A Nun, A Priest and A Rabbi
A nun, a priest and a rabbi walk out on the pulpit of a Presbyterian church… What sounds like the opening line of a bad joke, was in fact the description of an event that took place last month at Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church in Naples, Florida. I gave the opening invocation at the interfaith gathering with Reverend Kathy Kircher (an Episcopal priest) and Sister Simone Campbell, the guest speaker for the event.
You may have heard of Sister Simone Campbell from her well documented “Nuns on the Bus” tour last summer. Concerned that the most vulnerable members of society were not receiving the aid they needed, Sister Simone gathered a group of nuns to travel across the country. Her efforts brought to light real stories of poverty in our own nation. She shared those experiences during her Naples visit: families with two working parents unable to make ends meet; individuals who lacked access to medical care; bare shelves at local food pantries; children and seniors who were struggling to get proper nutrition.
The fact that there are Americans struggling is not new information, yet many of us are unaware of the needy in our own community. By highlighting these individuals and stories from across the country, Simone Simone demonstrated that every community needs more social justice. Her message resonates across lines of faith, which is why the event included a rabbi, a priest and a nun. While many of us live in affluent suburbs, we know that there are those in our greater community facing similar challenges to those documented by Sister Simone. Even within our temple families are those in need.
At the end of this month, we will celebrate Passover, marking our release from slavery and oppression. The price of our freedom is that we must work so that all may enjoy the blessing of freedom. Let us not forget those in our community who are oppressed by hunger, those who are struggling to make ends meet and keep a roof over their heads. When you empty your home of leavened products (hametz) donate them to a local food pantry. Make a contribution to your local Jewish Family Services to make it possible for a family in need to have Passover Seder this year.
Let this be a Passover of justice and blessing for all.
Adam Miller is the rabbi at Temple Shalom in Naples, FL and is a member of the Commission on Social Action.