The National Council of Jewish Women Greater Philadelphia Section invites the community to “Circling the Courthouse: A Ritual for RBG” at the Bucks County Courthouse, 100 N. Main St., Doylestown, at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2.
“There is a custom in many Jewish communities that at the end of shiva – the seven-day period of initial mourning following burial – mourners take a walk around the block to symbolically mark the end of an intensely inward time begin a return to the world,” reads a statement from the group.
“When someone is buried shortly before a holy day, shiva is cut short, so that the day is not observed with formal mourning. Given that Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s burial is just before the beginning of Sukkot, Friday, Oct. 2, will mark the day for this symbolic ritual shift in our mourning for the first Jewish woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish was to keep her Supreme Court seat vacant until the inauguration of the next president. As we honor her wishes and her legacy, we mark the end of her shiva by walking back into the world – a world that demands we fight for a fair and impartial judiciary. We walk to honor her legacy as a justice who worked tirelessly until her last days for women’s rights, for reproductive rights, for LGBTQ+ rights, for voting rights and for justice and freedom.
“As such, we are inviting our community to join us in a symbolic walk around the Bucks County Courthouse this Friday, Oct. 2, at 3 p.m. We hope you will join us in circling to remind people that this work in the world matters critically.
“Justice Ginsburg had a sign in her office bearing the famous injunction in the Torah (Deuteronomy 16:20): Tzedek, tzedek, tirdof, or “Justice, justice, you shall pursue.” This commandment is situated in the context of verses imploring us to create a fair and impartial judicial system. Our pursuit of a nonpartisan judiciary is, in its essence, the pursuit of justice. By holding fast to this standard, we honor the memory of a great litigator, legal scholar, judge, and Supreme Court Justice.”