No time for complacency, rabbi tells Women’s Marchers in Morristown

20-Jan-18 at Temple B'Nai Or
Beth Kujan
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This is no time for complacency.  That was the message from guest Rabbi Mary Zamore, at a Shabbat service prior to Saturday’s mammoth Women’s March on New Jersey in Morristown.

Rabbi Mary Zamore, guest worship leader 20-Jan-18

Plenty of pink pussycat caps sat on laps of listeners at Temple B’nai Or.

One purple hoodie read: Super Callous Fragile Racist Sexist Not My POTUS.

The temple’s calendar for Torah study has the congregation focused on the Book of Exodus — ideal for a day centered on social justice:

“Today we march like the Israelite women under Egyptian rule, who brought children into a broken world with….faith.”

Departing from the traditional perspective of a Jewish liberation story, Rabbi Zamore spoke about complacency leading to wickedness.  This gave the Exodus story a new meaning. 

A Pharaoh rose up who did not know Joseph. History had not been preserved for the 400-plus years that Jews lived, worked, and eventually, were enslaved in Egypt.  Moses took a long time to awaken to his role and to shed his security for a greater mission.

Service at Temple B’nai Or 20-jan-18

The most disturbing passage in the narrative: God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.  Was there no element of choice on Pharaoh’s part?  Had God suspended Free Will? 

Zamore suggested it is easy to slip into a false sense of security, to become despondent, to let societal momentum make the choices for us.  To truly retain Free Will, we have to exercise it.

The service ended with a poem, from Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, reproduced here.

"And then all that has been dividing us will merge

And then compassion will be wedded to power

And then softness will come to a world that is harsh and unkind

And then both women and men will be strong

And then no person will be subject to another's will

And then each will be rich and free and varied

And then the greed of some will give way to the needs of many

And them all will share equally in the Earth's abundance

And then we all will care for the sick and the weak and the old

And then we will all nourish the young

And then we will cherish life's creatures

And then we will all live in harmony with each other and the Earth

And then everywhere will be called Eden once again."

Pink hats were donned.  Cars were left in the parking lot, as marchers walked to Town Hall for the Women’s March.

MORE COVERAGE OF THE 2018 WOMEN’S MARCH ON NJ

Wrapping up at B’Nai Or and heading out to march

 

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