Friday, October 2, 2009

Shabbat Shalom and Hag Sameach from Maine!

Shabbat shalom and hag sameach from Maine!

We are entering the Jewish holiday, Sukkot, the Festival of Booths, during which Jews traditionally take our meals, even sleep, in temporary shelters reminiscent of the transitory wandering in the wilderness for 40 years.
On Sukkot, it is traditional to read Psalm 27:
  • 11 Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
  • 12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.
  • 13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
While reading this passage at Temple Beth El in Portland this evening, I thought of our oppressors, those who hold us LGBTI people and allies down, especially those who are currently doing so in Maine. In the Portland Press Herald this morning, Bill Nemitz described a marked difference between the Yes on 1 campaign and the No on 1 campaign: while the Yes campaign puts forth the same 4 spokespeople, uses website images from online stock photo galleries, and ultimately lacks realness, the No on 1 campaign speaks in diverse voices, uses photos of real Mainers on its website, and thrives on the authentic drive of Mainers, not agendas.

Even in the two days since I arrived in Maine, it is clear that our oppressors are using the same language to bear false witness against us. The Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry in Maine is standing for what is just and fair, led by that which is Holy on a path toward goodness.

On this Sukkot, let us all have the courage to be led to goodness in the face of our oppressors.

shabbat shalom and hag sameach,

Kerry Chaplin

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