Good afternoon friends,
I wish I could be with you as my memory of last year’s March in Washington DC remains one of the beautiful highlights of my life.
I am a Rabbi because of the spiritual call that has pursued me for the full 61 years of my life and in my Jewish tradition, the Sabbath is a central spiritual idea which runs the very engine of life.
When the sun descends every Friday evening, it ushers in the holy and sacred Sabbath for 24 hours. And during those hours we experience time, of different sort. We are in God’s presence and our attention is paid to the most meaningful aspects of our lives.
I spend my Sabbath by leading spiritually uplifting services for my congregation and then retreating from the rat race of life to engage and nourish the soul.
The Sabbath is the day outside of time, it is a day of the Soul.
This is the reason that I am unable to attend the rally, though my dear friend, Jane Birnbach will share my thoughts, I am both grateful and with you in spirit.
The Sabbath is a day to peel away the false proclamations of life so that we are ever reaching for higher truths. And gathering as women to draw the line in the sand is indeed, our privileged higher truth.
How long have we waited? How long have we been relegated to that seat in the back, where our worth was defined by our perceived utility to others?
On this blessed Sabbath, the higher truth emerges, we are living at a time when we can finally insist that our worth will be judged by God alone. We can talk back and remind the world what God spoke on the very first page of the Bible, in Genesis….
“On the sixth day God created humanity, male and female God created them.”
“I, God have made you all in My image.”
We are each other, we are the same.
We live at a time when our cries for equality are louder than our fears of retribution. Gathering as sisters and supportive brothers we envision together a world where all divisions amidst the human race will be seen as nothing more than God’s magnificent paintbrush strokes, rather than excuses for dividing humanity and limiting the ways in which each human soul may manifest his or her sacred identity.
We have always been equal, we just didn’t know it. Today we do, today we know. And today we stand for a better future, for freedoms of conscience, for just confidences, for our voices to be heard with respect.
There is a long road that stretches out before us. The lag time that exists between the birth of an idea and the real changes that reflect that idea are never short and never easy. So we gather together to muster strength. To map out a plan and to infuse that plan with courage.
The world is NOT fair and our freedom will only come when we refuse to back down from those who wish to keep us chained to their ideas of what a woman should be.
A woman should be whatever her soul calls her to be.
False limitations based on gender are nothing more than ignorance and utility. Our bodies, the bodies of the entire human race, are mere vehicles in order to bring the work, the vison and the calling of the soul into real time. There is no limit of potential that can be determined by the shape of a body.
But more than anything, we need each other. We need to stay clear and strong about our swift and decisive responses to all forms of racism, sexism, homophobia, injustice and hatred.
WE MUST BE THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS FOR ALL OF GOD’S VULNERALE SOULS. For we have always been and still are, on the front lines of the misplaced truth of our true equality.
My prayers are with you today as is my commitment to being unafraid to speak up, for you and for me and for all of the women who have been denied their voice since the beginning of time. We are blessed to live at such an age where the walls that kept us out are just beginning to crumble.
It is a time of great responsibility for the wall keepers will not relinquish our fate easily.
On this sacred Sabbath, the day of the soul, feel your mighty strength within you and be not afraid. We are here to take a stand for right!
May strength find you, may support surround, and may a future, more fair for all, be within reach.
Rabbi Julie Kozlow
Again our hearts and prayers go out to the MIntzes’ and the Moskows’ for the loss of their loved ones. Helen Solomon and Abe Moskow, both lived their lives as blessings and will continue to impact our world with their goodness even though they have left us.
Shabbat Shalom to all!
הרב אלישבע בת דוד ודבורה
Rabbi Julie Kozlow
(910) 762-1117 ~ B'nai Israel phone