I was thinking what one of these speeches would look like if Mr. Pacino was ever to make a movie about the world of Judaism that we live in today. What follows is my attempt to hijack one of my favorites toward that end:
(Thank you, Rabbi.) I was warned not to write this here. I was warned. They warned me, "Don't post this up on that blog." But why should I heed such a warning when a People are silent and a national ideal lies all but dead? "Don't write about" this topic. Once upon a time a Jewish Community meant something! But I must write here, because we have not given ourselves what we should have. Until we can walk abroad and recreate ourselves, until we can stroll along the streets like boulevards, congregate in Shuls and Schools free from fear, our families mingling, our children laughing, our hearts joined -- until that day we have no community, no Am Yisroel. We can label ourselves a failure until that day.
The first and perhaps only great blogger was G. He was, G of Jerusalem, and he lived some 2500 years ago, and he said, "All things good of this earth flow into the community because of the community’s greatness." Well, we were great once. Can we not be great again? Now, I put that question to Am Yisroel, and there's only silence. Yet, could not something pass from this simple concept to us? Could it not empower us to find in ourselves the strength to have the knowledge to summon up the courage to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable task of making a community livable? Just livable.
There was a palace that was our communities. It was a palace! It was a palace and it can be a palace again! A palace in which, yes, there is Left or Right or Ultra or Modern or (horrors!) plain old Erlicheh Menschen…but ultimately Jews all -- subjects beholden to each other as well as to God, to make a better place to live. Is that too much to ask? Are we asking too much for this? Is it beyond our reach?! Because if it is, then we are nothing but sheep being herded to the final slaughterhouse! Do not go down that way!! Choose to fight back!!! Choose to rise, not fall! Choose to live, not die!! And I know, I know that this is within me and also within you!
That's why I ask you now to join me. Join me, rise up with me; rise up on the wings of this battered ideal. We'll rebuild on the soul of the “Am”. We will pick up it’s standard and raise it high! Carry it forward until this community -- your community -- our community -- His community -- is a palace of God! Is a palace of God!
I am with you, Am Yisroel.
I am you.