June is the month to celebrate LGBTQ Pride in many places in the world, and it is a good time for us to take stock of our own progress in moving along the road toward celebrating each of us in all of our diversity and multiplicity. As this week’s Torah portion teaches, it is not easy to move from fear of the other to celebration of the richness of the human family. When encountering the other-ness of the land of Canaan, the scouts are afraid, a feeling that may be familiar to us, whether we are confronting difference in those around us or coming to terms with unacknowledged parts of our own souls. The scouts continue to walk through denial, confusion, and questioning before arriving at tolerance, acceptance, welcome, and finally, celebration and pride.
We are all mid-way on this journey. The progress we have made in letting go of our fear of difference in our own GJC community, in Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania, and in the United States is stunning. Yet we still have so far to go. Let us walk with compassion for those on the journey with us as well as fierce determination to continue to learn, discuss, engage, and work for our vision of a future in which we truly see each unique soul as a beautiful stripe in the rainbow flag of humanity. Ken y’hi ratzon – may this be God’s will.