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Position on Reform Movement and Jewish Values on Hate Crimes

Hate Crimes and Jewish Values

In the Holiness Code, in Leviticus, we are commanded both that "You shall not hate your kinsfolk in your heart. Reprove your kinsman, but incur no guilt because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow as yourself" (Leviticus 19:17-18) and that "You may not stand idly by when your neighbor's blood is being shed? (Leviticus 19:16). We are also taught, in the very beginning of the Torah, that "God created man in God's own image, in the image of God (b'tselem Elohim) God created him; male and female God created them" (Genesis 1:27). This quote forms the basis of much of our civil rights legislation, and is appropriate in the fight against hate crimes as well. We are all created in the Divine Image, and are therefore deserving of equal treatment. Judaism consistently teaches the importance of tolerance and the acceptance of others, even those different from ourselves. Even more than simply preaching tolerance, we must actively work to improve, open, and make safer our communities.

Reform Movement Policy

Personal Security, UAHC, 1965