(January 1998) Service in Memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When the noise of Louis Farrakhan, Leonard Jeffries, Khalid Muhammed, and Al Sharpton clouds the state of Black-Jewish relations, we Jews ought to remember the many fine people like Rev. King, who firmly supported the State of Israel and who fought against anti-Semitism. Throughout his brief career, Dr. King gained inspiration from the Torah and from the experience of the Jewish People in his nonviolent struggle for civil rights. Among the rabbis marching with him in Alabama was the late Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Blacks and Jews worked together, and sometimes died together, in their common quest for human dignity. In the tradition of the Hebrew prophets, Dr. King had human failings, but he overcame them with the passion of his oratory and his willingness to suffer for his ideals.

The January 1998 service featured a dialogue on the impact of the Sheff vs. O'Neill court decision on Meriden and the surrounding communities. School officials participated.

On the day before his murder in 1968, drawing from the Torah, Dr. King proclaimed, "I have been to the mountain top and I have seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you, but I have seen the Promised Land!" Indeed, he did not get there, but we still have the chance to do so. It is a mitzvah to continue the journey for the sake of all human beings.

Let the good name of Martin Luther King, Jr. be remembered as a blessing and inspiration.

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