With the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG) this weekend — and on the Jewish High Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah — it seems appropriate to tie this post to this “Trifecta of Thought”: an Old Testament Bible reading as nod to Ginsberg’s faith, my own humble, Christian belief, and a few comments about RBG’s passing and legacy.
This approach might have some folks dropping off this blog, or at the least dismissing the stream of thought out of hand…well, if yes, so be it. This moment demands attention and insight; especially in this time of challenge and sacrifice and loss, we must…we MUST, share out thoughts. These are the thoughts that pretty easily rushed to the fore thinking about all this.
From Leviticus 23:23-32, the Biblical verse that decree the Jewish holiday, mentioned, it’s written in part, “…you shall observe a day of complete rest, a holy convocation commemorated with trumpet blasts.”
As RBG entered into eternal rest, we remember the trumpet she blasted in our society for decades to further the Rule of Law, and to insure that legal protections were given to all people, and in particular to women. Maybe it’s fitting that she exited this world on this day, the dawn of a new year on the Jewish Calendar.
From her early professional days as a professor in law school — incidentally, named the first woman given a tenured position at Columbia Law School; and after being the only woman in her law school class at Harvard — she responded to the circumstances, to the moment.
To those who considered the affirmative action a bad thing — that very precedent that helped her progress to more equal professional footing — she would later write “a bit delightedly, ‘that at last, the days of ‘negative action’ are over.'” Indeed, for the whole of her career she spoke intelligently, pointedly, and ever with the belief that well-considered opinions needed to be shared. I read in more than one account this weekend a central tenet that Ginsberg held even in legal dissent on matters before the Supreme Court, where she served for well more than 20 years. The belief was that an opinion, even in dissent, would further the dialogue on the topic well into the future (and long after she was dead and gone).
And so, Ginsberg’s belief that equality was, IS, for all people in society, and especially women,
this thinking also seems to ring true to me in relation to Christian thought. After all, Jesus taught that all people were, ARE, equal before God. Simple, obvious, Truth.
And considering in particular the role that women played in the Jesus story, the place women held in the progression of his life and death, it seems clear that women are indeed not just equal, but more appropriately thought leaders, people of action and support and DOING in society. And they should be not only listened to, but examples to be followed.
Rest In Peace, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Rest in the Power you gave so many. And we know, you will continue to give that power to so many. That is one of the lasting gifts you’ve left us.
Truth & Equality. Rest In Power.