Jews from the Portland area gathered this evening to hear rabbis, lawyers, and lesbian and gay Jews share why the freedom to marry is important in their lives. Whether discussing Jewish law, explaining civil law or sharing an individual story, each speaker presented her/is experience from a different, but uniquely Jewish perspective. Rabbi Alice Goldfinger of Congregation Beit Ha'am shared that when she first spoke on supporting marriage for gay and lesbian couples in San Francisco in 1992, her synagogue rotunda was vandalized: "Rabbi Goldfinger is a dyke."
While approximately 80% of Jews support marriage equality, we must not wipe our hands of our responsibility to lift up those who are oppressed: Tzedek, tzedek tirdof (Deuteronomy 16:20). Justice, justice, you shall pursue! Our pursuit of justice is not over because the majority of Jews support marriage equality. On Yom Kippur, when we atone not only for our own sins, but for those of our entire community and our entire people, we take responsibility for one another. When one of us does not pursue justice, or stands in the way of justice, we are all responsible.
Driven by communal responsibility, we continue to pursue justice, healing the world by pursuing the world we want to live in.