We shout mazel tov for marriage equality!
The dream has come true, but there is work to do! The United States has taken one more step toward fulfilling the dream of a country where people can live their own lives without fear; but as we celebrate the SCOTUS decision that gives every person the right to marry their beloved, we know the right to live in peace is still a far off dream for too many people.
This victory is a milestone on the road to justice and freedom. Even as we celebrate, we hold the people of Charleston and the entire country in our prayers. The poignancy of our celebration is huge because our joy is so great and our grief for our African American brothers and sisters is so deep. We know now more than ever that none of us are free until all of us are free.
At the core of my religious faith is the eternal promise of justice for all. Not for some but a vision that one day all people of good will shall sing in one voice an anthem of peace and liberty. In Jewish tradition, we teach that the Sabbath is a foretaste of the world to come. The Sabbath is a model of how the world might be. It is a world without work obsessions, a world where poverty and violence are gone, a world where children go to bed at night with warm full bellies. The Sabbath is the taste of the ideal where we rest from our labors to enjoy the true gift of freedom and taste God’s bounty at a table set for all.
We know the right to marry will face great resistance. We know the violence against transgender people is rampant. We know the need for an employment non-discrimination law is great. We know the need to work against racism is urgent, but today, TODAY, we celebrate as if all is complete, the Shalom, the peace and wholeness of God’s creation is with us.
This vision of wholeness, of Shalom, reminds us that when the celebration ends, and the Sabbath prayers are complete, justice and equality will only be fulfilled by going back to work to bring everyone to the table in all our glorious diversity.
Rabbi Denise L. Eger is the rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood, CA. She currently serves as President of the CCAR