Meretz and mitzvot

Meretz acts on the eternal Jewish values that are the very foundation of Israel’s existence.

March 4, 2015 21:25
3 minute read.
Meretz's new ad campaign for the elections titled "A revolution against corruption with Meretz"

Meretz's new ad campaign for the elections titled "A revolution against corruption with Meretz". (photo credit: Courtesy)

Mitzvot are not ends in themselves.

They are not about a Platonic ideal of a kosher bearekas or candle-lighting time. They are building blocks of a just and compassionate society. When a mitzvah becomes an end in itself, it loses its meaning and holiness.

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Meretz, a secular party, acts on the eternal Jewish values that are the very foundation of Israel’s existence – a country in which the Jewish people can be our conceivable best. It is a political party in which my personal observance of mitzvot finds purpose in social change that is deeply rooted in Jewish values – eternal values that guide us through our challenges – the opposite of Ahashverosh, whose “values” change with his political will and personal mood.

Justice, justice you shall pursue

Unlike the self-proclaimed religious parties, Meretz works for justice. We are not busy with any one view of what it means to be a Jew or an Israeli – we enact the value – working for a safe and just society for all – minorities, the poor, the stranger, all who are vulnerable – and a solution to the pain of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – a dire situation which other parties seem to have abandoned.

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Seek peace and pursue it

Meretz’s mission is to transform our ancient homeland into a safe and secure Israel.

To achieve that security we must care about who we are – we must be a nation that strives for the highest Jewish ideals.

That means a two-state solution with secure Israeli borders that we can defend with both physical and moral conviction.

With two daughters in the IDF (one out, one still in) and a third, fourth and fifth heading into the army, I have no interest in their defending indefensible policies.

I have a deep and personal stake that all parties in this conflict have the resources and voice to build what is good.

Tzelem Elohim

Everyone is made in God’s image. And no person who lives peaceably shall be denied dignity – there must be no distinctions in public policy that diminish the humanity of anyone based on sexual orientation, race, religion or any other subjective, nuanced way-of-being. Meretz is clear about this. And our deepest, most serious efforts must be toward a society that always works toward this never-ending covenantal hope.

Who knows?

With Purim approaching, there’s this – Mordechai’s question to Esther, the question of one Jew to another in Persian governmental circles: Who knows? Mordechai sends a message to Esther, urging her to reveal her identity to King Achashverosh and plead on behalf of the Jewish people, a message that hinges on two words: “mi yodea?” “Who knows if it wasn’t for just such a time that you became queen?” Humility and possibility changed everything in Persia for the Jews. And it’s with wisdom, strategy, courage and humility that I hope our government will approach all our challenges at home and in modern day Persia. For that leads to deep and abiding change.

The author is a rabbi, writer and activist who works on issues of pluralism and asylum seekers in Israel, as well as the international orphan crisis. She is the founder of and can be followed at @rabbasusan and @justadopt.

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