by Amanda Margolies
On the RAC trip I learned many new things; a lot of this was the Jewish view on issues. I learned that we as Jews value standing up for others who cannot stand up for themselves. I knew this before our trip to Washington, D.C., but to see how we use it to help with political issues was fun to learn. One of the issues that I remember is Darfur, where there is genocide happening, and how the Jewish organizations were working on different ways to stop this.
Another was that Jews consider the mother’s state of mind as well as their physical pain when making a decision as to abort a pregnancy or to proceed with a difficult pregnancy. A lot of Jews are speaking to our government on not to pass a bill that would end late term abortion and take away a women’s right to choose. I learned that we also value that everyone is God’s children no matter of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That as Jews we should “love thy neighbor” shows that it should not make a difference if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or disabled. This shouldn’t affect their ability to work at a company, get married, and have children.
We as Jews are ethical people and worry about what hurts others. While we were in Washington, D.C. we learned how to campaign in different ways to effect change. As I mentioned previously about Darfur, the government and companies are buying tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold from those who are in favor of the genocide. Investing in these companies wouldn’t be ethical, which is what my group is trying to reinforce.
I learned also that we believed that a baby is not a baby until it comes out and that we can use the dead embryo’s stem cells. This research can help those in need of the stem cells to aid in their survival.
The last thing I learned was that there are many people who are homeless in America. These low income households have a hard time with getting their issues heard by our government. We as Jews need to help feed the hungry because the Torah tells us that if we farm that we needed to leave a certain portion of our crops for those less fortunate. So, in this modern time we should give some of what we have to those in need. We should also help those because it’s our duty to fix the world. In conclusion, one voice can always make a difference if you really care about what you are saying.