Definition of a Tzedek

One rabbi’s message to her congregation about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Shanah Tovah!

Just before Rosh Hashanah, we heard the news of the death of a modern Jewish hero, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She lived her life as a proud Jewish woman. Justice Ginsburg worked tirelessly, throughout her career, for gender equality and women’s rights. Having faced sexism and anti-semitism in her own career, she was committed to the pursuit of justice and equality for all people.

On the opening day of the 2019/2020 Supreme Court session, Justice Ginsburg wore a collar with the word “tzedek” woven into it. It was a beautiful gesture showing her commitment to uphold the instruction of the Torah: tzedek tzedek tirdof— justice, justice shall you pursue.

Justice Ginsburg was a tiny lady with giant ideals. The “Notorious RBG” will be remembered for her commitment to her family, her community and her country. She taught our nation the value of dissent and disagreement— for the betterment of all.

Zichrona livracha— May her memory inspire us in this new year.

Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf
Sherith Israel, San Francisco