WASHINGTON, D.C. - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or RBG as some call her, may struggle to stay awake during the State of the Union address (who can blame her?), but she doesn’t struggle with speaking her mind. Her most recent focus is the “Heroic and Visionary Women of Passover” and the roles women should hold today.
In anticipation of the upcoming Jewish holiday, Ginsburg paired up with Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt to pen a piece for the American Jewish World Service on the heroic women within the well-told tale of the Israelites fleeing from Egypt — a part often overlooked during Passover Seder and a popular Rugrats episode.
“On Passover, Jews are commanded to tell the story of Exodus and to see ourselves as having lived through that story, so that we may better learn how to live our lives today. The stories we tell our children shape what they believe to be possible—which is why at Passover, we must tell the stories of the women who played a crucial role in the Exodus narrative.”
Ginsburg and Holtzblatt go on to tell about the “five brave women” whom they say acted as partners to God during the fateful Exodus. The women are Moses’ mother, the two famous midwives who birthed him and saved him from death, Moses’ sister and Pharaoh’s daughter. All heroines, they write, were “women of action, prepared to defy authority to make their vision a reality.”
The piece makes clear links between the characters in the story and the roles Ginsburg and Holtzblatt believe women should hold today. They write that telling the story of these women reminds other women today that they can “carry forward the tradition those intrepid women launched.”
The piece finishes:
“While there is much light in today’s world, there remains in our universe disheartening darkness, inhumanity spawned by ignorance and hate. We see horrific examples in the Middle East, parts of Africa, and Ukraine. The Passover story recalls to all of us—women and men—that with vision and action we can join hands with others of like mind, kindling lights along paths leading out of the terrifying darkness.”
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