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(or formally Orthodox) LGBTQ and Orthodox family members of LGBTQ, co-sponsored by Eshel and JQ Baltimore. We have a new location that better serves the needs of both our Baltimore and DC participants.
JQ Baltimore is in the midst of updating our database of local rabbis who perform same-sex weddings. We will also feature information about the many LGBTQ-friendly congregations in our area. Stay tuned for more info on these updates. And ask you local clergy member if they wish to be included in this helpful resource. We are committed to ensuring that our Jewish community is welcoming to ALL Jews.
1529 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
JQ Baltimore is pleased to highlight a message of inclusion from one of our local clergy. This message is brought to us by Rabbi Rory Katz of Congregation Chevrei Tzedek (Friends of Justice).
Perhaps the greatest moment of celebration in the Torah is right after the Israelite slaves have miraculously crossed the Red Sea onto dry land after being rescued by God from slavery. Our well-known hero Moses leads the people in singing the famous Song of the Sea. His sister Miriam leads a dance with timbrels and tambourines and sings another version of the Song of the Sea. But what of Moses’ and Miriam’s other sibling, Aaron? Where is he to be found?
Aaron does not have starring role at this moment. He could easily be overlooked at this moment and could fall into the backdrop of the story. We might even forget temporarily that Moses and Miriam have an older brother. But imagine for a second being in Aaron’s shoes: after all you’ve done to support your siblings (most famously, he served as Moses’ mouthpiece when he went to speak to Pharaoh), you find that you are basically invisible at the largest celebration your people has ever had. According to one commentator Nachmanides, that is why the Torah refers to Miriam in this context as “Miriam the prophet, the sister of Aaron.” While he may not have a starring role at the moment, the Torah does not want his presence to be overlooked at the pinnacle of the story of liberation.
This year, the first day of Passover coincided with Trans Day of Visibility. This holiday was founded in 2009 to highlight the achievements and accomplishments of trans people that were overlooked for far too long. In this season of striving toward freedom, we must see liberation as more than just escaping from sources of oppression. Liberation is also a process of looking inward at our own communities. We must notice which of our siblings’ stories have traditionally gone unnoticed, and which stories may still not be fully recognized.
May we celebrate our victories with as much joy as Moses, Miriam, and Aaron at the edge of the Red Sea. As we sing and dance, may we be sure to that ALL of our siblings are named and included in our communal celebrations.
Rabbi Rory Katz
Congregation Chevrei Tzedek (Friends of Justice)
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