The Gates of Fairness Open

Today, let us think about the importance of treating people the same, absent of bias, and consistent with the ideas of justice. How difficult is this to do? Are we able to give everyone an equal chance? As we see rescue efforts in Houston, (and as we remember twelve years ago today, as Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans), whose needs are to come first? In our lives, how do we prioritize our time and attention?

“For attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding and insight;
For acquiring a disciplined and prudent life — doing what is right and just and fair;
For giving prudence to the simple — and knowledge and discretion to the young;
Let the wise listen and add to their learning — and the let the discerning get guidance.”
-Book of Proverbs

How can fairness be a positive attribute for us in these days of Elul — without suspicion, envy, or resentment — how can equality and honesty inform our dealings as we learn our Torah this week and the mitzvah dedicated to honest weights and measures (Deuteronomy 25: 13-16)

The United States Declaration of Independence states,” we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” What does this mean in our life? How do we practice these foundational, challenging words?

Today, can we put someone’s needs ahead of our own? Can we offer something that is valuable to us, to someone else instead? Can we support a cause or an organization that is committed to leveling the playing field in terms of opportunity and economic chances? Make a donation. Teach a child about the value of sharing. Referee a basketball or soccer game. Get involved in human rights work. Volunteer for mediation training.