Today’s date has been on the radar for a while – we knew that a fateful meeting would take place in Jerusalem to finalize the vote that will enable Gay and Lesbian Israelis be ordained as Masorti rabbis Israel’s Conservative Movement. We just didn’t know if we’d get the news today. I got a photo ready when I was there two weeks ago, just in case… The alternative, frankly, seemed impossible.
Well, here it is: Big Gay News from Jerusalem
Auspicious and odd that as Holocaust Memorial Day is ending such important news is shared. A day in which we recall horrific hatred and the murder of so many because of religion, race, nationality and sexual attraction. Beyond the 6 million Jews, and included among them were the pink triangles, and the red ones, and so many others. All are honored today. All are remembered.
And now we move on, beyond fear of the other and discrimination of all size and proportions to celebrate a bold and brave and due decision that will enable me and many many others to hold our head high, we are as we are, in the image of the Divine.
This decision is not just about LGBT rights. It is an important statement about Halachic change, evolving social-legal norms and the courage to make progress in a society so suspicious of changes and so badly in need of this fresh approach.
Gratitude to so many who have fought this battle – R. Tamar Elad Applebaum and R. Andy Sacks and many of the leaders of the Masorti Mov’t in Israel. All the students past and present who rose in protest to change the status quo – including my fantastic colleagues and classmates in JTS. Chancellor Eisen, Rabbis Nevins and Gelber and many others who in many ways, quiet or vocal, supported this important change.
It is a privilege to be alive at such times of compassion and courage. And on this day, with gratitude to the Divine and the divine spark within each human: Next Year in Jerusalem!