Today is the World Day of Social Justice, a perfect topic for Jewish Treats, as Jewish law often addresses issues of social justice. There are halachot (laws) that dictate giving tzedakah (charity), caring for widows, orphans and strangers, visiting and caring for the ill, and the list goes on.
It is a sad reality that almost every society faces corrupt elements and that, often, the glorious ideals upon which communities first develop are abandoned. Every generation, however, is blessed with those who speak out for justice and protesters who raise their voices to help bring about a better world.
Some of the most renowned social justice protest language in history can be found in the recorded words of the ancient Hebrew prophets. Today, Jewish Treats shares just a few examples:
“Hear the word of the Lord, children of Israel, for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. Swearing and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery. They break all bounds, and blood touches blood” (Hosea 4:1-2).
“Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves; every one loves bribes, and follows after rewards; they judge not the fatherless, neither are they bothered by the cause of the widow” (Isaiah 1:23).
“Therefore, because you trample upon the poor, and take from him exactions of wheat; you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them, you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink wine thereof” (Amos 5:11).