History is made up of significant events, which shape our future and exceptional leaders who influence our destiny. Leaders such as Martin Luther Kink Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and even various prophets. Their contributions to our history place them in this unique position.
Each of them has their own stories, dreams, views, beliefs and goals in life; and yet they are also similar in a vast amount of ways. My objective here is to compare and contrast these leaders as well as discussing the connection to modern day prophets if any.
In order for Mahatma Gandhi to reach his ultimate goal, he had to prove worthy of its rewards. All that Gandhi wanted is for people to begin to respect his ideas and see that his belief truly was just. Gandhi spoke of non-violent resistance as a method to help the opposing side see how they were committing sins. Gandhi used inspirational words to encourage his people. He was motivated to begin fighting for Indian rights after being humiliated, and then he had faith that he could help India achieve independence. He knew that if Indians remained nonviolent and forgave the enemies, they would someday be rewarded.
To show his responsibility and commitment to the fight Gandhi was subject to fasting, abstinence or the use of non-violence as a political tool. Gandhi led many campaigns, organized strikes, and stayed true to him self just to convey a message to the people. Gandhi claimed to be no more that an average man with less than average ability. He did not want any special advantage for what he did. He believed that any man or women could achieve what he had, if he or she would make the same effort and grow the same hope and faith.
Martin Luther King Jr. took the lessons taught by Gandhi to the oppressed of India, and applied them to the oppression of the blacks in America. He also used words of wisdom to encourage his fellow African Americans, to see how deserving they are of equal treatment. King adopted Gandhi’s method of non-violence, realizing this is the path to freedom. His tactics of protest involved non-violent passive resistance to racial injustice. King was merely a role model whose mission in life was to serve others. His wisdom, words, commitment, deeds, and dreams for a new shine of life made others full of hope. His visions and goals were simple, yet breathtaking.
Some major similarities between the two are that they both speak of G-d in a personal way; they speak of Him as the truth. They both teach others by their own examples, and they both take an active part in politics. Most importantly they both taught us to open our eyes to the truth.
This just shows you that some of the greatest people started out as nothing and developed/changed into leaders of the world.
Although their efforts have brought about tremendous progress, their work is no way complete. My reason for this is that we have still not yet achieved equality among people of all races. Yes, we all ride in the same bus, but equality is still a major issue. I think just to connect this to Tanach and Jewish Law, a great way to do something is to get involved in the community and get people thinking about the issues, because if racism and equality aren’t even on our minds how can we do anything about them? Even by just thinking about this will make their dreams a reality.
What is a prophet? Based on Tanach class and the movie, we learn that it’s a person whose message is always relevant; and they addressed modern situations and current issues. Prophets loved their nation; they were fearless of most things; and they were students of history. Also they were men of prayer, and had personal relationship with political and religious leaders of their day. The more specific things they did are pass on the message of G-d, inform people of wrong doings and set them on the right path, etc.
Taking a look at Amos, he was bold and fearless when called to deal with evils of the day. He was known for his sense of justice and pride. Today I think his message would be that people should love and treat all as equal status.
Now if we compare this general definition of a prophet to MLK Jr. and Gandhi, then yes I do think they fit the role of prophets. Still I don’t know if they would be considered modern day prophets. Simply because I don’t have a true idea of what I believe about modern day prophets. But it is safe to say that they were the heroes of our generation. We just have to hope they know it!