We are observing our “Pride Shabbat” this evening. Our service will be traditional and musically inspiring, conveying the message that we stand with those who identify as LGBTQ in their quest for dignity and equal rights.

But perhaps the most important aspect of this service is our learning more about those who identify as LGBTQ. I think it’s a rare opportunity to grow more understanding and embracing of those who identify themselves in this large segment of our society.

Our guest speaker is Dr. Joy Ladin, a transgender professor at Yeshiva University. She will draw from her most recent book “The Soul of a Stranger:Reading God and Torah from a Transgender perspective.”

If we are to be honest, we all have our own“issues.” But to outwardly and freely break from society’s traditional sense of “normal” and openly declare who we are, remains but a vision for a lot of good people with whom we share so much as human beings.

Yes, too many people everywhere remain ignorant or insensitive to some of the complex and compelling realities and challenges that LGBTQ people face.

Let it be known and reaffirmed that we, as a congregation, welcome all who choose to be a part of us. We strive to live the Torah’s ideal of “loving our neighbor” in an embracing and accepting way.

I wish you and your loved ones Shabbat Shalom.

I hope you will be with us this evening.

Rabbi David Greenberg