Rabbi Yitz Greenberg, “Personal Service: A Central Norm for Our Time,” Contact, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2001, p.3
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The most powerful statement of human value is not made by giving money or transferring goods from one person to the other. However valuable, such gifts are of finite value. The deepest confirmation of the preciousness of a human life comes when a person gives his or her own infinitely valuable life to the other. Normally this is not done by literally giving one life for the other—say in dying to protect or save another. The fundamental ongoing communication of human value takes place when one person spends a pieces of his or her life—some unique and irreplaceable amount of time—in relationship and service to the other.
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Suggested Discussion Questions:

Do you agree with Rabbi Greenberg that “the deepest confirmation of the preciousness of a human life comes when a person gives his or her own infinitely valuable life to the other”? How have your personal experiences of service supported or challenged this assertion?

Later in this article, Greenberg imagines a future in which “every Jew should set aside a portion of his/her life for gemilut chasadim (acts of lovingkindness).” Do you agree with this vision? How would you embrace that responsibility?

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Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)