignantly today. “Shall your brethren go to war, and shall you sit here?”
We have been watching anxiously as Israel has been slipping once more into war. And as we obsess over the news feeds and the reporting, the analysis and the social media links, we wonder about what is our role? how could we sit here while our fellow Jews are at war? And what is it that we should be doing?
RHR have organised a cross party lobby group in the Knesset to ensure that public housing is built to higher standards and allocated fairly. RHR want to ensure that affordable housing is included in the plans for each neighbourhood. It is vital that legislation includes planning for housing units of various sizes, e.g., for single people, multi-generational families, as well as ensuring that provision is made in each neighbourhood for long term rentals and affordable housing so that low income families and other vulnerable people are not excluded from certain neighbourhoods. Lack of affordable housing was one of the main reasons underlying massive social protests in Israel in the last two years. As RHR point out, the people, who are excluded from living in a neighbourhood because housing is too expensive, are also deprived of the opportunity to take up local jobs, send their children to good local schools or benefit from transport services.