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Being an LGBTQ Ally Isn't About You

In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, a gunman opened fire at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. He would go on to murder 49 people and hurt at least 53 more.

At the same time, Jews around the world were immersed in Tikkun Leil Shavuot, an all-night program devoted to Torah study to re-enact the ancient Israelites’ preparation for receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai.

On Monday night, after the holiday ended, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld took the members of his Orthodox congregation, Ohev Sholom, to Fireplace, a predominantly African-American gay bar near his synagogue in Washington, D.C.

Rabbi Herzfeld was so moved by his own actions that he wrote an article about the nightin The Washington Post, saying, “I learned that when a rabbi and members of an Orthodox synagogue walk into a gay African American bar, it is not the opening line of a joke but an opportunity to connect; it is an opportunity to break down barriers and come together as one; it is an opportunity to learn that if we are going to survive, we all need each other.”

I know that many people are looking for ways to show their allyship and love after Orlando, but this isn’t it.

Read more at the Atlanta Jewish Times.

Robbie Medwed