In Shavuot we read the tale of Ruth, a tale that teaches society an important lesson on acceptance and inclusion. The main motif of the story is charity and mutual responsibility. From Rut’s adherence to follow Naomi, following Rut’s pick in Boaz’s field to the way she handled the harvesters. There are three gifts to the poor from the harvest: Pe’eh, Leket and Shich’chah. These Mitzva’s bind those who were blessed with fruitful lands to help provide for those less fortunate. The harvesters are obliged to leave any loose single yield dropped on ground and are not to go back collect what’s fallen. Leket was the only option Rut and Naomi had for survival when returned from Moav. Boaz instructs the working men to share their food with Rut and allow her to collect as much crop as she needs. He also makes sure that the field is safe for her as a woman. This Mitzva among many of the one thy other sort, are the foundation of a society committed to support those less fortunate and share resources. This motif is the daily guideline of Bat Kol’s activity – an organization for lesbian, Bisexual, transsexual and queer Jewish women.
Bat Kol is a home for women who hold a queer and religious identity. Our group meetings, the social activity across the country and our members welcoming open door for Shabats and holidays are our infrastructure for supporting and helping cope with the complexity many of us experience. Even in these times of global health and economical distress, we keep striving to provide support and ease the lives of those who need us. The tale of Rut teaches courage and perseverance. Those women who managed to start a family and live peacefully within a religious community paved a previously unknown path, and they share the knowledge and resources with those who still struggle to find their place within the community.
We at Bat Kol wish to express the voices of the women who are still unable to face their families or community. There is no better holiday than Matan Torah to invite everyone to help fulfill our goal, together with the religious LGBTQ organizations, and spread the message of “ve’ahavta le’reacha kamocha” (“Love thy neighbor as yourself”).
About Bat Kol
Bat Kol – the Religious Lesbian Organization – is a growing community building new pathways for fulfilling and celebrating both religious and lesbian identities, making it possible for women to live in loving relationships and raise children within the context of traditional Judaism and the larger religious community. Working in collaboration with a diverse group of Orthodox Rabbis, Professors, community members and friends, Bat Kol aspires to promote and sponsor education for tolerance and the acceptance of difference within the religious community and society at large.