Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Moses and Injustice

R. Jonathan Sacks, The Dignity of Difference, p. 57:

Biblical morality, by contrast, is far more complex. It emphasizes the dual nature of our moral situation. On the one hand, we are members of the universal human family and thus of the (Noahide) covenant with all mankind. There are indeed moral universals - the sanctity of life, the dignity of the human person, the right to be free, to be no man's slave or the object of someone else's violence. The three vignettes of Moses' life before he becomes leader of the Israelites perfectly illustrate this. He intervenes, first to rescue an Israelite from an Egyptian; then an Israelite from a fellow Israelite; then the (non-Israelite) daughters of Jethro from (non-Israelite) shepherds who are preventing them from watering their flock. Moses recognizes the universal character of injustice and who is its victim.

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