On the Loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Dear Beloved Tree of Life Community,

               As you know, two days ago Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg passed away after a long battle with cancer. This has come as a painful shock to many of us. Justice Ginsberg lived a life that changed our world. A central figure in the legal battle for women’s rights in the 70s, she held justice, equity and compassion in human relations (one of our core UU principles) as a central idea in her legal work. Many of us have been hit hard by the loss of a woman who worked tirelessly for causes we care about.             

               I know some of you are scared about what this means for justice in our country. What might this loss mean in a time when we have lost over 200,000 lives in this country during a pandemic that continues? What might this mean in a time of so much unrest during a contentious election season? This year, we have been faced with an extraordinary amount of uncertainty, both as a country and in our personal lives. Justice Ginsberg has been a cultural icon of justice and hope during this time. Feeling fear and grief are understandable in the face of these losses. Take the time you need to grieve. Please let me know if you’d like to talk.

               I have found comfort in the Jewish tradition that a person who dies at the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a tzaddik, a person of great righteousness because God waited until the last possible moment because the person was so needed. We know how true that is. And now that Justice Ginsberg’s time is done, we must move forward together. Of her legacy Justice Ginsberg said, “To make life a little better for people less fortunate than you, that’s what I think a meaningful life is. One lives not just for oneself but for one’s community.” She lived such a life. We can honor her by not giving up, by caring for one another and moving forward to continue to create a future of justice and love.

In grief, love, and hope for the future,

Rev. Jenn Gracen –

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