“a sense of the monstrosity of injustice”

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote in 1962 that many people favor the idea of justice in the abstract, but praise of the ideal is not nearly enough.

“That justice is a good thing, a fine goal, even a supreme ideal, is commonly accepted. What is lacking is a sense of the monstrosity of injustice…Justice..is not an abstraction, a value.  Justice exists in relation to a person, and is something done by a person.  An act of injustice is condemned, not because the law is broken, but because a person has been hurt” (my emphasis) (The Prophets, pages  260 and 276 in Harper Perennial Classics edition, 2001).

 

 

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