A former Matan Board member and accomplished self-advocate, Jason Lieberman, believes that contained within EVERY Torah portion is a message of inclusion. We have have published several of his divrei torah on this blog, learning so much from him over the years, and have wondered out loud with him what it would be like to explore each week’s divine message of inclusion. Jason has inspired us, at Matan, to stop speculating and start studying!
In Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), we learn: “Provide for yourself a teacher, and get yourself a friend.” Matan is blessed to have many teachers; rabbis and other prominent educators who are our allies and friends in our mission to create a more inclusive Jewish community. We are deeply honored that they have “opted in” to help us explore the Torah’s messages of inclusion.
Every Wednesday, beginning with Beresheit (Genesis) next week, you will be privy to these words of wisdom from rabbis across the country, from all sects of Judaism. Their writings are inspired by ancient text, but provide us with a modern-day lens as to how we can be a better, more inclusive Jewish community.
We hope that when a particular message speaks to you, you will share it with the friends, colleagues, clergy and Jewish educators in your life. We hope you will discuss it around the dinner table, or when celebrating Shabbat with friends. Matan aims to change the fabric of Jewish life when it comes to inclusion, but we know real change will come only when the community is inspired to act collectively.
And in that way, we will each become a teacher; we will each become a friend.