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Let us join the struggle

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CHIEF RABBI WARREN GOLDSTEIN

In the new South Africa there is a new struggle. It is the struggle against corruption. It is a struggle for transparency and accountability, a struggle for ethics and leadership, a struggle to save state resources from being plundered by a gang of thieves.

Corruption is evil because it destroys the lives of millions of South Africans by taking what is rightfully theirs and placing it in the hands of a few. It destroys the economy, service delivery and the basic ability of government to function effectively.

In many ways the struggle against corruption is facilitated by our having at our disposal all the tools of democracy. We have free speech, freedom of association, an independent judiciary, a vibrant and free media, constitutional structures and a completely free democratic society. Those who trample on the interests of the South African citizenry, will have to face their victims in a general election in 2019.

It’s so inspiring to see how our entire society is fighting back against the President and those who seek to steal the country from us all. There is a fight-back in the media, in the courts, on the streets and throughout society.

Because we have the blessing of living in a free country, it means that this struggle will ultimately be won. The road ahead may take twists and turns, but in the end no-one can defeat a free society that stands up for itself. South Africans have a tenacious spirit and will not be bullied. We can chart a way back to a path of blessing and success.

The South African Jewish community must be fully engaged in this struggle. Let us learn from the brave people who stood up during the struggle against apartheid. We need to learn from the past and make our voices heard and be part of the struggle for freedom from corruption.

This means on an individual level that we cannot be part of corruption in any way, shape or form. We can have no part of it whatsoever. Our communal institutions have to be beacons of accountability and transparency, beacons of ethics and decency, led by men and women of the highest integrity, of outstanding reputations. 

One of the crucial values of our Torah is ethical conduct in business, and in all our interactions with other people. In fact, according to the Talmud, one of the very first questions that a person will be asked in the next world before the Heavenly Court is: Did you deal faithfully and honestly in your business and other interactions with people?

We must live as individuals and as a community at the highest levels of ethics and be an example to the country and spread the light of Torah values, of ethics, decency and uprightness in everything that we do.

We must join hands with our fellow South Africans in the struggle against corruption, so that all the good people of this country – who are by far in the majority – can liberate us all from the tyranny of state capture, so that the forces of blessing and prosperity can be unleashed for all decent people in this great country.

In the end the forces of morality and decency will triumph because we live in a free society. Freedom is the blessing which will ensure that goodness and accountability will reign supreme and then the South African dream of a better life for all can finally be realised.

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Russell Fig

    Dec 18, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    ‘Well whritten article Rabbi. All South Africans wherer at home or living abroad shoid do their part to correct the problems in South Africa.

      I immigrated years ago and am currently living in America but am still concerned with what is going on at home yes at home I still consider South Africa my country. Let’s all do our part and call out when something is whrong in our country.

      We in the Jewish Community have a history of being in the Anti Apartheid Movement so let’s continue the fihht to make South Africa the great nation that it can become.

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