Perhaps there’s a certain poetry that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg entered her rest on Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar. It reminds us that G-d knew that today would be his daughter Ruth’s last day with us, and though we were stunned by the news of her passing, he wasn’t. The G-d who sees everything and loves everyone, the G-d she served faithfully, knew that we would need to continue on without her in the pursuit of tzedek (Hebrew for justice).
Perhaps we can find a measure of comfort in this, and also in the knowledge that no matter how dark the present and future appear, G-d is not neutral when it comes to tzedek. He is the author of it and commands humanity to seek it.
And in the book of the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, that is known as Qohelet (Hebrew for preacher) in Judaism and Ecclesiastes in Christianity, G-d promises that in his perfect time, justice will reign, guaranteed.
Ruth believed it. Surely it fueled her hope.
May it fuel ours, too.
Thank you, Ruth, for making our world a definitively better place – both through your legal work and the life you’ve lived. You cross the finish line of this life having inspired so many of us. We receive the baton from you and promise that we will give everything we can as we run our part of the race. You did, enduring endless misogyny, anti-Semitism both overt and subtle, and the fiery pains of cancer. We cannot do any less.
May Ruth’s memory be a blessing to her loved ones and to all.