Yom Kippur is our people’s day for a grand pause to look back and to look ahead.
As we look back, I am honestly saying, and if you would like, join me in saying:
“Let me be a little sad,” or, if needed, “deeply sad,” for the things we’ve lost during this most unimaginable year.
Now that Joe Biden has telegraphed his pick for vice president, Kamala Harris, let’s give credit to the woman who stepped out first: Victoria Claflin Woodhull. In 1872, before women had the right to vote, Woodhull ran for president against Ulysses S. Grant. Since then, according to Rutgers University, at least 31 women have made serious bids to be president or vice president of the United States. Six of those women ran twice. You know how many have won. Now, at this historic moment, I’m thinking a lot about women and power.
Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are encouraging congregations and individuals to support this life-saving fund-raising effort organized by Project Rozana, a well-respected international non-profit organization that is leading a project supported by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to purchase badly needed ventilators for West Bank and Gaza hospitals in light of the current COVID-19 spike in the region, which threatens to overwhelm Palestinian hospital ICUs.
At the Center for Jewish Ethics, we have created Jewish Values and the Coronavirus, a guide to help frame values-based decision making in this time of pandemic. This web-based resource collects and curates sources from the Torah and rabbinic texts alongside insights from leading ethical thinkers from across the Jewish world and beyond.
Recontructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are signatories to the following appeal from J-Link, an international network of progressive Jewish organizations fromIsrael, the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia.
These demagogues sow fear and stoke racial tension. They promote an exclusivist, chauvinist white nationalism. But they will not win. Jewish history teaches us that tyranny cannot sustain itself. From Pharaoh to the Roman Emperors to the monarchs who expelled us from multiple parts of Europe, Jews have outlasted the tyrants who have sought our destruction. And we American Jews know that the only way for the Israel-America friendship to survive — and not be tossed out along with these demagogues — is to center our democratic values.