Last night was very special for me. It was erev Rosh Hashana (meaning the beginning of the Jewish New Year) and I served as a reader in the service at the Weinstein Jewish Community Center held by Congregation Or Ami.
Me, a goy, reading moving words about the meaning of this time in the lives of faithful Jewish people. And– this is very important, too–I was doing so with my husband, Jonathan. We were recognized as a couple, he a Jew and a member of the temple and me his non-Jewish partner who goes with him to sabbath worship–a gay, inter-religious couple.
As the liturgist had arranged it, it fell to me to recite the horrors that have been done to Jewish people over the millennia–progroms, discrimination, annihilation–and for the congregation to respond, “We, we Jews, have survived.”
As I spoke and they responded, I thought of how the horrors go on–against Jews still (Holocaust deniers preach hate), and Muslims (a pastor says he will burn the Qu’ran), and women (an Iranian women stoned to death), and LGBT people (violence against us increases), and others, too–and how always our call from God is to survive, with our dignity, our human dignity, intact.
And I thought: we do that by connecting with each other, seeing the God that resides in each of us, participating in each other’s religious rites, knowing that all–all–are beloved of God.
We (insert name here) survive–because God creates us to do so. Happy New Year! L’ Shanah Tovah!