“You will come around,” said a particularly dickish family friend as he dismissed my point about the importance of a social program out of hand.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe says that eikev is a reminder to sanctify our everyday activities: This “lowly” part of our life is the foundation of our relationship with God, in the same way that the heel is the base upon which the entire body stands and moves. So, too, with the people among us upon whom society has trampled, the people we see every day: a moral accounting of our society is one that acknowledges that our relative privilege is built on the suffering of others.
When my daughter was born 18 years ago, I used to bring her to school with me and lay her on a blanket in the corner of my classroom when I taught. There was no child care at the university (then the University of Judaism) and no paid family leave.Eighteen years later, there are classes of rabbinical students who remember my daughter and then my son as infants in their mishnah classes, the institutions has a different name, and we still don’t have paid family leave (or child care).