Doing what needs to be done

"We are consistently finding things to do rather than doing things that need to be done."

- Jeffrey Benoit, Community Activist

(On the bus to begin walking for Journey for Justice, from Selma, Alabama, to Washington DC, Wednesday morning, August 26, 2015)

There really is no "us and them", there is only one human family.

A spectator asked if we marched for "black power". Someone responded, "We march for all of our power".

These two ideas echoed in my mind during the 16 miles we walked on Wednesday's leg of the Journey for Justice in South Carolina.

We aimed to fulfill a physical promise of togetherness. We have so many miles to go, on the ground and in our hearts and minds, and when we undertake some of them together, when we share journeys and stories, we more easily remember the fundamental fabric into which we are all woven as Americans and humans.

We just entered this season of reflection - the month before Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur - let us take note of things of real importance. Let us look at what needs to be done and begin the task together. Walk a few miles with someone and hear their story, especially if it is new to us and significantly different from our own. Overcome the discomfort of reaching out to someone new. And then ask one another what we can do to make the year to come one blessed with more justice and fairness for everyone.

May this Elul, the month before the High Holy Days, help us find the strength to overcome barriers and the patience to listen when we do.


Expand Medicaid Now

Here is our letter to the Editors from yesterday's Charlotte Observer: 

Plea to McCrory from 75 clergy, others: Accept Medicaid money


Seventy-five concerned N.C. clergy, religious leaders, state representatives, organization leaders and citizens have signed a letter urging Gov. Pat McCrory to accept federal Medicaid funds so the neediest uninsured North Carolinians can get health care.


Refusing Medicaid expansion threatens 500,000 North Carolinians’ health and would increase deaths in the state by 2,000 people per year.


All 500,000 eligible N.C. citizens must have access to Medicaid. Failing to fully expand Medicaid threatens many rural clinics and hospitals.


We ask Gov. McCrory to bring  our money back to our state, and give more North Carolinians access to desperately needed health care. It will be better for all of us.


Rabbi Jonathan Freirich


Rev. Dr. Rodney S. Sadler Jr.




Editor’s note: Freirich is Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth El. Sadler is an associate professor at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

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