By: Lindsay Warner, NFTY Southern Tropical
Shabbat Shalom, NFTY! In this week’s Torah portion, Acharei Mot-Kedoshim (after the death), G-d lays down dozens of mitzvot (holy commandments) for the people of Israel, including the mitzvah of sexual morality. Sexual morality is the principle in which people who are societally considered “superior” to their counterpart do not take advantage of their partner, and instead treat them as equals.
This month, we have been discussing sexual violence, an act that is plaguing the United States and the world. Now is the time to use our knowledge of sexual violence and our passion to take action in social and political movements, much like G-d did in this Parshah. One way to we can do this is to advertise the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline (800.656.HOPE (4673)) on our social media accounts. Additionally, we can hold rallies to show the effects of sexual violence and promote ways to solve this issue. Politically, we, as Reform Jewish teens, can use our voices to call our congresspeople. Utilizing the laws of the Parshah as a foundation, we can lobby our lawmakers into creating bills similar to the mitzvah G-d set down. Also, in order to amplify our efforts, we can show that sexual violence prevention laws have been enacted since the biblical times, so it should be no different in modern time.
As a movement, we can use our strength in numbers, the Torah, and information we have learned about this growing problem to effectively promote initiatives that prevent sexual violence. This work is inherently Jewish, and unites us all.