Jews and the Civil Rights Movement

The above picture was an original picture taken at Selma. See, however, the picture below from the film:

R' Aaron Soloveichik, Civil Rights and the Dignity of Man

From the standpoint of the Torah, there can be no distinction between one human being and another on the basis of race or color. Any discrimination shown to a human being on account of the color of his or her skin constitutes loathsome barbarity.

R' Aaron Soloveichik, ibid.

At the beginning of Exodus, the Torah relates three episodes in Moshe’s life before God designated him the deliverer of the Jews of Egypt. On the first day that Moshe went out to his people from the palace of Pharoah, where he was raised, he saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew. Here the outstanding quality of Moshe first reveals itself. With an overwhelming passion for justice and righteousness, the inability to tolerate a crime, Moshe hastily looked around and rushed forward to defend the Hebrew against the Egyptian aggressor. This, the first act in Moshe’s life as a grown-up, represents part of the tzedek that is to be realized in the realm of Gentile-Jew relationships.

But then the Torah tells us that Moshe went out again and this time he saw one Jew smiting another. Moshe rushed to the aid of the victim, defending him against the aggressor. This second act of Moshe’s represents his dedication to the cause of justice and righteousness in the realm of Jew-Jew relationships. As a result of this second act, however, Moshe was forced to flee Egypt. The once-pampered Egyptian prince of the royal household became a homeless, hunted refugee. Moshe comes to a well where he witnesses another act of injustice. The local shepherds drive away the shepherd daughters of Yisro so that the shepherds can water their flocks first. Here Moshe encounters a dispute between non-Jews, a matter seemingly so unimportant to him that we might have understood had he stood idly by. Hadn’t he learned his bitter lesson already? Did not discretion urge him to “mind his own business?”

Chazal say, “Moshe represents tzedek” (Midrash Rabbah, Shmos). The concept of tzedek, as we have begun to develop, is to be pursued in three different realms. Firstly, as Moshe taught us, a Jew must be on guard not to allow injustice in the relationship of a non-Jew with a Jew. Secondly, a Jew must be careful that justice be shown in relationships between Jews. Thirdly, the incident by the well in Midyan teaches us to enact justice between non-Jews when that is within our power. Moshe was bent upon emulating the ways of God, one of which is to defend a victim from an attacker, as the verse says, “God takes the side of the aggrieved and the victim” (Ecclesiastes 3:15). Chazal comment, “Even if a righteous person attacks a wicked person, God still sides with the victim” (Yalkut Shimoni). In Moshe’s mind, the pursuit of righteousness and justice was paramount; no consideration could stand in its way—“And Moshe stood up and helped them and watered their flocks” (Exodus 2:17). A Jew should always identify with the cause of defending the aggrieved, whoever the aggrieved may be, just as the concept of tzedek is to be applied uniformly to all humans regardless of race or creed.

(כג) וַיִּגַּ֥שׁ אַבְרָהָ֖ם וַיֹּאמַ֑ר הַאַ֣ף תִּסְפֶּ֔ה צַדִּ֖יק עִם־רָשָֽׁע׃ (כד) אוּלַ֥י יֵ֛שׁ חֲמִשִּׁ֥ים צַדִּיקִ֖ם בְּת֣וֹךְ הָעִ֑יר הַאַ֤ף תִּסְפֶּה֙ וְלֹא־תִשָּׂ֣א לַמָּק֔וֹם לְמַ֛עַן חֲמִשִּׁ֥ים הַצַּדִּיקִ֖ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּקִרְבָּֽהּ׃ (כה) חָלִ֨לָה לְּךָ֜ מֵעֲשֹׂ֣ת ׀ כַּדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֗ה לְהָמִ֤ית צַדִּיק֙ עִם־רָשָׁ֔ע וְהָיָ֥ה כַצַּדִּ֖יק כָּרָשָׁ֑ע חָלִ֣לָה לָּ֔ךְ הֲשֹׁפֵט֙ כָּל־הָאָ֔רֶץ לֹ֥א יַעֲשֶׂ֖ה מִשְׁפָּֽט׃

(23) Abraham came forward and said, “Will You sweep away the innocent along with the guilty? (24) What if there should be fifty innocent within the city; will You then wipe out the place and not forgive it for the sake of the innocent fifty who are in it? (25) Far be it from You to do such a thing, to bring death upon the innocent as well as the guilty, so that innocent and guilty fare alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?”

(יד) הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר, חָבִיב אָדָם שֶׁנִּבְרָא בְצֶלֶם. חִבָּה יְתֵרָה נוֹדַעַת לוֹ שֶׁנִּבְרָא בְצֶלֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית ט) כִּי בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹקִים עָשָׂה אֶת הָאָדָם. חֲבִיבִין יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁנִּקְרְאוּ בָנִים לַמָּקוֹם. חִבָּה יְתֵרָה נוֹדַעַת לָהֶם שֶׁנִּקְרְאוּ בָנִים לַמָּקוֹם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יד) בָּנִים אַתֶּם לַה' אֱלֹקֵיכֶם. חֲבִיבִין יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁנִּתַּן לָהֶם כְּלִי חֶמְדָּה. חִבָּה יְתֵרָה נוֹדַעַת לָהֶם שֶׁנִּתַּן לָהֶם כְּלִי חֶמְדָּה שֶׁבּוֹ נִבְרָא הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (משלי ד) כִּי לֶקַח טוֹב נָתַתִּי לָכֶם, תּוֹרָתִי אַל תַּעֲזֹבוּ:

(14) He would say: Beloved is man, since he is created in the image [of God]. A deeper love - it is revealed to him that he is created in the image, as it says (Genesis 9:6): "for in God's image He made man." Beloved are Israel, since they are called children of the Omnipresent. A deeper love - it is revealed to them that they are called children to God, as it says (Deuteronomy 14:1): "You are children of the Lord, your God." Beloved are Israel, since a precious instrument has been given to them. A deeper love - it is revealed to them that the precious instrument with which the world was created has been given to them, as it says (Proverbs 4:2): "For a good lesson I have given to you; do not forsake my teaching."

אין ממחין ביד עניי נכרים בלקט בשכחה ובפאה מפני דרכי שלום: ת"ר מפרנסים עניי נכרים עם עניי ישראל ומבקרין חולי נכרים עם חולי ישראל וקוברין מתי נכרים עם מתי ישראל מפני דרכי שלום:

Our rabbis taught: We provide for the gentiles' poor with Israel's poor, we visit gentiles' sick with Israel's sick, and we bury the gentiles' dead with Israel's dead, due to the ways of peace.

(ז) מְפַרְנְסִין וּמְכַסִּין עֲנִיֵּי עַכּוּ''ם עִם עֲנִיֵּי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִפְּנֵי דַּרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם. וְעָנִי הַמְחַזֵּר עַל הַפְּתָחִים אֵין נִזְקָקִין לוֹ לְמַתָּנָה מְרֻבָּה אֲבָל נוֹתְנִין לוֹ מַתָּנָה מֻעֶטֶת. וְאָסוּר לְהַחֲזִיר אֶת הֶעָנִי שֶׁשָּׁאַל רֵיקָם וַאֲפִלּוּ אַתָּה נוֹתֵן לוֹ גְּרוֹגֶרֶת אַחַת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהילים עד כא) "אַל יָשֹׁב דַּךְ נִכְלָם":

(7) 7. We provide sustenance and clothing for the poor of the gentiles together with the poor of the Jewish people as an expression of the ways of peace. If a poor person begs from door to door, we do not give him a large gift, but we do give him a small gift. And it is prohibited to turn the poor person away empty handed. Even if you give him a single date, as it says, "do not turn the downtrodden away humiliated."

מְפַרְנְסִים עֲנִיֵּי עוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים עִם עֲנִיֵּי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִפְּנֵי דַּרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם. וְאֵין מְמַחִין בִּידֵי עֲנִיֵּי עוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים בְּלֶקֶט שִׁכְחָה וּפֵאָה מִפְּנֵי דַּרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם. וְשׁוֹאֲלִים בִּשְׁלוֹמָם וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּיוֹם חַגָּם מִפְּנֵי דַּרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם. וְאֵין כּוֹפְלִין לָהֶן שָׁלוֹם לְעוֹלָם. וְלֹא יִכָּנֵס לְבֵיתוֹ שֶׁל עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים בְּיוֹם חַגּוֹ לָתֵת לוֹ שָׁלוֹם. מְצָאוֹ בַּשּׁוּק נוֹתֵן לוֹ שָׁלוֹם בְּשָׂפָה רָפָה וּבְכֹבֶד רֹאשׁ:

We should provide for poor idolaters together with poor Jews for the sake of peace. One should not rebuke idolaters [from taking] leket, shich'chah, and pe'ah, for the sake of peace. One may inquire about their well-being - even on their festivals - for the sake of peace.

One may never repeat good wishes to them. Also, one should not enter the house of a gentile on one of his festivals to wish him well. If one encounters him in the marketplace, one may greet him meekly with a serious countenance.

(יב) שְׁנֵי עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁבָּאוּ לְפָנֶיךָ לָדוּן בְּדִינֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְרָצוּ שְׁנֵיהֶן לָדוּן דִּין תּוֹרָה דָּנִין. הָאֶחָד רוֹצֶה וְהָאֶחָד אֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה אֵין כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לָדוּן אֶלָּא בְּדִינֵיהֶן. הָיָה יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַכּוּ''ם אִם יֵשׁ זְכוּת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּדִינֵיהֶן דָּנִין לוֹ בְּדִינֵיהֶם. וְאוֹמְרִים לוֹ כָּךְ דִּינֵיכֶם. וְאִם יֵשׁ זְכוּת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּדִינֵינוּ דָּנִין לוֹ דִּין תּוֹרָה וְאוֹמְרִים לוֹ כָּךְ דִּינֵינוּ. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁאֵין עוֹשִׂין כֵּן לְגֵר תּוֹשָׁב אֶלָּא לְעוֹלָם דָּנִין לוֹ בְּדִינֵיהֶם. וְכֵן יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁנּוֹהֲגִין עִם גֵּרֵי תּוֹשָׁב בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶרֶץ וּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים כְּיִשְׂרָאֵל. שֶׁהֲרֵי אָנוּ מְצֻוִּין לְהַחֲיוֹתָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יד, כא) "לַגֵּר אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ תִּתְּנֶנָּה וַאֲכָלָהּ". וְזֶה שֶׁאָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים אֵין כּוֹפְלִין לָהֶן שָׁלוֹם בְּעַכּוּ''ם לֹא בְּגֵר תּוֹשָׁב. אֲפִלּוּ הָעַכּוּ''ם צִוּוּ חֲכָמִים לְבַקֵּר חוֹלֵיהֶם וְלִקְבֹּר מֵתֵיהֶם עִם מֵתֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְפַרְנֵס עֲנִיֵּיהֶם בִּכְלַל עֲנִיֵּי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִפְּנֵי דַּרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם. הֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר (תהילים קמה, ט) "טוֹב ה' לַכּל וְרַחֲמָיו עַל כָּל מַעֲשָׂיו". וְנֶאֱמַר (משלי ג, יז) "דְּרָכֶיהָ דַרְכֵי נֹעַם וְכָל נְתִיבוֹתֶיהָ שָׁלוֹם":

(12) Two non-Jews that came before a Jewish court of law to be Judged according to the Jewish laws – and both of them agreed – we make a judgement from the Torah. If one wants and the other does not – we do not force him to be judged – unless it is for their own laws. If their was a Jew and a non-Jew if there is a merit for the Jew to be judged according to their laws we judge them with their laws and say to them this is [the verdict of] your law. And if there is a merit for the Jew in our laws – we judge them according to the Torah and say to them this is [the verdict of] our law. And thus it appears to me that we deal with the sojourning converts with proper conduct and acts of loving kindness like a Jew – for we are commanded to sustain them as it states "To the sojourner in your gates give it to them and let them eat" (Devarim / Deut. 14:21) and this as what our sages said – how do we double for them peace among the nations – not for a sojourning convert. And even for non-Jews – our sages commanded us to visit the sick and to bury their dead with the dead of the Jews and to give sustenance to their needy among the needy of the Jews – because of promoting peaceful ways. Behold there is the verse - "Hashem is good with all and he is merciful upon all of his works" (Tehilim / Psalms 145, 9) and it is said "And its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace." (Mishle – Proverbs 3, 17)

"ואהבת לרעך כמוך"-- רבי עקיבא אומר זה כלל גדול בתורה. בן עזאי אומר "זה ספר תולדות אדם"-- זה כלל גדול מזה.

"And you shall love your neighbor as yourself": R. Akiva says: This is an all-embracing principle in the Torah. Ben Azzai says: (Bereshith 5:1) "This is the numeration of the generations of Adam" — This is an even greater principle.

העמק דבר בראשית פתיחה

זה הספר הנקרא ספר בראשית. נקרא בפי הנביאים ספר הישר.כדאיתא במ' עבודת כוכבים (כ"ה ע"א) על שני מקראות בס' יהושע (י' י"ג) הלא היא כתובה על ספר הישר. ובס' שמואל ב' (א' י"ח) ויאמר ללמד בני יהודה קשת הנה כתובה על ספר הישר.

ומפרש ר' יוחנן זה ספר אברהם יצחק ויעקב שנקראו ישרים שנאמר תמות נפשי מות ישרים. ויש להבין הטעם למה קרא בלעם את אבותינו בשם ישרים ביחוד ולא צדיקים או חסידים וכדומה. וגם למה מכונה זה הספר ביחוד בכנוי ישרים. ובלעם התפלל על עצמו שיהא אחריתו כמו בעלי זה הכנוי.

והענין דנתבאר בשירת האזינו עה"פ הצור תמים פעלו וגו' צדיק וישר הוא. דשבח ישר הוא נאמר להצדיק דין הקב"ה בחרבן בית שני שהיה דור עקש ופתלתל.

ופירשנו שהיו צדיקים וחסידים ועמלי תורה. אך לא היו ישרים בהליכות עולמם. ע"כ מפני שנאת חנם שבלבם זה את זה חשדו את מי שראו שנוהג שלא כדעתם ביראת ה' שהוא צדוקי ואפיקורס. ובא עי"ז לידי שפיכות דמים בדרך הפלגה ולכל הרעות שבעולם עד שחרב הבית. וע"ז היה צדוק הדין. שהקב"ה ישר הוא ואינו סובל צדיקים כאלו אלא באופן שהולכים בדרך הישר גם בהליכות עולם ולא בעקמימות אע"ג שהוא לשם שמים דזה גורם חרבן הבריאה והריסות ישוב הארץ. וזה היה שבח האבות שמלבד שהיו צדיקים וחסידים ואוהבי ה' באופן היותר אפשר. עוד היו ישרים. היינו שהתנהגו עם אוה"ע אפי' עובדי אלילים מכוערים. מכל מקום היו עמם באהבה וחשו לטובתם באשר היא קיום הבריאה. כמו שאנו רואים כמה השתטח אברהם אבינו להתפלל על סדום. אע"ג שהיה שנא אותם ואת מלכם תכלית שנאה עבור רשעתם כמבואר במאמרו למלך סדום. מכל מקום חפץ בקיומם. וברבה פ' וירא(פמ"ט) איתא ע"ז שאמר הקב"ה לאברהם אבינו אהבת צדק ותשנא רשע. אהבת להצדיק את בריותי ותשנא להרשיען ע"כ וכו'. והיינו ממש כאב המון גוים שאע"ג שאין הבן הולך במישרים מכל מקום שוחר שלומו וטובו. וכן הוצק חן ודרך ארץ נפלא על דבר אברם את לוט כמו שנתבאר פ' לך. וכן ראינו כמה נח היה יצחק אבינו להתפייס ממשנאיו ובמעט דברי פיוס מאבימלך ומרעיו נתפייס באופן היותר ממה שבקשו ממנו כמבואר במקומו. ויעקב אבינו אחר שהיטב חרה לו על לבן שידע שביקש לעקרו לולי ה'. מ"מ דברעמו דברים רכים עד שאמרו ע"ז בב"ר (פע"ד) קפדותן של אבות ולא ענותנותן של בנים ע"ש. ונתפייס עמו מהר. וכן הרבה למדנו מהליכות האבות בדרך ארץ. מה ששייך לקיום העולם המיוחד לזה הספר שהוא ספר הבריאה. ומש"ה נקרא כמ"כ ספר הישר עלמעשה אבות בזה הפרט. ובלעם בשעה שהיה רוה"ק עליו לא היהיכול להתפלא על רוע מעשיו שאינו צדיק וחסיד כאברהם יצחק ויעקב אחרי שהוא נביא אוה"ע. וראשו במקור הטומאה. אכן התפלא על רוע הילוכו בדרך ארץ שאם שראוי היה לו לשנוא את ישראל תכלית שנאה באשר שהמה בני אברהם יצחק ויעקב וראשם במקור הקדושה. אבל מכל מקום לא היה ראוי לפניו לבקש לעקר אומה שלימה. ואינו דרך ישרה בקיום העולם. וע"ז צעק תמות נפשי מות ישרים. היינו מקיימי הבריאה. ובזה יבואר הא דאיתא בסנהדרין ד' ק"ה א' אם תמות נפשי מות ישרים תהא אחריתי כמוהו ואם לאו הנני הולך לעמי. ופירש"י מיתת עצמי. ולא נתבאראיך מרומז זה במות ישרים. וגם מה שמסיים ואם לאו הנני הולך לעמי. אינו מרומז בזה המקרא כלל. אלא כמש"כ וה"ק אם תמות נפשי מות ישרים היינו שלא ארצה באבדן אנשים אז תהי אחריתי כמוהו. ואם לאו היינו אחר שארצה לאבד את ישראל כמו דכתיב לכה איעצך וגו'. אז הנני הולך לעמי באבדן כמו כל עמי. ובדברינו נתיישב יפה על מה נקרא זה הספר ספר הישר שהוא ספר הבריאה:

Ha'Emek Davar, Intro to Bereishit

This volume, Genesis, is referred to by both the prophets, Joshua and Samuel, as “Sefer HaYashar,” (Hebrew for “The Book of the Upright”).

Rabbi Yochanan explains that this is the book that deals with the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who are called upright, as we see that Balaam said, “Let my soul die the death of the upright“. We shall try to understand the reason why Balaam called our forefathers specifically “upright ones” and not “righteous ones” or “pious ones” or any other appellation. Moreover, we shall analyze the questions of why Balaam prayed for himself, wishing that his end would be as these upright ones, and why this volume was given the added name, The Book of the Upright.

All these questions can be answered and explained by elucidating upon the phrase in the Song of Ha’a’zi’nu, “The Rock, His Work is perfect…He is righteous and upright.” The word “upright” shows the “justness of the judgment” of His destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple during the time of a generation whose outlook was crooked and twisted.

It is explained that the people of that generation of the Second Temple were “righteous”, “pious”, and intensely involved in Torah study. However, they were not upright in their relationships with others, either in their actions, thoughts, or speech. Therefore, because of the unwarranted hatred each had for the other, one would falsely accuse another of heresy, simply because the other’s religious expression, and way of respecting and showing reverence to God, was not in accordance with one’s own way. The one whose way was different was thereby labeled a non-believer and considered cut off from authentic Judaism, even though that person fulfilled The Torah’s Commandments. This lack of tolerance and limited acceptance of individual religious expression eventually led to murder in the first degree and to all the evils in the world. Eventually, GOD felt that punishment — the destruction of the Holy Temple — was necessary.

From this punishment we can see the “righteousness of The Divine Judgment”, for The Holy One, The Almighty, is Upright and will not tolerate so-called “righteous” people such as these. However, The Ruler will sanction them only with the stipulation that they choose the upright way in their relationships with others. God does not want people to be devious, even if their acts are proclaimed “for the sake of Heaven,” since the essence of these acts is corrupt. This perverted manner destroys creation and uproots the tranquil settlement of the earth.

Now we understand the reason for the unique praise attributed to our patriarchs [and matriarchs]: not only were they righteous and pious and not only did they love God to their fullest abilities, but, in addition, they were upright. That is to say, they accustomed themselves to deal straightforwardly with other people, not only because it is honest to do so, but also because they realized that this positive way of relating to people bestows the continuity of existence on creation. Even idol worshippers, despite their low and despicable spiritual level, were treated with love and concern for their well-being by our patriarchs [and matriarchs].

This is exemplified by the great extent to which Abraham, our father, applied himself, through intensive prayers and appeals, to gain the preservation of wicked Sodom. Abraham beseeched God to spare Sodom even though he hated the people and their leaders to the fullest degree, because of the wickedness that saturated their very being. Nevertheless, he wanted them to continue to exist.

In the Midrash, this concept of Abraham’s compassion is touched upon when we learn that The Almighty said to Abraham, our father, “You love righteousness and hate evil; namely, you love to find the good within all My creatures, to make them right before Me, and you hate to attribute evil to them, to make them guilty.”

Thus Abraham was truly worthy of being called by God, “a [real] father to a multitude of nations”. For just as when a son does not follow a straight path, yet his father nevertheless desires his welfare and goodness, giving him what is best and most beneficial, so Abraham extended his loving-kindness [in a diverse and variety of ways] to give continuity to the world.

Another clear example of Abraham’s worthiness is exemplified in the grace that was poured forth by Abraham in his unique extension of tolerance toward Lot. We also see how compassionate, calm and serene Isaac, our father, was, when making no demands himself, he was appeased by his adversaries, Abimelech and his entourage, with a minimum of words of placation. He was mollified to a much greater extent than they had requested.

Jacob, our father, got very angry with Laban, for he knew that Laban wanted to kill him, to destroy him completely, and that Laban would have succeeded in killing him, had it not been for God’s intervention. Nevertheless, Jacob spoke gently to Laban and readily formed a peace agreement with him. Thus our sages say, “Better is the patriarchs’ reconciliatory approach of dealing with assertiveness than the humility of later generations.”

There is truly much to be learned from the peaceful manner in which the patriarchs approached life and accepted others, qualities so vitally necessary to sustain the world. This is the principal idea of this book, The Book of Creation. Therefore, it is also called The Book of The Upright because of the many episodes of the patriarchs’ deeds which illustrated their true love of humanity and their astounding tolerance.

What about Balaam? [What was Balaam’s rationale for calling the patriarchs specifically “the upright ones“? And why did he wish that his end would be as “the upright ones“?]

At the moment of his Divine Inspiration, he did not consider to wonder about his low level of piety, which was in contrast to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s devotion to God. This was natural because Balaam was a prophet of the nations of the world, and since he believed in idols, the essence of his being came from a source of impurity.

But Balaam was upset about his bad conduct toward humankind. Though it was most natural for him, an idolater, to hate The Israelite Nation, because they, The Israelites, were the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and had their source of being in the foundation of sanctity which is diametrically opposed to his source of being, impurity, nevertheless, it was not proper for him to make the demand that an entire nation be uprooted. Such an act of destruction would not have been in accordance with the continued existence of the world and would have been the antithesis to humanitarianism. Concerning his recognition of the Jewish patriarchs’ level of tolerance, Balaam cried out, [I pray,] “Let my soul die the death of the upright and let my end be like his.”

That is to say, Balaam wanted his end to be like that of those who sustain creation and help it remain in existence because they are straight-forward, upright people. The Book of The Upright, The Book of Creation, and The Book of Genesis are one and the same. The founders of Judaism — Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Rachel and Leah — are examples to all humanity. Their godly views reflect true tolerance for, and a real love of humanity since they desire all of creation to exist.

On the importance of concern for the government, see Rabbeinu Yonah Avot 3:2 and a passage from Or Yechezkel (Rav "Chatzkel" Levenstein, the Mirrer Mashgiach):