A little background for those who have not read my blog here is in order. I was raised in Judaism, attended synagogue with my family, went to Hebrew School until I was 16, and became a Bat Mitzvah at 13. The religion was also practiced in our home, with the lighting of the Shabbos candles on Friday night and the Chanukkah menorah on that winter holiday. The Passover seder was a staple as family of origin and family of choice of varying religions gathered around the food-laden table as we re-enacted the story of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. My parents modeled Tikkun Olam, (Repair of the World) and Tzedakah (charity and justice) for my sister and me. They taught us to be good, kind, caring, respectful, and responsible people.
When I turned 40, as a result of a series of events wrapped around the death of my husband from Hepatitis C, I enrolled in The New Seminary in NYC and was ordained as an interfaith minister. Since 1999, I have married over 300 couples and offered memorial services and baby blessings for numerous others. The title of Reverend was not only earned by study back then but is part of my daily lived experience.
Some may call it ‘virtue signaling,’ but I refer to what I am about to describe as Sacred Activism. When I see something amiss, I point it out. When I know that someone’s voice is limited because of their social, gender, sexual orientation, religious or ethnic status, I amplify their words. When I note hypocrisy, I call it out. When I see someone being bullied, I intervene. When I hear stories about mistreatment, I spread the word. I show up, stand up, and speak out. Sadly, it has needed to be done virtually since I have not attended vigils, rallies or protests this year due to the pandemic. At first, I felt guilty and frustrated but then realized that the safety and health of my family, especially my infant grandson, takes precedence.