Rabbi Ariel gave the following speech at an interfaith press conference on January 27th.
Sacred ancient scriptures of Judaism, shared by Islam and adopted by Christianity, proclaim no less than thirty-six times, “You shall not oppress the stranger. You know the feelings of the stranger, for you have been strangers yourself.”
Sacred American scriptures are engraved on the Statue that stands in New York Harbor, a statue whose full name is Liberty Enlightening the World.
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The Jewish community rejects the efforts of the Trump Administration to trick us into blaming our problems on helpless, stateless human beings who seek refuge with us. We condemn the banning of immigrants to our shores as immoral, as counterproductive, as against the will of G*d.
We have seen this before. We know that evil exists in the world, and we will not aid or abet it by supporting measures that target an entire community, the many innocent with any who may be, but have been discovered, nor been tried, nor been proven guilty.
This is not who we Americans are when we are great.
This is the way of evil, and we will resist it.
And we will continue to pray for our current government, that those in power may lead these United States always in the spirit of true greatness:
G*d, indwelling breath and spirit of all human beings and all the earth, may this country of ours be blessed. May our leaders be blessed with wisdom and understanding, that they might establish peace and liberty for all its inhabitants. May we all be blessed equally with compassion and strength, that we might build together a society in which all will be safe, all will be well, and all will be free to pursue life, liberty and happiness. Amen.