Pride and Shavuot celebrate LOVE
Yesterday the largest Gay PRIDE parade in the history of Jerusalem was celebrated under Rainbow flags and banners with “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19). Tel Aviv and Jerusalem serve as beacons of pluralism featuring the largest Gay Pride Parades in the Middle East.
I am proud that American Reform Judaism was the first to ordain Gay and Lesbian Rabbis and to support full inclusion of LGBTQ+ members in every facet of Jewish life. At Shaaray Tefila we display a rainbow flag on the bima, the high place of our sanctuary, to promote a message of inclusion to all who enter our doors. I would like this message to go beyond our sanctuary. I would love to find a sign maker in our congregation who could fashion a welcoming message to greet people as they enter our grounds with words like:
“Shalom Aleichem – Welcome in Peace”
Our congregation honors diversity and is a safe place for people of every color, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.
“My house shall be a house of prayer for all people.” (Isaiah 56:7)
I believe a loud and proud message of inclusion furthers the Torah’s teaching that “All humans are created in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27)
PRIDE Shabbat, tonight, celebrates love. Tomorrow, Saturday night, begins the holiday of Shavuot which Jewish tradition describes as “The Wedding between God and Humanity.” Mount Sinai is lifted up as a Chuppah (a bridal canopy), the Ten Commandments is the Ketuba (define), and Heaven and Earth serve as the Edim (the witnesses). On Saturday, from 7pm-9pm, we will celebrate Shavuot, the mystical wedding, in loving partnership with the Reform Congregations of Armonk and Chappaqua, hosted at CBY. In honor of this dairy festival, NY Cheese Cake, Baileys and Kalua with Cream will be generously provided. Rabbis Wilfond, Strom and Jaffee will lead Havdalah and teaching. I invite you to join us for PRIDE Shabbat tonight and Shavuot tomorrow.
Shabbat Shalom, and Hag Shavuot Sameach
Rabbi David Wilfond
*CBY Congregation B’nai Yisrael, 2 Banksville Rd, Armonk, 10504