Lay not thine hand upon the lad

Interesting article in this month’s Tikkun.

I’ve read Jewish Renewal, and consider it one of the most inspiring books I’ve read.  But this profound nugget just clicked with me: the victims often repeat the cycle and become the oppressors.  It’s why sometimes the downtrodden seem to lack empathy.  The pain inflicted on them deadens them to human empathy, it doesn’t engender it.  At least not usually.

This is the story and meaning of the Binding of Isaac.  Why Abraham did not go through with the child sacrifice, the kind of which had been going on all over that part of the world at that time, he broke the chain, as Rabbi Lerner points out.  Thus, the Jewish religion was born.

If that’s the core message of Judaism, it is more deep and insightful than most people think.  I think in our political context it’s why people “vote against their interest.”  What’s The Matter With Kansas? It’s not that people are turning to God because they’re bitter and have no other realm to pursue right and wrong, it’s because they crave healing and our government does zero about it.

I mean, just look at New Orleans.

And the Democrats aren’t doing anything to address this either.  At least they aren’t talking about it.

We need to start caring for our people again.  It won’t solve everything, but it will have broad effects.  Will someone start talking about this, please?