KD Daily - Radical Hope

Torah for Today

Anat Katzir, Kol Dorot Educator


When I plan curricula and programs to inspire love of Judaism, I tend to connect mostly with the beautiful ideas and texts of humanity, community, our shared heritage of perseverance, compassion and call to positive action. All of these ideas and messages help me feel a pride in my Jewish identity that I am excited to pass on to others. If we create a world of “Radical Compassion,” as I believe our texts direct us towards, we are most likely to make the world better for all.


But recently I heard another element interpreted into the core of our Judaism that I had not considered before—“Radical Hope”. I read an article by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of the UK, which presents one of the main strengths of Judaism as “a voice of hope.” Rabbi Sacks looks at our stories and claims there are many points in which the content from the text speaks to hope over strategy. This concept challenges me as a strategic thinker, a logistical realist. At the same time, the reality could very easily lead us to darker thoughts and desperation. Even within our rational thought, emotions can navigate our conclusions and direct our thinking into pessimistic predictions. Looking back at a few favorite texts with the mindset of “Radical Hope”, I find renewed faith and optimism. I hope you all have text you love that can do the same for you:

A song of ascents. Of David. I rejoiced when they said “we shall go to the house of God”. Our feet were standing at your gates, Jerusalem. Jerusalem, built as a city joined into unity. To which tribes, people of God, would come, a testimony to the unity of Israel, to thank God. Because there were the thrones of the court, of the house of David.

Pray for the well-being of Jerusalem

May those who love you be at peace.

May there be peacefulness within your armed guard, peace in your palaces.

For the sake of my kin and friends,

I speak out asking for peace within you;

for the sake of the house of Adonai, our God,

I seek your well-being.”

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Psalm 122

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