Hope you’re having a great day.
… Chinese president Hu Jinatao is in the United States.
And will be in Chicago today.
What does this have to do with the Torah Minute?
Because among the issues that always come up?
Human rights violations in China.
American leaders always bring it up.
And the Chinese always have the same response.
“Don’t mix into our affairs.
Don’t try to impose your values on us.”
It goes back and forth.
We say, “These are not “our values”. They’re basic human values!”
“No. Those are western values. Our values are different.
You value the individual. To us the State is more important.”
… There is some truth to the Chinese argument.
In fact, if I was Hu Jintao’s speech writer?
I would sharpen his argument and say it like this.
“You are trying to impose Torah values on us.
And we live in the pre Torah world!”
Because in the ancient world it made sense.
The State was sacred and individuals were there to serve the State.
And individuals were expendable to further the State’s interests.
Even thousands of individuals!
Then what happened?
The Jewish People changed the world with its Torah.
We taught the world that the individual is sacred.
That each and every human being is created in the Image of G-d.
And is entitled to dignity and respect.
We taught that the State is there to serve the individual!
… The Chinese are frozen in the pre Torah world.
And they refuse to have the Torah’s values imposed on them.
This visit should make us proud to be Jews.
What better time could there be to commit ourselves to live up to our Torah?
And in honor of Hu Jintao’s visit?
We should commit ourselves to more Torah learning.
And we should go out of our way to treat others with respect.
To see the Divine Image in every person!
All the best,
Rabbi Moshe Katz
2832W. Touhy Avenue
P 773. 761. 0400 ext. 201
F 773. 761. 9262