Art by Steve Silbert.
... In Torah’s time we built the mishkan with our own hands, following divine instructions to create something holy. Today we build our systems of צֶדֶק / tzedek (justice) and צדקה / tzedakah (righteous giving) when we bring Torah’s ethical blueprints to life. We build a world worthy of God when we refuse to stand idly by as our fellow human beings are harmed. (Lev. 19:16)
Trans and gender-non-conforming people are under threat in the United States. Political violence and eliminationism are on the rise. The anti-trans legislation risk map blares red with alarm. There are nearly 370 bills on the table targeting trans people. I’m a cisgender woman; I’m not at risk. But I owe it to those who are at risk to stand against anti-trans bigotry and harm.
In the days of the mishkan everyone brought what they had. Those who had gold, those who had acacia, those who had blue and purple and crimson yarn – they brought whatever they could. Today we each need to bring whatever we can to the table to build a mishkan of safety for trans and gender-non-conforming members of our communities, and all communities...
I was honored to write this week's Torah post for Bayit's Builders Blog. It's part of our ongoing series of essays exploring Torah through the lens of social justice and building a world worthy of the divine. Read the whole post here: A Mishkan of Safety.
(Shared with gratitude to Steve Silbert for the artwork, and to Erin Reed of Erin In The Morning for her reporting.)