One of the greatest gifts Judaism has given the world, is the conviction of the sanctity of human life. Before Judaism our ancestors did not treat life with the reverence we do. Many of them sacrificed human beings, even their own family members, to their deities.
Idolatry and Polytheism began with an ideology that is completely understandable. They didn’t actually believe that the sun and the moon were gods, feeling the desire to worship them. They believed that there was one great infinite god who created everything. But they came to the conclusion that the infinite god of the universe is too big and great to concern himself with the tiny mundane details of our world. After all, why would God, in his infinite unfathomable greatness care when the rain falls in a particular area, or whether a crop in the ground will grow? And so, they reasoned that god must have given control of matters insignificant to him, to various mini-gods who will control them.
This makes perfect sense. But god confided in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He told them how he feels. He told them he is totally invested in this world, that matters of the world are far from insignificant to him. He cares about them with infinite intensity. He created this earth because he needs it, therefore he cares more about this place than we possibly can. No part of this world is too small for him.
God cares about every little plant and animal, but human beings are even more precious to him. God cares deeply about animals, but even the greatest animal is only his creation. We the human beings on the other hand are something more. We are his partners. We are his. We help him make his world into how he needs it. God cares more about people than people ever can.
That is why every single life matters.
And that is why when a black man is murdered, we not only owe his community an apology, we owe god an apology.
And when we on earth value people like god values people, the needless killings will end, and we will be able to say that we’ve brought heaven down to earth.