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I Have a Dream

I Have a Dream

Where is our dream today?

by

This coming week will be the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s historical speech in Washington D.C. Many people don’t know that MLK did not prepare the “I have a dream” parts of his speech. He made up those paragraphs on the spot as he stood before thousands of people who came to rally for the ideals of freedom and equality.

“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self–evident: that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”

There were hundreds of Jews that day in August marching in Washington D.C. to support the African American fight for freedom. We joined in protests, and we were a part of the civil rights groups in universities across the nation. Judaism teaches that every person is created in the image of God, and we have always been willing to fight for this ideal.

Over the years as Jews have become more integrated and comfortable in American society, it is rare to find discrimination against us just for being Jewish. Today we can be the heads of the emergency rooms and the congressmen and the top CEOs in the country. But anti-Semitism is stronger than ever; it just sounds different.

It sounds like this: I have nothing against Jews, but Israel is messing everything up. If only Israel would stop fighting, there would be peace in the Middle East. If they would just stop building… If Israel would just give back the land already… It’s not called anti-Semitism; we call it Middle East politics. We call it the ‘peace process.’

Martin Luther King said at the conclusion of his speech, “And when this happens, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing ‘Free at last.’” So today, I too have a dream. I have a dream that one day the world will recognize the Jewish homeland with its capital city of Jerusalem. I have a dream that one day Jews will be able to ride their buses and walk their own streets without fear. That they will be able to raise their children in peace and bring the light of Torah into the darkest of corners. I have a dream that one day we will judged by the depth of our souls instead of the surface of our appearances. I have a dream that one day we will be able to build our homes without international protest. That we will be able to keep the terrorists who set out to kill us behind bars. That we will be able, almost 70 years after six million of us gave up our lives just for being Jewish, to live in our own land without rockets flying into our schools.

I have a dream that one day we will know the difference between illusion and truth. Between comfort and happiness. That we will come to understand that we cannot make changes without pain. That we cannot achieve anything without sacrifice.

I have a dream that we can confidently state our purpose as the Jewish nation. That we will no longer be the target of the world’s hatred. That peace will come once they stop killing our children. That terrorists will remain imprisoned while we live safely in our borders with dignity, surrounded by the sacred beauty of our land, as a united people. I have a dream that one day we will be able to bring the sweetness of the Torah to the ends of the earth. I have a dream that one day we will all serve one God together in Jerusalem.

We are all created in His image; let us live up to this incredible potential. I have a dream today.

Published: August 17, 2013


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Visitor Comments: 11

(9) William, January 11, 2014 6:19 PM

Still, I have a dream [Part II]

The Iranians are the latest hate machine predominant now in our world. They hate. And hate, and only want to destroy, gain regional hegemony and ultimately destroy the world so as to create an all-Islamic world, with no freedom of choice for any person in this matter. They only want war and death. It is now time for Israel to deliver a thunderous blow against the Iranians, to send them back to the dark ages, where psychologically and spiritually they now exist.

Still, I have a dream. A dream that one day all of G-d's chosen people will be able to llive with equality, with freedom and without prejudice. That we shall all be safe from all and any form of attack against us, whether it be a bombing -- as hideous as that is -- or a scathing report against us for merely saving and defending our own nation. We know that this will come to be because G-d is fair and just. Though He strengthens us via fear, he also loves and protects us. Someday, G-d will step forward and bring peace and harmony to all of us, Jews and non-Jews alike. This is what we have been and still are waiting for. Namely, a land and a world of equality. Where all men and women are treated equally and no longer need to live in fear, and danger of threats from hostile nations. For this I do live, for this I do live. That there may be equality, responsibililty and freedom throughout our world. For this I do dream; for this I do dream!

(8) William, January 11, 2014 12:34 PM

Still, I have a dream [Part I]

The Jewish people have throughout their lives had G-d, Himself, speak to them and repeatedly declare that the Land of Israel is their premanent, binding, and abiding Holy Land that is and shall always be theirs. The L-rd G-d has so said such things to Abraham, Isaac and Yaakov (later named Israel), marking it as an everlasting covenant and possession to and for the Jewish people, all throughout the world...Early on in the Torah G-d, (12:1-3) "HASHEM said to Abram [later renamed Abraham, by G-d], 'Go for yourself from your land, from your relatives, and from your father's house to the land that I will show you. (12:2) And I will make of you a great nation; I will bless you, and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. (12:3) I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you'." Israel, and the Jewish people of the world, are G-d's chosen people, bound in their destiny with G-d, to ascend in majesty before the remaining world. And G-d, HASHEM, passed this same blessing on down to Abraham's one and only son, begotten by Abraham's wife, Sarah, at the age of ninety, a miracle, again, in and of itself...And as G-d said, "...(17:19) your wife Sarah will bear you a son and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will fulfill My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him...(17:21) But I will maintain My covenant through Isaac whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year..." Ishmael was rejected by HASHEM. The entire Arabic-speaking population of our world simply cannot get over this loss. It is always war with them, this war here, and now this next war, and so on and so on, destroying and only destroying the lives of love and joy that people -- throughout the world -- ever so dearly seek for themselves and their beloveds. [Please see Part II.]

(7) Rachel, August 29, 2013 6:51 PM

Not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic

I'm tired of conservatives who think all liberals are anti-Israel and thus, anti-Semitic. Israel is a robust democracy with an elected government. If I were an Israeli citizen, I probably would not vote for Likud.
And Israel does a terrible job of making its needs known to the rest of the world. Israel seems to think that "we're not going to take any abuse from anyone" will garner them admiration. This may have been true in the 50's & 60's, but Western Culture has changed -- and many people now think that whomever has the greater claim to victimization is automatically the "good" party. Of course, this is nonsense -- but Israel does not engage in public relations to explain the impact of regular missile attacks, etc. Nor does it do enough to stress the many attempts it has made over the years to make peace, only to have it fall apart because of Palestinian instransigence.
Unfortunately, most non-Jews only know what they see in the media. So when a non-Jew (or non-observant Jew) tells me that they don't have problems with Jews, but they do have problems with Israel, I try to educate them on what Israel is going through. 9 times out of 10, their attitude is not due to anti-Semitism but to ignorance.

(6) Anonymous, August 20, 2013 1:12 PM

First, a big Yasher Koach to Sara Debbie Gutfreund. Second, please do not lump me in with "all liberals." It is painfully obvious to me that anti Semitism is still alive and well. It is just wearing a new and more pleasant expression on its face.

(5) Oli, August 19, 2013 10:13 PM

We have a dream

What if we all have the same dream as Ms Gutfreund, it may all come true one day.

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