2019 Pride Shabbat with JQ International

Welcome to the second LGBTQ+ Pride Shabbat co-sponsored by OneTable and JQ International. We have a lot to celebrate this year. June is Pride month. The WorldPride celebration is in New York City this year. And we are honoring the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

On June 28, 1969 when the police raided the Stonewall Inn, an LGBT bar in Greenwich Village, no one was surprised. This had been happening for years. But this time was different. Rather than dispersing as they had always done, the people from the bar and residents from the neighborhood gathered outside and watched the police drag people out of the bar. One person being put into a paddy wagon yelled for people to act and they did. At first they threw stones, bottles, and pennies at the police. Soon a full riot erupted forcing the police to hide in the bar until reinforcement arrived and dispersed the crowd. The riots lasted for five more days and began a more organized response to police from the queer community.

I think about whether any of those who rioted in 1969 could imagine that today, in the same city, there would be a month-long celebration of WorldPride. We are fortunate to live at a time when this celebration is not forbidden, but rather uplifted.

At the same time we look around our country and the world and see the resurgence of violence against LGBTQ+ people. We have learned from those who fought back in 1969. We no longer riot. But we do take action. We do respond to attacks against us. We are stronger together, and an attack on any queer person is an attack on all queer people. We are fortunate to have incredible allies that have deepened their commitment to our full equality, who take action to make it possible.  

As we commemorate Pride Shabbat this year, let us all recommit ourselves to fighting the injustice against each of us – all of us – and our beauty, power, and dedication to freedom.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi RBO
Director, JQ Helpline & Inclusion Services

A “Commentary” on Leviticus 19, The Holiness Code

We are your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender children:
“You must not seek vengeance, nor bear a grudge against the children of your people.” [Leviticus 19:18]

We are your bi, trans, lesbian and gay parents:
“Revere your mother and your father, each one of you.” [19:3]

We are elderly lesbians, bisexuals, gay men, and transgendered people:
“You shall rise before the aged and show deference to the old.” [19:32]

We are the stranger:
“You must not oppress the stranger.”
“You shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” [19:34]

We are lesbian, gay, trans, and bi Jews:
“You must not go about slandering your kin.” [19:16]

We are your trans, gay, bi, and lesbian siblings:
“You shall not hate your brother or sister in your heart.” [19:17]

We are lesbian, gay, trans, and bi victims of gay-bashing and murder:
“You may not stand by idly when your neighbor’s blood is being shed.” [19:16]

We are your bi, gay, trans, and lesbian neighbors:
“You must not oppress your neighbor.” [19:13]
“You must judge your neighbor justly.” [19:15]
“You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.” [19:18]

By Rabbi Lisa A. Edwards, Head Rabbi, Beth Chayim Chadashim in Los Angeles, CA

OneTable empowers people who don’t yet have a consistent Shabbat dinner practice to build one that feels authentic, sustainable, and valuable. The OneTable community is funded to support people (21-39ish), not in undergraduate studies, and without an existing weekly Shabbat practice, looking to find and share this powerful experience.

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