(To mark the 44th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., here's a piece from the 2008 Off-Ramp archives.)
In 1965, during the height of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King gave a sermon at Temple Israel in Hollywood at the invitation of Rabbi Max Nussbaum. It was tape recorded, but forgotten in a pile of other recordings. The rabbi’s widow Ruth unearthed it more than a decade ago but the digital age has now let the Temple make King’s sermon public.
95-year-old Ruth Nussbaum says her husband, who was born in Eastern Europe, knew from his earliest days about the persecution of all minorities, so it was natural for King to speak at his temple.
Speaking to the congregation, King said, "Our destinies are tied together. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be."
The words ring true today.