A community of communities

Let justice roll down like water...

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 12:00am -- Rabbi

When we are working for justice, sometimes we only see tiny, incremental changes that we hope, over time, will add up to wholesale transformation.  But sometimes we experience a wave of change that transforms the landscape in an instant. We experienced such a wave of change this week, as the ruling of a judge suddenly 

established marriage equality in Pennsylvania.  In an instant, we witnessed the beauty of all couples - including many wonderful members of our community - being able to celebrate their love with the full legal recognition and protection of marriage.  In an instant, we saw families overcome years of frustration, hurt, and pain as they were finally recognized by a legal system and a state that had at best ignored them and at worst repeatedly attacked their legitimacy. This is a moment I had not dared to hope would come so soon in Pennsylvania, and I am still filled with awe and joy that justice has prevailed in our state.  But - we still have a long way to go and much work to do.  In context, the prophet Amos exhorts the Israelites to "Let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream" (Amos 5:24) in order to criticize those who would focus only on asking God to perfect the world through ritual rather than engaging in the struggle for justice themselves.  Full justice for LGBTQ people is a long way off in a state where an anti-discrimination statute still languishes in our legislature.  We must celebrate and express our joy at the amazing wave of justice we have experienced.  And we must also take strength from all that has been achieved in order to move forward on the road ahead.  May we always feel the rush of the waters of justice carrying us into a more perfect future together.