#RoshHashanah isn't about forgiveness. It's about standing in judgement before God and facing up to what we've done.
To the extent that forgiveness is possible, it comes on Yom Kippur.
God's judgement is not a bad thing. It's not about punishment, it's about accountability.
We are living in dangerous times. There are moral issues we can't afford to evade or ignore.
There needs to be a moral reckoning. There is a lot of pressure, from all sides, not to do that work.
It's very, very difficult to keep integrity in the face of derision and judgement from other people. It's hard not to back down.
In that context, God's judgement means a lot to me. I welcome it. I need it, in order to keep my integrity.
I don't believe in divine reward and punishment. I think it's pretty clear that the world doesn't work that way.
What I do believe is: I can fool myself. I can fool other people. I can't fool God. God knows the full truth of what I have done.
I am not interested in absolution. I am interested in moral clarity. I want God to help me know what is right and do what is right.
Particularly now. So, as we go into Rosh Hashana: Let's all take the opportunity to examine our actions and find ways to turn away from sin.
Teshuva is not absolution. There are no blank slates, only new pages. We can't rewrite the past, but we can write a better future.
Judgement won't destroy us. God already knows what we've done. If God was going to strike us down for it, that already would have happened.

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More from @RutiRegan

Aug 15, 2018
An additional comment on the sexual abuse scandals in the news: This is a reason that I'm skeptical about the idea of replacing the criminal system with something like Restorative Justice.
Here's the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, advocating for a Restorative Justice approach: usccb.org/issues-and-act…
Do you trust United Conference of Catholic Bishops to be acting in good faith when they say "A Catholic approach leads us to encourage models of restorative justice that seek to address crime in terms of the harm done to victims and communities, not simply as a violation of law"?
Read 14 tweets
Aug 15, 2018
If you attribute the abusiveness of Catholic priests to celibacy, you’re effectively saying that you expect Catholic women to protect children by absorbing sexual violence from men. Please don’t do that.
Because you know another thing that the Catholic Church knows about and has chosen to enable? Violent fathers and violent husbands. The problem isn’t celibacy, it’s patriarchy. And that’s not a uniquely Catholic problem.
Attributing the problem to celibacy allows non-Catholics to exoticize it. It gives people a way to say “our clergy aren’t celibate; we don’t have that problem”, instead of acknowledging the violent patriarchy problem that we absolutely do have.
Read 17 tweets
Aug 15, 2018
An Elul challenge for Jewish women: Treat Jewish feminism as part of your teshuva. Think about the role that antisemitism and misogyny play in your life, how both might be barriers to being who you want to be in the world, and what you might be able to do about it.
Jewish women are taught to hate ourselves in all kinds of ways blatant and subtle. (If I had a dollar for every time I've been told that Israel is just like Nazi Germany or that women's ordination destroyed American Judaism, I'd have a lot less student debt.)
In mainstream English-speaking culture, it is rarely socially acceptable to talk about Judaism with the assumption that Judaism is valuable and that Jews can be happy and like being Jewish. Especially if you are a woman. What if we violated that taboo?
Read 25 tweets
Jul 16, 2018
Deuteronomy starts "These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel on the other side of the Jordan.". That means it's time for a thread about Moses' words and voice from a disability perspective.
When Moses was first appointed by God at the burning bush, he was reluctant, and expressed several objections, most of which boiled down to: "I am not someone who others will listen to." At the end of the encounter, Moses makes this very explicit:
Ex 4:10 But Moses said to YHVH , “Please, O Lord, I have never been a man of words, either in times past or now that You have spoken to Your servant; I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
Read 25 tweets
Jun 3, 2018
Hello #FaithfullyLGBT. It’s #PrideMonth and bigots are out in droves throwing Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 at us.

That means it’s time for a thread about why they’re wrong, and how to read Leviticus from a place of love.
First of all, the Old Testament God is not the problem. God has never hated us.
Speaking as a rabbi, what Christians call the Old Testament is what I call the Bible.

I’m unequivocally LGBTQ-afffirming. The Hebrew Bible is not the problem.

Affirming Christians: We need each other.

Please don’t try to fight anti-LGBTQ bigotry with antisemitism.
Read 17 tweets
Apr 24, 2018
I normally never bring up Israel when people talk about antisemitism in other countries, but I’m going to make an exception and talk about what it’s like to be a Jewish woman who wears a yarmulke in public.
Specifically: I am a rabbi. I wear a yarmulke almost everywhere I go. This attracts both antisemitic and misogynistic harassment.
I often hear esteemed male leaders opine that it’s a tremendous relief to spend time in Israel, because it’s so socially comfortable to express their Judaism visibly.
Read 15 tweets

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