Shabbat Talmud Study: Amos or Jeremiah – Which Prophet is More Helpful to Us Now?

Both Amos and Jeremiah lived in societies that they believed were rotten to the core, with corrupt and unresponsive leadership that trammeled the rights of the vulnerable
and the oppressed. Where is the ethical core of our society, each asked. Where is moral leadership, each demanded.

To add to the cataclysmic feel of the time in which each lived, international events were conspiring to doom both the Northern and Southern Kingdom. Amos preached in the shadow of Assyria’s destruction of Israel in 721 Before the Common Era. Judah preached in the shadow of Babylonia’s destruction of Judah in 586 BCE.

For speaking truth to power, Jeremiah was impugned and then imprisoned by the King. He offers his most powerful prophecy from a jail cell. Amos froths
and fulminates. His message does not seem to have landed in his own time. Yet for all they have in common, Amos and Jeremiah offer very different prescriptions.

On Shabbat we will see Amos’ most iconic move, Jeremiah’s most iconic move, and ask which voice is most helpful for our time.

See you tomorrow at 8:30.

Shabbat shalom,