As we conclude Pride month with the celebration of Pride Shabbat tomorrow night, we honor and support our LGBTQ members, family, and friends. June 28 marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising that took place in Greenwich Village in 1969 and sparked LGBTQ marches in major cities the following year. Year after year, the marches grew to include Pride Parades and spread into more cities until June became Pride Month. Most LGBTQ Pride Parade still take place at the end of June to mark and remember the Stonewall uprising.
Although opponents of equality may look to texts in Leviticus that prohibit “a male lying with a male as one lies with a woman,” those texts cannot stand alone. We are taught by Rabbi and scholar Harold Schulweis to read our text carefully:
“Morality comes from reading the tradition in its entirety – not singling out particular verses or particular laws. It comes from highlighting the ethical rationale behind the laws, including the many interpretations of law, and it comes from wisdom, Jewish experience and history.”
When talk about LGBTQ rights through the lens of ethics, wisdom, Jewish experience, and history, we can easily see that all human beings are holy and deserve to be treated with holiness. We can look to the Leviticus text “love your neighbor as yourself” which is situated in the Torah between the two texts mentioning the phrase above; or we can look to the text that says it best, that all human being are created b’tzelem Elohim, in the Divine Image: “And God created humans in God’s own image, in the image of God, God created them…” (Genesis 1:27)
The Religious Action Center, the lobbying branch of the Reform Movement which has long fought for LGBTQ rights on our behalf, adds this, which concluded my comments beautifully:
“Each of us, created in God’s image, has a unique talent, with which we can contribute to the high moral purpose of Tikkun Olam, the repair of our world. Excluding anyone from our community lessens our chance of achieving this goal of a more perfect world.”
I look forward to seeing you tomorrow night at our Pride Shabbat, either in person or online. Remember to register if you would like to join us in the sanctuary!