‘I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be’
By MaNishtana for Tablet Magazine
Every Martin Luther King Day I run into my fair share of articles that make it seem as though the only way for Jews to find a way into the conversation of MLK Day is to throw Abraham Joshua Heschel into the mix. But this entry point for Jewish media has never really sat well with me.
Don’t get me wrong; Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was a remarkable figure during the Civil Rights Movement. He marched arm in arm with King, among many others, in Selma in March 1965, and he was heavily active in conferences discussing race and religion. In footage broadcast on NBC in 1972, Heschel said: “God is either the father of all men or of no man, and the idea of judging a person in the terms of black or brown or white is an eye disease.”