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At the core of being Jewish is a fundamental demand for justice. Demanding justice involves asking others to work toward a more just world, but it also involves asking ourselves to do that work.
Once, there was a king who set out on a mission in his kingdom to learn about his reputation. He travelled from town to town and eventually met a happy old man and his wife. After asking them why they were so joyous, they replied, “God takes care of us.” The king was furious—it’s him who takes care of the people, not God! What the man and his wife do next teach everyone in the kingdom, including the king, what it means to be taken care of. Rabbi Mark Kaiserman, the rabbi at Reform Temple of Forest Hills retells the story. For a written version, see “The Wooden Sword” in The Jewish Story Finder by Sharon Barcan Elswit.