This week, Rabbi Michelle and I (and I am sure many of you) watched from afar as our teachers, friends, and rabbis occupied the Senate, sitting on the floor and singing the song of the sea in support of the 800,000 Dreamers. Many of them were arrested as they demanded that congress pass a clean Dream Act.
In the weeks when we read the story of Moses repeatedly begging Pharaoh for for our freedom, the calls are coming out from immigrant organizations and Jewish coalitions to "Let my people stay." In precisely this moment when give voice to our mythic story of liberation, our government is conducting mass deportations.
This week I also have been following the journey of Carmela Libre, currently taking sanctuary at the Church of the Advocate in North Philly. Many KT members have been gathering supplies to sustain her in sanctuary.
In this week's Parsha, Bo, Pharoah says, "Rise up, leave...Go! קומו צאו...לכו" (Ex 12:31). Sometimes freedom and safety look like an exodus. And sometimes staying in sanctuary. One way or another, we too must create our own momentum to claim our liberation and leave this narrow place.
Tomorrow, we at Kol Tzedek will not hold our regular Shabbat for Everyone servcices. Instead, many of us will join the Women's March tomorrow. You are invited to gather (whether or not you are planning to march!) with Rabbi Michelle 9:00-10:0 at the new Kol Tzedek space (707 S. 50th Street) to sing and pray together or for a contemplative service with Rabbi Ari Lev at BZBI (300 S. 18th Street).
I also fully support everyone who is honoring the boycott of the march because of its collaboration with the police. And pray that the march leaders revoke the call for surveillance and checkpoints. And that no harm comes to anyone, especially (trans)women of color, from this collective organizing.
May we all find our way through this narrow place to a redeemed world free of borders and oppression.
Rabbi Ari Lev
Rabbi Ari Lev Fornari brings Torat Hayyim, a living tradition, to Kol Tzedek Synagogue through thoughts about prayer, justice, and community.