Silver and Gold: Reparations and Judaism

Episode 16 · January 14th, 2021 · 43 mins 55 secs

About this Episode

Since Ta-Nehisi Coates published his influential Atlantic essay “The Case for Reparations” in 2014, a number of thinkers have made explicitly Jewish arguments for (and against) reparations for American slavery. Discussions have addressed concerns ranging from West German reparations to Israel, to Talmudic arguments, to the Jewish obligation to pursue justice. Educator and activist Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein argues in an article on Evolve that the case for reparations is presented clearly in the Torah itself. In this episode, Bernstein explores this claim, and what he thinks it means for present-day policies and politics. “I would love to reach a point where it is totally incoherent to be a politically-conscious Jew who cares about Torah at all, who isn’t in favor of reparations because it is the core political principle of our own religious identity.”

Theme song, “Ilu Finu” by Rabbi Miriam Margles. Her album This is the Day is available for purchase at CDBaby:

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