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Lessons from Rav Emmunah

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2017 by Zohar Atkins

The sages taught: Never again.

Rav Fear said: Let us stockpile every advantage and every power for ourselves so none can use it against us in the future.

Rav Emmunah said: Let us help societies share powers and advantages more equally, so no individual or group will use its brute strength to intimidate, dominate, exploit or otherwise lord themselves over others.

And the law is with Emmunah. For of the students of Rav Fear it is taught that their favorite Scriptural verse is: “We were like grasshoppers in our own eyes and in their eyes we looked the same.” (Num. 13:33)

Zohar Atkins, WGF Fellow (Class 28), is a New York-based writer, teacher and scholar.  A fourth-year rabbinical student at JTS, he holds a DPhil in Theology from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. His poetry has been featured in PNReview, HaaretzThe Oxonian Review, and Wave Composition.  Zohar has led writing and dance workshops and taught poetry, philosophy and Jewish thought at many international conferences, universities and farther flung places.  He is currently the Resnick Rabbinic Fellow at Romemu in New York City and can be reached at


This is awesome! But it looks like one sage was inadvertantly left out...

Rav Realty said: Let us acknowledge that, while ideal, it's unlikely that powers will be perfectly shared. Until the time of Moshiach comes to pass, let the good be strong lest the evil accumulate the powers shared by others.

And the sechel is with Rav Realty. For “to be compassionate to the cruel ultimately leads to being cruel to the compassionate.”

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 12:54 PM by Wexnerite