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.
June is coming, which means LGBT Pride Month is just around the corner! Throughout the month of June, we celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community throughout the nation.
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.
A classmate recently snapped a photo of a billboard promoting Israel’s right-wing Yachad party that read: “So there won’t be a child with a father and a father!”
The Reform Jewish Movement is encouraged to see the House prioritizing issues directly impacting the lives of LGBTQ+ Americans, but the Senate has yet to consider the Equality Act or LGBTQ+ provisions in a COVID-19 response bill. That is where we, as a people committed to social justice, have a role to play.
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.