Our member, Jennifer Koopman, writes:
For our present calamities, a fable about denial: “The Elephant and his Son,” by American author Arnold Lobel, suggests how catastrophe stems from people’s egotistic inclination to dismiss as inconsequential the voices of others.
Source: Arnold Lobel, Fables (New York: HarperCollins, 1980, p. 32-33).
Listen to Rabbi Grushcow reading the story here.
This fable reminds us of another story: the midrash that suggests that God chose Abraham to be the first Jew because he was stopped in his tracks when he saw a house on fire. “How can this be?” asked Abraham. “Who is the master of this house?”
That question led our ancestor on a search for justice. It led him to be the father of a religion in which knowing the heart of the stranger – because we know what it means to be a stranger – is the most frequently repeated command. We live in a world in which so many houses are on fire with racism, with violence and with hate. Our religion both challenges us and inspires us to listen, to learn, and to act.