BY EDEN FARBER / AJT //
Last week, I opened up my Facebook after the Yom Tov part of the Pesach holiday ended and was overwhelmed by a “sea of red” in my newsfeed. Many of my friends had posted, shared or personalized the new Human Rights Association’s slogan for marriage equality.
The image consists of a red solid background and a big equals sign in a lighter shade of red in the middle. The colors resemble the those used by the Red Cross, I believe, to highlight the humane aspect of the marriage equality fight.
There’s something else symbolic, though, in the color of this new propaganda. And it’s no coincidence – at least not to those of us who believe in G-d’s hand in the world – that the Supreme Court decided to take up this issue the week of Passover.
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In the story of Passover (which was of course composed thousands of years ago, before there was a marriage to equalize), the Jews crossed a Red Sea. They crossed this sea guided by G-d, both literally and figuratively, to freedom: away from slavery in Egypt to a land flowing with milk and Today, we have another Red Sea in our lives. It is a virtual sea – a sea of pictures and slogans in the different realms of social media. It is a sea that we have created ourselves, one that we physically shaped with the clicks of our own buttons; it is a sea that the entire global population, leaving no one behind, will have to cross to get to freedom.
The circumstances are different, obviously, but the journeys are alike. The Jews crossed the sea to get to Israel – their promised land, their home of hope and life and freedom, a place to be a Jew with no boundaries, only simcha (joy). Similarly, America is a land of freedom for many, a place of redemption.
Thus, if we can have a hand in giving Americans their full rights to freedom in their own land of opportunity, isn’t that special?
Today, slavery is all but unheard of, yet some still do not have full-fledged freedom. Are we going to give up now?
I don’t think we crossed the Red Sea for a life of half-baked freedom. We crossed to have a chance for everyone – and I mean everyone – to have a chance at their own life.
We’re out of Egypt, we’re out of slavery. Let’s not give up fighting for human equality just yet.
We’ve built another Red Sea. The other side means a land where adults have freedom to marry with whom they choose to; it means unconditional equality for all people. And, for once, all means all – not just all upper class, heterosexual white men.
The other side means v’ahavta lere’echa kamocha, “love thy neighbor like thyself.”
I’m ready to cross. Are you?
Atlanta’s Eden Farber, 16, was recognized in the Jewish Heritage National Poetry Contest of 2010 and has published op-eds and poetry in Modern Hippie Magazine and the NY Jewish Week’s Fresh Ink for Teens section.