I recently ended a three-week trip to the United States and returned home to Israel. This was a particularly emotional trip, as I was in Boston the day of Marathon. I saw firsthand how resilient the people of Boston are in a crisis.
This Passover, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hear two cases that have enormous impact on equality and liberty in our country. On the first two days of Pesach, oral arguments in California's Prop 8 case and the Defense of Marriage Act case will be heard.
As a rabbi and president-elect of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, I come here to be with you this morning at the Supreme Court on the very first day of Passover to say: Our nation is ready for marriage equality. This is one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar. It marks the day in Jewish tradition when we mark the Exodus from slavery in ancient Egypt; it marks the beginning of a journey to freedom. Today is our day to march toward that freedom, the freedom to marry. I represent more than 2,500 Reform rabbis. We support marriage equality and have filed Friends of the Court briefs in both today's Prop 8 case and tomorrow's DOMA case. Do not let others tell you that all religions oppose LGBT equality rights. We Reform Jews welcome, support, include, and, yes, advocate full rights and equality, including the right to marry the ones we love.
This week brings us Yom Y'rushalayim (May 8 / 28 Iyar), one of several Jewish holidays commemorating events of war in the modern State of Israel. This one recalls Israel's "recovery" of the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967.
The sign read, "We've got to stop it," and under it a woman sat alone at a table in the grocery store parking lot. The sign also contained the words "domestic violence," so I walked over. She greeted me warmly, "I'm trying to put a face to it. To say it could happen to anyone.
Today there was a Reform wedding outside the Knesset. Lin and her new husband exchanged vows in a ceremony officiated by Rabbi Gilad Kariv and Rabbi Kinneret Shiryon. Friends, family, members of the Israeli Reform Movement and its youth group, rabbinical students, and five members of the Knesset (known as MKs) attended the wedding.