By Rabbi Judy Ginsburgh | June 5, 2016
As presented at the PRIDE worship Celebration on June 5, 2016 at City Hall in Alexandria, Louisiana.
Hine Ma Tov uma naim
Shevet achim gam yachad
How good it is that we gather
All together peacefully.
How good it is that we share
That we care, respect and love.
This song really says it all. Hine Ma Tov — How good it is — that we are gathered here peacefully as a community to share, to care, to respect one another and to love.
We are here for the good of our community. Our community here in Central Louisiana is diverse and I have always been proud of how inclusive and caring we are. Each and every member of our community brings blessings and talents with them to make our community a better place. And we are all the richer, because of that.
We are all created in God’s image, but who are we to decide or judge what that “image” is? What does God’s image look like? Is God an old man in a long white robe with a beard? Is God a beautiful woman with angel wings? Is God black or white? Young or old? Male or female? Gay or straight? We don’t have the answers to these questions and the answers really don’t matter. What matters is that we are ALL created in the image of God. We are all God’s children and we all have the holiness and the goodness of God in us.
I wrote a song a number of years ago to teach children to be kind to one another and to find the good in each and every person….the first part of the lyrics are:
“There’s a little bit of God in each and every one of us, all we have to do is look inside. There’s a little bit of God in each and every one of us, it shouldn’t be too hard to find.”
There is, indeed, a little bit of God in each and every one of us. We have to look beyond the outside and delve deeper to discover what makes us who we are. We can spend a lifetime trying to figure out who we are and what we were put on this earth to do. But, we need to have the freedom to be our authentic selves.
I love this quote by Dr. Joy Ladin. She says, “We all have to become ourselves – not just once, by growing from childhood into adulthood, but throughout our lives.”
May we all have the courage to become ourselves – to evolve into who we truly are. May we all continue to open our minds and hearts to understanding, to sharing, to supporting, and to loving. May we all continue to see that each and every person matters. And may we know that each and every member of our community contributes to the whole to make Central Louisiana the vibrant and diverse place we call home. Amen.