THE BLOG
07/10/2013 06:00 pm ET | Updated Sep 09, 2013

We Will Not Stand Idly By: Rabbinic Remarks From the Rally at the Texas State Capitol

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Good afternoon. This past Saturday, in synagogues throughout the world, we re-read the Biblical story of the daughters of Tzlofechad, courageous women who raised their voices against injustice and created tremendous opportunity for future generations.

Today we are all those daughters.

We stand here, together today raising our voices against a bill that denies women basic rights, jeopardizes access to safe health care, and oppresses those who are most in need of help.

The Torah compels us, implores us -- "You will not stand idly by the pain and suffering of your neighbor." For each and every one of us, at some point in our lives, will experience pain and will understand what it means to be lonely, to be invisible, to be overlooked.

And so today, we are here - people from many different faiths and cultural backgrounds - united in this universal call - We will not stand idly by.

Say it with me - We will not stand idly by.

This bill threatens to close 37 of the 42 health clinics in Texas -- clinics that provide basic health care to women in need. We are here today to say No,

We will not stand idly by.

This bill unethically targets those who are most fragile, those who are poor, uninsured, and with limited capacities to travel. We are here today to say No,

We will not stand idly by.

This bill threatens to take away a woman's basic right to make her own decisions about her own health care and fertility, leaving countless women with little recourse but the tragic, coat hanger abortions of yesteryear. We are here today to say No,

We will not stand idly by.

Some politicians and clergy might support laws that shame, judge and coerce women for making their own medical decisions. They do not speak for me, they do not speak for the Bible, and they do not speak for God -- And they should not be allowed to impose their beliefs on people who walk with their own integrity. Together we are here to say No,

We will not stand idly by.

We stand here today with open hearts, committed to speaking honestly, listening compassionately, struggling deeply, and acting with moral courage. We stand here today and affirm.

We will not stand idly by.

For video coverage of the rally, check-out the following link: http://http://www.texastribune.org/2013/07/01/video/

In addition, Rabbi Rick Brody's remark's from the rally can be found here:http://kidmoot.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/the-blessing-of-health-choice-and-the-curse-of-coercion/