Shabbat Acharei Mot

Senior Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum: “This week’s parashah includes Leviticus 18:22, the source of the anti-gay, anti-LGBT, anti-trans legislation experience that we’re having throughout the United States right now. It’s the source of thousands of years of religious oppression of LGBT people. It’s the source of so much hate. It is wrong. 

I believe this parashah is telling us don’t pretend to be straight if you’re not. Don’t pretend to be LGBT if you’re not. Don’t pretend for the purpose of pleasing God.

Don’t go into the world pretending you’re a straight person if you’re not. Don’t go into the world pretending you’re cis if deep down inside you know you’re not. It is an abomination to God if we don’t live fully the person who we’ve been created by God to be.

I pray that each of us can embrace with pride, and not with shame, with a sense of welcoming and not a sense of rejection, all of who we are.

Every day we can become more of who God wants us to be. We can become more true to ourselves. We can become kinder, we can become more generous, we can become more mindful, we can become more loving. We can bring more light, each of us, every single day.

I pray that this is a week of increasing, and not decreasing, and of celebrating God’s presence in all of our lives.”

Senior Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum delivered this drashah at Kabbalat Shabbat services on April 29, 2022 / 29 Nisan 5782.