Nigel Savage, of Hazon, boldly states: “Margaret Thatcher famously said ‘There is no such thing as society’; she felt there was the State and the naked individual and nothing in between. I think Jewish tradition disagrees quite profoundly with that.”
In the following interview, Savage explains the Jewish notion of “halakha”, which is often translated as “Jewish law” but, as he indicates, more closely means “to walk” or, interestingly, in the Buddhist sense, “the path”. Savage describes the practice of halakha as a form of voluntary self-restraint in daily living, which constitutes what Jewish tradition considers as “living the good life.” One aspect of this practice can be looked upon as similar to mindfulness, as attentiveness to daily life and how to live freely and in consonance with the world around by managing our own impulses and appetites, by paying attention to what we do, how we relate to others, and how we can impact the world, and by choosing what we use and what we do in a self-controlled manner which shows respect for ourselves, for our community and for our planet. In other words, we are indeed citizens, and conscious ones.