Shabbat Matot-Masei

Rabbi Marisa James teaches about the daughters of Zelophechad and the sometimes bumpy road to justice.

“When we work for justice, when we speak up for equal rights, we have to navigate communal needs that might be in conflict with each other. It is incredibly rare that a step towards justice is an easy process with a clearly defined end.”

She invokes the Hebrew exhortation for arriving at the end of a book of Torah: “Hazak, hazak, ve-nit’hazek. Be strong, be strong, and we will strengthen each other.

“Each time we stand up for justice for ourselves, hazak: we are strengthened. Each time we stand up for justice for someone else, hazak: we’re strengthened! And each time we really listen to each other and try to move closer to real justice for everyone, we are strengthening each other. Ve-nit’hazek.”

Rabbi Marisa James delivered this drashah at Kabbalat Shabbat services on Friday, July 15, 2023 / 26 Tamuz 5783.

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