Shabbat Va'era

Near CBST and Roe v. Wade's 50th anniversaries, Rabbi Kleinbaum considers Pharaoh and the softening of hearts.

Rabbi Kleinbaum: "On January 20, fifty years ago, [Richard Nixon] had his second inauguration. I was 14 years old, and it was my first demonstration in Washington, DC. I went to protest the inauguration, 50 years ago today. That was my first time in Washington, DC.

"Two days after Richard Nixon was inaugurated for his second [time], the Supreme Court issued the decision Roe v. Wade. That decision came out on January 22 1973, making this the 50th anniversary of that decision. ...

"The National Council of Jewish Women has been really at the center of the Jewish fight for reproductive justice. Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg has really been one of the leading rabbis in America working on this issue. And they have taken a position that limiting access to abortion violates the First Amendment of the United States because for Jews access to abortion is aligned with our Jewish practice. ...

"In this year of celebrating 50 years of many different things, may we continue to look for the way of softening our own hearts, not becoming the Pharaohs in the world, and making sure we continue to be a agent for the liberation of all those enslaved in our world."

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum delivered this drashah at Kabbalat Shabbat services on Friday, January 20, 2023 / 28 Tevet 5783.

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