The debate over comprehensive health care reform has been so heated this summer it was bound to get biblical.
On Tuesday, the National Democratic Jewish Council announced a new stage in its efforts to support the president's health care reform agenda. The group, a staunch ally of the White House, launched a "Rabbis for Health Insurance Reform" webpage, urging Congress to get legislation passed for "Democrats, Republicans, Christians, Muslims, and Jews."
The site casts the need for reform as a fiscal and moral imperative and wraps it in the cloak of Judaism's traditions.
"Our tradition teaches us to pursue justice," the site reads. "Yet it is not a just society when families are forced to choose between paying their mortgages or paying for prescription drugs. It is not a just society when small businesses must choose between being profitable or providing coverage to their employees. It is not a just society when people are denied health insurance because they have a pre-existing condition for which they need medical care. Equal access to safe and affordable health care is an essential social justice issue of our time."
Rabbis are urged to sign a petition at the end of the page.
This is not the first time progressive politics have been fused with Talmudic themes. In May, a group of Pennsylvanian Rabbis took out an ad in Philadelphia's largest Jewish newspaper urging Sen. Arlen Specter, himself a Jew, to support the Employee Free Choice Act.
While Specter's vote on EFCA remains up in the air, a few weeks after the ad ran he told a union crowd that they will be pleased with his final position.
Coincidence? Or the power of the Rabbi lobby? Who knows.