Pictured: Rabbi Galit Kohen-Kedem and Rabbi John Rosove in Tel Aviv
Rabbi Galit Kohen-Kedem, the rabbi of Kehilat Kodesh v’Chol, a Reform synagogue in Holon, Israel (15 minutes drive from Tel Aviv) shared with me that Holon’s Deputy Mayor shared horrible homophobic statements on his Facebook page. In reaction, Rabbi Galit’s congregation teamed up with several LGBTQ organizations through the Israel Religious Action Center to participate in Holon’s first pride parade/demonstration demanding that the Deputy Mayor be removed from his position.
Rabbi Galit was a featured speaker at the Holon rally last night, and she translated her message for me as follows:
“I ask you today: what separates humanity from God? Our sages write in the Mishnah [Sanhedrin 4:5]: “People stamp many coins with one seal, and each is like the other.” We humans know how to create structures and molds which are all exactly the same, even identical. How boring. But today I wish to tell of the greatness of the Holy One, Blessed be God, that created a magnificently diverse humanity: “The King, King of Kings, the Holy One, Blessed be God, stamps every human being with the seal of Adam (the first human being) and not one of them is like his/her fellow. Therefore every person must say: for my sake was the world created.” The Holy one blessed be God is greater than humans, even greater than those who claim to speak in God’s Name and believe that we are born identical and are constrained under the monopoly of identity, religion and thought. So say it with me now: “For my sake was the world created!”
I am a ‘pride’-female Reform rabbi, proud of the human diversity that constitutes us as a community, as an educational system, as a society. Kodesh V’Chol was the first synagogue community to celebrate Pride Shabbat in Holon seven years ago and we will do so again tomorrow. You are all welcome to join us.
I am proud of all the parents, friends, family members, and of this sacred crowd who choose to defend our right to choose to create our own identity, choose to build diverse families and love our partners. I am a pride-mother. I will do everything to ensure that our children can love and feel loved out of choice freedom and respect. “For my sake was the world created!”