In our Torah portion this week, we read about the daughters of Tzelafchad. Whose father had passed away before he had the chance to receive his portion of land that was allotted for him and his family. Because he had no sons, according to the law, there was no one eligible to inherit his share which would have left his daughters and his family without anything. In steps the five daughters of Tzelafchad, who went against societal norms, petitioned Moses for their father's share. They were not only granted rights to his land, but they changed the law of the land, setting precedents for future cases of inheritance, and for women's rights.
One of the things that we learn from Tzelafchad daughters is that it is not always easy to stand up for yourself, advocating for change. But unless we are willing to step up and speak out, nothing will change. This is one of the earliest examples we have of a legally marginalized group of society successfully standing up for themselves and advocating for equality and fair treatment, and it continues to serve as an example for all of us until this day.
This year, Tifereth Israel will be marching in the San Diego Pride Parade. Celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ community, and its journey towards equality and acceptance, both legally, and culturally in our hearts and minds. There has been a lot of progress, but there is still a lot more progress to be made.
Please consider joining us next Shabbat for an abbreviated Shabbat service which will be held downtown. (There will be services at Tifereth Israel) Following the service we will walk over to the Parade and march proudly together under our Tifereth Israel banner. When we do so, we will be following the advice of the great conservative Jewish theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel; we will be "praying with our feet."
Wishing everyone a