By Brett Kaminsky, Urban Mitzvah Corps New Jersey 2018 Participant
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Last night, Rabbi Andrew Goodman from the Hebrew Union College visited our group. Rabbi Goodman recruits potential students for Hebrew Union College, but he is also an educator.
Rabbi Goodman taught us about the Prophets and explained how they were all social justice leaders. He showed us that the difference between the Prophets and regular people through the actions they take. The Prophets were not just given the ability to make a difference from God; they also had to work for social justice constantly. The Prophets worked not out a sense of duty, but out of understanding the injustices that the people felt and working to bring justice to all.
Rabbi taught us about the important values of the Prophets through comic books. He related how Spider-Man had power and used the opportunity to make a difference by fighting crime. Goodman explained that not everybody needs to do social justice but if you have the power or ability to do good, then you must. The Prophets had both the power and ability to do good and also worked towards social justice. At the end of our time together, Rabbi Goodman said that anybody can be a prophet, and we each have the ability to work towards being like the prophets.
Here at Urban Mitzvah Corps (UMC), I believe each and every one of us are emulating the Prophets. Rabbi Goodman explained to us that a prophet is able to stop a mighty stream with mere words. At UMC, we are feeding the hungry, helping provide a safe place for children, brightening the day of the elderly. We are stopping a mighty stream of injustice with very simple acts. We are using the ability given to us to help others. Rabbi Goodman showed us how we all can be prophets.