Monday, September 21, 2020

Mourning Notorious R.B.G.

Baruch Dayan Emet | Nishmata Eden: Could Rosh Hashanah 5781 have been more bittersweet? As we Jews dipped apples in honey and wished each other a good and sweet year, we learned of the death of beloved Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Notorious RBG zl

A tribute: Moment Magazine, North America’s premier Jewish magazine, celebrated its 40th anniversary in June 2015 (see Advice from Notorious R.B.G.).

Moment proudly provided a Symposium on Wisdom for the Next Generation, with contributions from such notables as Theodore Bikel, Ruth Gruber, Walter Laqueur, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, and Elie Wiesel, all of very blessed memory. 

What life experience, advice or piece of wisdom
do you think is most important
to pass on to the next generation?

Jonathan Sacks

 Lehavdil - Rabbi Lord (what a title! only in England!) Jonathan Sacks offered:

Wisdom is free, yet it is also the most expensive thing there is, for we tend to acquire it through failure or disappointment or grief. That is why we try to share our wisdom, so that others will not have to pay the price for it that we paid. Judaism has taught me far more about life than the space allows for here, but I do want to share with you three key lessons I have learned.

First, use your time well. Life is short, too short to waste on television, computer games and unnecessary emails; too short to waste on idle gossip, or envying others for what they have; too short for anger and indignation; too short to waste on criticizing others. “Teach us to number our days,” says Psalm 90, “that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

But any day on which you have done some good to someone has not been wasted.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose death we mourn even as we celebrate her life, certainly used her time well. Here is the wisdom she offered to Moment in 2015.

Let me tell you about an experience I had. It’s a problem that still exists, although not to the same extent.

In the 1970s, I was a teacher at Columbia Law School. I got a call from the head of the lower school at my son James’s school asking me to come down to discuss my lively son’s latest escapade. I got those calls about once a month.

That day, I was particularly weary and I responded to the call,

 “This child has two parents. 
Please alternate calls. It’s his father’s turn.”

So they called Marty. What was James’s offense?

He stole the elevator.

It was one of those hand-operated elevators and the elevator operator had gone out for a smoke.

One of James’s classmates dared him to take the kindergartners up to the top floor, so he did. Marty’s response was 


“How far could he take it?”

The school was much more reluctant to call a man away from his work. I think that young women with children are still experiencing that. They’re expected to do it all—do their job but take care of all the family things. The dental checkups, the new shoes.

If you see work and family as part of your life, of every human’s life, then the men should be involved in raising children … And a woman should not feel guilt that she’s working. Raising children is a shared responsibility.
Notorious RBG

How, Abq Jew hears you ask, did the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg become Notorious R.B.G.? This article by Hunter Schwartz in Time Magazine sheds some light.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg goes full Notorious RBG 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg's photo for the "Time 100" is perfect. Wearing a glove, she holds her hand to her face with a slight smirk. The pose looks like something inspired by a rap album cover, and the glove evokes early Madonna. 
She looks like a justice, but she also looks like a rock star. It's the ultimate visual representation of the meme that has become "The Notorious RBG." 
Ginsburg's evolution into a progressive millennial icon has come thanks to her Supreme Court opinions and outspokenness. The "Notorious" Tumblr didn't hurt either.

However, as Abq Jew advances, day by day (the universally approved rate) on Old Age, his favorite picture of Notorious RBG may (that's a caveat) always be

RBG Asleep for SOTU
'Notorious' Ruth Bader Ginsburg 'Wasn't 100 Percent Sober'
at the 2015 State of the Union

RBG Fearless Girl

May the Memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
be a Blessing and an Inspiration for Us All

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