The Sound of Justice – Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels

Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels has dedicated his life to building a more sacred and just society.
He’s expertly woven music, study, and prayer into spiritual celebrations, intimate gatherings, and Shabbat services.
His work has been lauded by CLUE, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Upward Bound House, the National Conference of Community and Justice, the Santa Monica Interfaith Cocouncil, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Westside Coalition.
He is also among CLUE’s co-founders.

One of my most cherished mentors was Rabbi Leonard Beerman and one of his most cherished colleagues was Rev. James Lawson. 

I had heard of Rev. Lawson but never met him until Rabbi Beerman invited me to the first meeting of CLUE. 

My memory of the day is distant and cloudy except for two things: Rabbi Beerman asked me to write the mission statement (which didn’t work out at all – mainly because I’d never written a mission statement before). 

My other memory is of Rev. Lawson introducing us all to the organization that Rabbi Beerman, Rev. George Regas and he were forming and calling us to be a part. 

Of course, he spoke with his usual eloquence, passion and powerful cadence. 

Specifically, I recall that he used the word “justice”  several times. He didn’t merely speak it. He elongated it – as if he put forth the word and its echo simultaneously. Every time he said, “justice” I felt lifted out of my chair. 

He used that one word as a clarion call, but he didn’t shout it. Instead it was a “loud whisper,” a spellbinding incantation that gave us all strength, purpose and commitment. 

To this day, I find it so ironic that “justice” is the one word we had to forgo in order to make the acronym of the organization work. 

Still, because of the way in which Rev. Lawson gave melody to the word “justice” that day, I know what I am doing every time I am called or call others to a CLUE action. 

I am  harmonizing with Rev. Lawson the best I can, singing justice with my lips. my legs and my heart.