20 Pages

Equality Requires a Fight for Recognition and Meaning

How does being Jewish affect one's perception of equality? For Michael Lerner, the Nazi destruction of his people raised the issue to a central place in his life. Judaism taught Lerner that each person is ''fundamentally valuable and deserving of equal treatment." As a graduate student at Berkeley, Lerner became a civil rights activist. As he grew older, his faith in education as a means of bringing about an end to discriminatory treatment-social inequality-waned. He sought answers in psychology. Lerner now believes that inequalities so prevalent in the treatment of our fellow human beings are rooted in a profound absence of a sense of meaning and recognition in our lives.