Posted on June 24, 2022 by Rabbi Andrea Goldstein
With the news of the overturning of Roe and the elimination of this nation’s half-century constitutional right to abortion we echo the words of Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Elana Kagan, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor who wrote: “With sorrow – for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection – we dissent.”
With the enacting of Missouri’s trigger ban law, making nearly all abortions illegal in Missouri, we also affirm our commitment as a pro-choice congregation. Shaare Emeth’s commitment to reproductive freedom for all people is based on our Reform Jewish values and on thousands of years of Jewish teachings. We stand on the shoulders of generations of Jewish leaders who have fought for the right of individuals to make decisions about their own reproductive healthcare. This includes the right to abortion.
The landscape of our nation is changing, and while today’s decision understandably ignites feelings of anger, despondency, or fear within many of us, we encourage you not to abandon hope in our ability to fight for justice, for freedom, and for life. We know that the “world as it is” is not the “world as it should be.” To bridge these two worlds we recall the words of political theorist Michael Walzer, which are a part of our Mishkan Tefilah prayerbook:
Standing on the parted shores of history
we still believe what we were taught
before ever we stood at Sinai’s foot;
that wherever we go, it is eternally Egypt
that there is a better place, a promised land;
that the winding way to that promise passes through the wilderness.
That there is no way to get from here to there
except by joining hands, marching together.
We are in the wilderness right now, but we are not alone. We invite you to join hands with us – in grief and anger, in prayer and action, and always in hope.
Rabbi Jim Bennett, Rabbi Andrea Goldstein, Rabbi Rachel Bearman, Cantor Seth Warner, Rabbi Lori Levine, and Rabbi Jeff Stiffman
Bill Remis, President
Sue Picus, Chair of the Tzedek (Justice) Committee
Rosalie Stein, Executive Director