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Turning A Day of Rest Into A Call To Action

On Saturday, Congregation Bnai Jeshurun hosted a prayer session and a community program with inspirational speeches from local rabbis. Then, along with other UWS synagogues, participants marched up 5th avenue to join the NYC Women’s March. All the Jewish denominations, including some Orthodox synagogues, were represented at the March on Saturday.

The Sabbath is the traditional day of rest in the Jewish week. We recall the time of Creation, when after 6 days of working to create the Earth, the Sky, The Sea, plants, animals, and Man – G-d rested; declaring his work “very good”.

The Sabbath is traditionally a time of quiet reflection. Probably the opposite of what you would imagine a 400,000 person NY rally, opposite Trump Tower, would be like.

But, here’s the thing…

The women who organized and participated in the March looked around at their world; the one that is constantly being created, and recreated, and saw that it was “not good”. So, they could not rest…

Some women, recalling all the activism of their youth in the 60’s, are really angry; I suppose they thought their work as done and just cannot believe they have to go through it all again. Other women, like Donna C., a single mother on the UWS, are more scared than anything. Donna is afraid women may lose the right to safe abortions, that the newly installed health care provisions might be all rolled back. She is worried about public education civil rights, LBGT rights, and so much more.

Donna joined the March hoping it would draw attention to these issues and it also inspired her, and many of her friends, to volunteer. Now, her main focus is on changing what she believes is the unfair electoral college process.

Donna is doing the right thing. Psychologically, we know the best way to combat a sense of powerlessness is to take some Action. Doing nothing is not an option.

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