A Message from Rabbi Ilana on Today’s Supreme Court Decision

by Rabbi Ilana Zietman / June 24, 2022

Our despair can be empowering, if we let it. I have seen this over the past several years in the U.S. and have learned it again and again from Jewish and social movement history. 

In regard to the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, we in the American Jewish community have every right to feel despair. Despair that many women and birthing people, Jewish and not, will not have adequate access to the reproductive healthcare they need and deserve or will be punished for seeking it. Despair that this decision will continue to disproportionately hurt those who are already marginalized and unfairly disadvantaged in our society, including women of color and other BIPOC individuals, immigrants, non-binary and trans people, and those who live in poverty. Despair that, as a religious minority, our access to abortion care, which Judaism not only permits, but sometimes requires, will be violated. 

While despair can be debilitating, it ultimately contains so much wisdom about what is most important to us. 

If you are feeling angry, disheartened, frustrated, and scared after today’s decision, take a moment to breathe, cry, scream, etc. then ask how you can begin to transform the power of these feelings for the good. 

As Jews, we know how to turn our mourning into action. Both are important and both are incredibly necessary.

No matter where you are on this continuum, know that you’re not alone. You’re allowed to respond in your own way, at your own pace. 

Those of us serving you, our Jewish community, are here to process with you and provide continued temicha, support; ahavah, love; and tikvah, sustainable hope in this trying moment. 

Toward that end, if you are in need of spiritual care or guidance, please reach out to me to talk.

If you are ready to take action, GatherDC has also compiled a list of other resources for support or ways to get involved: 

Abortion Funds

Advocacy & Actions

Jewish Spiritual Resources