Marriage equality is on the ballot in four states this November – Maryland, Washington, Minnesota, and Maine – which could transform the landscape of equality in the United States. Because this is such an important issue, this High Holiday season a number of rabbis chose to use their pulpits, or have congregants use them, to encourage support of local measures. In this series, we’ll share with you one sermon from each state voting on marriage equality, and hope their words of Torah inspire you. You can read the previous two posts in this series here and here.
Rabbi Aaron Meyer delivered this sermon at Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Washington on Rosh Hashanah . Find out more about how to get involved in the fight for marriage equality in Washington, as well more information on the Jewish Coalition for Marriage Equality in Washington, at the Temple De Hirsch Sinai resource page.
“Your attention please: would Aaron Meyer please report to the Guidance Office – Aaron Meyer to the guidance office.”
Me?!? Me, who still held his mother’s hand to cross the street when I was 15? Who didn’t even think about kissing a girl until college? The only type of guidance I needed was which book to stay at home reading on Saturday night! I slowly trudged down the hall, one foot after another, my mind whirling with all of the possibilities of the moment, before finally I stopped at the closed door to the Guidance Office. After a timid knock, I entered and did my best to disappear into a corner – no small feat when you are as tall as I.
My sense of impending doom was eventually assuaged – though not entirely lifted – when I realized it was just my turn to flip through the giant binders of college scholarship possibilities. Ah…do you remember that time, a time long long ago, a fond memory in my heart, when information was written down on this stuff called “paper” and wasn’t always available on the Internet? I spent the next forty minutes, along with one of my peers, leafing through the different applications, essays, and qualifications necessary to receive financial aid: the Vanguard Women in Information Technology Scholarship Program, the National Association of Black Journalists Scholarship Program, the Gates Millennium Scholarship for low income families. After flipping through some 200 scholarship possibilities for various groups of students, I grew flustered. “Isn’t there a scholarship for average, American, middle-class, Caucasian males from the suburbs?” It became something of a mantra for me and my rather homogenous group of friends: “Why isn’t there a scholarship for average, American, middle-class, Caucasian males from the suburbs?” It was funny at the time, this expression of our exasperation, and it wasn’t until some years passed that I realized how misguided I was.