Rabbi Mike Moskowitz: "Today we honor the lives that have been lost to anti-transgender violence; may their memories be for a blessing," writes Rabbi Mike Moskowitz. "It is a day that is designated for internalizing our collective responsibility to protect the vulnerable and marginalized.
If society better understood the trans experience as the holy gift that it is, then next year we would be celebrating the blessings of their lives being lived, not the memories of their lives lost.
The Hebrew word for blessing, ברך – baruch, evokes the idea of increasing our attachment to another. The three letters that form the word, have the numerical values of two, twenty, and two hundred; when we support each other, blessing multiplies.
Although being transgender is absolutely a blessing, for many the experience is overwhelmingly hard. The struggle to live authentically while one’s identity is being questioned, debated, and legislated is not easy. Living under the constant existential threat of being erased is nothing to be grateful for; yet this is the story, and struggle, of the Jewish people."
Rabbi Moskowitz is the Scholar-in-Residence for Trans and Queer Jewish Studies at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. He is a deeply traditional and radically progressive advocate for trans rights and a vocal ally for LGBTQ inclusivity.