By Rabbi Neil Blumofe, October 2013
As one who came of age while walking the warrens of Jerusalem’s Old City, I could easily disappear into the miracle of a vibrant and exciting Jewish life that has been fought for and established in this place of miracle. And yet — our sages of old are still calling. Calling for us to not live complacently or with complicity, or to use our received wisdom as a bludgeon. Rather, we are invited to continue to turn and reimagine a flourishing Judaism that beckons us into a deeper relationship with each other — finding kindness and generosity as we ingather and make room to live with each other.
Women’s rights is not an American import — authentic exploration that is steeped in tradition is a timeless Torah value that inspires and strengthens each of us as we quest for meaning and community before God. I stand with those who support gender equality to further Jewish life that is based in curiosity, purpose, and love of regular ritual. May we all write our Torah that is in conversation with ways that we can bring forward inspired kedushah, without fear of reprisal or accusations of speciousness. May we honor the precious legacy and the holy places that we inhabit and be worthy of God’s name as we call out from our labyrinthine narrow places.
Neil Blumofe is the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Agudas Achim in Austin, Texas. A Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, he is also a Fellow at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.