Next time some good ol’ hate mongers in Springfield, Mo. head out to the annual We Hate Everybody BBQ, they might be cruising down the Highway to Heschel — Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, that is.
That’s because the state legislature last week adjourned after passing a bill aimed at aggravating the ulcers of the local neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement chapter, according to the JTA Wire Service. What happened is that Rep. Sara Lampe (D-Springfield) succeeded in tacking on an amendment to a transportation bill. The decree designated a portion of West Bypass from Farm Road 142 to West Sunshine as the “Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel Memorial Highway,” named for the great Civil Rights activist who said that he was “praying with his feet.”
Not so coincidentally, this is the portion of the road that the neo-Nazis “adopted” last fall, pledging to keep it clean. The State Department of Transportation did not want to put up a sign marking that portion of the road, but felt that legally they had to do so.
Enter Mrs. Lampe. After seeking input from local Jewish groups, she decided to have the road renamed for the revered late theologian. Not only that, but the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee has agreed to pay for the new signage.
No word yet if Hasidic hip hopping phenom Mattisyahu will play at the dedication.