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How can we embrace Judaism from not only a queer perspective, but also a “political” one? Max Antman (he/him), a rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, discusses how being a gay man influences his reading of Torah, how his Reform synagogue empowered his gay identity, and the sacred relationship between activism and studying Jewish text.
Once, there was a king who set out on a mission in his kingdom to learn about his reputation. He travelled from town to town and eventually met a happy old man and his wife. After asking them why they were so joyous, they replied, “God takes care of us.” The king was furious—it’s him who takes care of the people, not God! What the man and his wife do next teach everyone in the kingdom, including the king, what it means to be taken care of. Rabbi Mark Kaiserman, the rabbi at Reform Temple of Forest Hills retells the story. For a written version, see “The Wooden Sword” in The Jewish Story Finder by Sharon Barcan Elswit.
This week’s guest, Cantor Laura Stein, shares her perspectives on how we can best care for those around us, the (lack of) tension between being Jewish and being a lesbian, and how her spiritual leadership inspires her social work at Mount Sinai Hospital's Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery.