Episodes/1 (The Prophetic)

by Mark Chmiel

To us a single act of injustice
(Cheating in business, exploitation of the poor)
Is slight

To the prophets
A disaster

To us injustice is injurious to the welfare of the people

To the prophets it is a deathblow to existence

To us
An episode

To them
A nakba
A threat to the world

Their breathless impatience with injustice may strike us as hysteria
We ourselves witness continually acts of injustice
Manifestations of hypocrisy & falsehood & outrage & misery
But we rarely grow indignant or overly excited

To the prophets even a minor injustice assumes cosmic proportions

–adapted and updated from Abraham Joshua Heschel

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