Responsa Sh'eilat Yaavetz 2:51, Rabbi Jacob Emden
שו"ת שאילת יעבץ חלק ב סימן נא
משא"כ באדם חשוב. שמוטל עליו להציל עשוק מיד עשקו בכל אופן שיוכל, אם בגופו או בהשתדלותו, יהי' העשוק מי שהי'. כענין שאמר איוב, ואשברה מתלעות עול, וכתוב במרע"ה ויקם ויושיען, אע"פ שבנות כומר היו, הילכך אדם חשוב לא מצי משתמיט
A Jew with political responsibility (adam chashuv) has the obligation to rescue the oppressed from the hands of the oppressor by all means available, whether by direct action or through political effort, regardless of whether the oppressed is Jewish. So Job praised himself by saying, "I have broken the teeth of evil," and the Torah says of Moses that, "He arose and championed them," referring to the daughters of Jethro, even though they were the daughters of an idolatrous priest [Translation by EDAH. Edited for gender neutrality]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. Rabbi Emden, who lived at the beginning of the movement for Jewish Emancipation in Europe, drew a distinction between the Jew who is an adam chashuv and ordinary Jews. In a democracy which gives Jews full suffrage, is every Jew an adam chashuv?

2. Who are we obligated to rescue from oppression?

3. What is the nature of this obligation? Must we seek out the oppressed, or only rescue them when confronted directly?

Time Period: Modern (Spinoza through post-WWII)