Rabbis Without Borders
Rabbis Without Borders is a dynamic forum for exploring contemporary issues in the Jewish world and beyond. Written by rabbis of different denominations, viewpoints, and parts of the country, Rabbis Without Borders is a project of Clal – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.
I will be marching in the Women’s March on January 21, 2017 in Washington DC because I must. It is that simple. I must be there.
I have been doing a lot of praying since the presidential election in November. I am praying for the voiceless, for those who may lose basic rights to healthcare, education, and safety. I am praying for the future of our country, praying that the democracy that has endured over 200 years can continue. I am praying for the Jewish community which now seems poised to fragment in to different factions depending on different views on Israel and the President–elect.
But most of all I am praying for women, all women. The election was a slap in the face that had us landing hard on our butts. Here we were, poised to have a woman hold the highest office in the land, and not only did she lose, but she lost to a man who is known attacker of women. We have the tapes. We have the footage. This is not fake news. Whatever else you may think of Donald Trump, it is hard to refute his misogynistic behavior.
I must march. I am a woman in a male-dominated profession. I have been sneered at, grabbed, and sexually harassed. I have been ignored, belittled, and undervalued. I will march to show that none of this will stop me. I hope to join thousands of women who feel the same way, thousands who will raise their voices to be heard. Who will not settle for being treated as second class citizens in this great country of ours.
I must march so that my daughter can see what is possible in our country, that we can raise our voices, that we can make our presence known.
I must march as a form of prayer. Marching in Selma in 1965 with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King whom we remember today, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel famously said that he felt as if “his feet were praying. “ My feet will be praying on Saturday morning in Washington DC. Praying in the streets will be far more powerful than any prayer I could utter in a synagogue that Shabbat morning.
I must march. I must pray. Women of all classes, races, and creeds have made many gains in the past fifty years. Yet there is much more work to be done to protect our basic rights to health care, education, and professional advancement. I must march and I must pray as a woman, a Jew, and a rabbi.
May God Bless the United States of America!
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.