Moment Zoominar: The Message of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel with Susannah Heschel and Rich Michelson
Susannah Heschel, professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College and Richard Michelson, author of As Good As Anybody: Martin Luther King and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom, discus the partnership between these two great leaders and what it means for our time.
This zoominar is part of the Martha’s Vineyard Jewish Book Festival, in partnership with Moment Magazine, the Chilmark Library and the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center.
Donald Trump has been actively drawing God into his campaign for the past few weeks. It started with the claim earlier this month that his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, a devout Catholic, is “against God,” has “no religion” and will “hurt the Bible, hurt God.”
“In this age of pandemics and polarization, it may be hard to envision. But it’s not a mystery. Someone who prizes decency and embodies dignity. Someone who exercises empathy and exhibits patience and understanding. Someone who lives, breathes and acts on the basic beliefs which are unique to Jewish tradition and universal in application—to pursue justice, welcome the stranger, open your hand and your heart to the needy and love your neighbor.”
What are the chances of this dramatic step actually taking place? Is this an inevitable result of the new government formed or yet another election-promise bound to be discarded as campaign rhetoric makes way to reality?
It all depends on four key players, their motivation, and their ability to influence the course of events.
Last Wednesday, as Jewish Americans were busy wrapping up their Passover shopping (well distanced outside the supermarkets, or begging for an online delivery slot) and struggling to set up a Zoom call with their socially-distanced families, Bernie Sanders bowed out.
Bernie Sanders announced Sunday that he will not attend AIPAC’s annual policy conference next week. “The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people. I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights. For that reason I will not attend their conference,” Sanders wrote, promising that as president, he will “support the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians and do everything possible to bring peace and security to the region.”