Reconciliation can only happen, when both sides conduct themselves with dignity. Reparations are an easy way out that can prevent giving and receiving that dignity. There are two reasons for this. First, reparations allow the descendants of perpetrators the false comfort of believing that the existential evils of the past are somehow forgivable. Second, they encourage the descendants of victims to see themselves as perpetual victims who would do better to blame the righteous descendants of evil perpetrators than to forge new bonds of friendship with a new people constituted to a new national covenant. If we treat each other as equals—as covenantal creatures with divinely granted dignity—we can reconcile on the basis of our distance from crimes of the past. (Rabbi Mitch Rocklin)
For more from Rabbi Rocklin and David Virtue, click here.