To misquote the Grateful Dead, what a short, strange trip it’s been!
Rabbi David Segal
Rabbi David Segal was born and raised in Houston, TX, where he attended Congregation Emanu El. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 2010. Together with his wife, Cantor Rollin Simmons, he served the Aspen Jewish Congregation in Aspen, Colorado, until 2017. Today, he and his family reside in Houston, where he is the Texas Organizer of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, as well as a teacher and writer.
On February 25, the Harris County Commissioners voted to create a taxpayer-funded legal defense program for immigrants facing deportation in the Houston metro area.
We carry memories of racial solidarity past even as we turn a blind eye to racial injustice today. We love to celebrate our legacy as leaders in the civil rights movement, forgetting, by the way, how many Jews 50 years ago thought we should keep our heads down and stay out of it. We pat ourselves on the back with pictures of Rabbi Heschel marching with Rev. Dr. King, even as we let that legacy lapse. As one of my colleagues put it: “Are we just running on the fumes of Heschel?” When did prophetic zeal turn to privileged complacence? How did solidarity turn to silence and separation?
This is an excerpt from a sermon delivered on July 15, 2016. Read the full sermon here.
A few weeks ago, in Parashat Chukat, we find the Israelites in the desert doing what they do best — complaining.