“Tzedek, tzedek tirdof.”
Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt tells us that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a sign on her office wall that shares these words of hope. Translated, they mean: Justice, justice you must pursue. She shares this bit of personal memory with us from the pulpit sitting inside the United States Capitol.
The pulpit and rabbi are all there to welcome Ginsburg to her final resting place. How fitting that Ruth’s last feat was to become the first woman to ever lie in state. A badass to the very end.
I am not one who cries at things such as movies or poignant moments. My tears do not come forth for romantic comedies with a predictable ending nor music with a message of sadness in its chorus. I am an emotional being indeed, but, usually, I keep the eyes dry unless alone.
While watching the ceremony for Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the capitol, a familiar dampness blanketed my face. I was unable to stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks while listening to the rabbi Holtzblatt tell the story of such an awe-inspiring pioneer like Ginsburg.
My tears came from sadness as much as they do from fear. Sadness at losing such an elegant face of justice and progression. Fear stemming from what the road ahead looks like for us minorities.
I am a lesbian woman. I owe my ability to work without a man’s approval, make my own choices for my body’s reproductive system, and my ability to marry to this tireless soldier of justice. Many rights gifted to those with a penis are made to be fought for by the clan of the uterus.
Not one female alive has fought harder for the justice and rights of women everywhere, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As the speeches concluded for Ruth’s ceremony at the capitol, I felt a pang of dread.
What the f*ck do we do now?
Ginsburg’s death opened a fresh wound in all us justice warriors and a fresh seat on the supreme court. A seat still warm Saturday evening when President Trump offered up his nomination for Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett.
You may not know much more about her other than she is a female Republican and now the newest justice to be nominated by the president. She is also a family woman with seven children who strongly leans on family values, her catholic religion, and the belief that abortion is murder to a fetus. Amy Coney Barrett is a conservative through and through.
This (possible) new face of the Supreme Court is well known for her stance on the family—traditional family. The kind of family that doesn’t include two individuals of the same gender raising children. Barrett also doesn’t view abortion as much else than murder. Her devout Catholic background and current following could be to blame for her stance on abortion as well.
Another set of fears is the rolling back of protections put in place for same-sex couples to adopt children. Or an attempt at removing the right for same-sex individuals to marry and obtain the same marital rights as heterosexual couples (one example: pension benefits). And there is the possibility of them going after the laws put in place by Roe V. Wade.
The first case this justice would be set to hear would be the upcoming Affordable Care Act case—hitting the court on November 10th. Will this begin her conservative set of dissents?
The election is around the corner. We are still holding strong in a pandemic, and the country is on fire. Our POTUS is a racist, sexist, child, and we are about to add an extreme right conservative to the most powerful court in the land. If you ever needed a sign that the proverbial sh*t was hitting the very real fan, here it is.
What the f*ck do we do now?
We write letters to our legislature and demand justice. We call our senators and demand justice. We march in the streets, signs high and voices higher, and we demand justice.
Do not let Ruth’s death be in vain.
Do not let Barrett’s confirmation be joyful. VOTE!
Vote for all that is great and graceful; vote like your life depends on it! If you do not think your life depends on it, please know the lives of myself and all other minorities do. Tell your friends to vote; tell your family to vote; tell your coworkers and the local pizza guy to vote. Educate these individuals on the severity of not voting. And if you do not know, educate yourself as well.
This is the fight of our lives.
Justice, justice, you must pursue.
“Tzedek, Tzedek tirdoff.”