5: Sefaria source sheet, “All Jews Are Responsible One for Another,” 2018.
This source sheet contains two quotations from rabbinic literature that insist that all Jews are responsible for one another.
Suggested activity: Point out Ozzie’s question about “‘some of his relations’ always picking out the Jewish names” after a plane crash, and how Rabbi Binder responds by “explain[ing] cultural unity and some other things.” Ask students whether they know anyone, like Ozzie’s relatives, who look for Jewish names in lists of tragedies or celebrations (e.g., when Nobel Prizes are awarded). Ask them to think about why people do that — in what sense is this “cultural unity”? Show the sources on the source sheet, and ask what the relationship is between such acts of “cultural unity” and the traditional idea that Jews are responsible for one another. Spend time close-reading the sources, if possible, and think about how they present this idea differently. Finally, ask students why Ozzie objects to “cultural unity” — why does he feel it is a problem for his relatives and Rabbi Binder to pursue “cultural unity”?
Source: Josh Lambert, “All Jews Are Responsible One for Another,” Sefaria.org Source Sheet (April 2018), <https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/105827>, accessed April 10, 2018.