Tag Archives: Social Justice

Davar Torah for Parashar Emor: After the Death (of) a Person, Speak

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

Avi Dabush: This Purim: Join us in UNMASKING Jewish Terror

Dear Friends,

Purim is well known as a time for celebration, partying, dressing up, wearing our masks and thinking about Jewish resilience and perseverance over oppression. That, in short, was the story of Purim.

Today, however, some of us have taken things too far. When we look at the steady rise of settler violence/Jewish terror in the West Bank we see that some, too many, of us have gone from perseverance to extremism and hate. We are witness to too many instances of Jews moving beyond resilience to perpetrating violence against Palestinians and solidarity activists. Continue reading

Dvar Torah: Building a Tabernacle for the Public Good

Read RHR’s most recent newsletter HERE. Rabbi Daniel Burstyn reminds us of the Jewish traditions of generosity and donations, Revach and Tzedaka; there is also an update on Sheikh Jarrah as the Supreme Court freezes the evictions; RHR’s Executive Director Avi Dabush’s latest article; and a response from RHR on the invasion of Ukraine.


If you would like to donate to BFRHR, you can find more information on the Donations page

RHR Newsletter: Standing up to Immorality and more

Read RHR’s most recent newsletter HERE, with the Parashat HaShavua – Va’Yakhel: Standing Up to Immorality (Rabbi Dr Sigalit Ur), an update from a visit to Sheikh Jarrah by Activists and Rabbis from RHR, and an article from RHR Executive Director, Avi Dabush, ‘The Israeli Weapon Isn’t Always in Good Hands’.


If you would like to donate to BFRHR, you can find more information on the Donations page

Tree Planting Met With Terror: We Will Not Be Intimidated

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you following the events of this past Friday, January 21st, that took place in the village of Burin. We were engaged in a tree planting activity together with our friends from the Olive Harvest Coalition, side by side with Palestinian farmers. Suddenly, we were set upon by a group of masked, messianic attackers. There is no other way to describe this attack other than an act of terror. They stormed down from the nearby hill, from the illegal outpost called Givat Ronen, and began to beat activists with their clubs, to stone them and to set a car ablaze.

Continue reading

Avi Dabush: Planting Trees With Palestinians in the West Bank, Because Evil Doesn’t Rest for Shemita

This column was written before the demonstrations by Bedouin and their supporters in the Negev began, and before right-wing Knesset members turned from their parliamentary work in order to, in an unprecedented fashion, “devote themselves” to agricultural work with the aim of setting the Negev on fire. The article was written about our work in the OPT, but the words in it are doubly relevant after seeing how JNF tree planting has become a symbol of violence and hatred in the Negev.

Jewish supremacy and Jewish terrorism are disgusting and shocking, especially when one remembers that Judaism is rooted in standing up to power. The culture of violence found in Jewish rioting gangs is dangerous and requires us to correct it. Continue reading

Parashat VaYishlah: Words of Peace

“And his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, so they hated him, and they could not speak peacefully with him”. (Genesis, 37, 4)

How is hatred born? What is the human mechanism that creates such a harsh feeling? Is it jealousy that causes hatred? Perhaps it is the difference or specialness of the other, that I lack, that arouses the hatred. Is it the absence or neglect of a significant person who arouses love that causes hatred? Perhaps the past difficulties and memories of the father are reflected in the relationships of his children. We are referring to hatred amongst brothers.

No doubt Joseph is an annoying younger brother. Continue reading

Be With Us: From the Harvest, To Planting and Accompanying Palestinian Shepherds

Following a successful harvest season, in which volunteers went out to harvest with Palestinian over 700 individual times in the Northern West Bank. There, on the ground and in the olive trees the truth of solidarity was revealed. Standing together for justice, peace and human rights is the only way that each olive harvested will grow again into another tree that can be harvested in peace and with equality.

Unfortunately, the harvest this year, while it was a success in terms of how many people we brought out, the solidarity and awareness we raised, we cannot help but be profoundly disturbed by the frustration, anger, pain of the farmers. Continue reading

Parashat VaYishlah: The Unheard Voice of Dinah

The spiritual and practical world of women in the Bible (and post-Biblical literature) is relatively unexplored. Their mention is disproportionate to their percentage of the population, and when mentioned it is usually as a component of a male narrative, as an object of male actions and desires rather than as a subject.

The story of Dinah in this week’s Torah reading VaYishlah is an extreme case of this. We don’t know how Dinah felt. Did she scream for help when Shechem, son of Hamor, raped her? Or was she perhaps silent in her great surprise and horror? What did she say when her brothers Simon and Levi abducted her and led her out of the city, strewn with corpses, back to her mother and father’s tent? Dinah’s voice is not heard throughout the incident. The victim has turned into an object. Continue reading

The Olive Harvest Continues: Over 500 Volunteers So Far!!

Dear Friends,

The Olive Harvest continues and this week, as we reported, has been one of excitement, pain and success. As we reported to you earlier in the week, on Monday our staff and volunteers were attacked as they participated in the harvest near Awarta. However, even in the face of violence, threats and indifference we continue and are proud of the over 500 volunteers who have joined us thus far, where we all work to show that justice and solidarity can overcome violence and oppression. Continue reading