Eighty-two of my fellow rabbis were arrested on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, January 17 during a protest against Donald Trump ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The hymns the rabbis chanted, “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself,” “I Am My Brother’s Keeper,” and “Let My People Stay” were an appeal to the American soul at a precarious time in our history.
More than 800,000 of our precious young Americans have their fates hanging in the balance. As the descendant of immigrants, I know the importance of being able to set down roots and find stability in a new land. When I was a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary I marched with my mentor, Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel and his friend, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to advocate for civil rights. Like the rabbis in Washington, we were arrested. It seems that the fight for justice is never over. But the rabbis remind us -- “Love your neighbor as yourself” is an imperative so sweeping that both Jesus and the great rabbis regarded it as the most important commandment in the Bible (Deuteronomy 6:4 and Mark 12:29-31).
So raise your hand, lift your voice! Now is the time. The difference between good and evil, right and wrong has never been clearer. "If you truly believe," Theodore Herzl proclaimed, "it is not a dream." Call your representatives. Let’s work together to keep our Dreamers here at home.