• Molly Lee

Birthing is hard, we are in this together.

Rabbi Debra Kolodny addressed a crowd of about 3,000 at the Portland Waterfront for the No One is Above the Law Rally on November 8, 2018.

#Noone is above the law rally

This is the transcript of her speech.


Tomorrow November 9 is the anniversary of Kristalnacht.

But Sunset fell at 4:47 today and Jews begin our days at nightfall, not at midnight.

A time of great grieving is upon us.

On November 9 and 10, 1938, in a pogram in Germany almost 200 synagogues were destroyed, over 8,000 Jewish shops were sacked and looted, and over 30,000 thousand Jews were soon removed to concentration camps.

German Jews had been subjected to repressive policies since 1933, when Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) became chancellor of Germany. However, prior to Kristallnacht, these Nazi policies had been primarily nonviolent.

Exterminations began the following year.

Why do I begin my comments with this today?

You know.

When the rule of law is abandoned, when a tyrant considers himself above the law, when hate is the currency of that tyrant, when that tyrant declares himself a nationalist and aligns himself with white nationalists, when that tyrant thinks he can control the narrative and prevent harm to himself for breaking the law horrible things happen.

But this is America in 2018, not Germany in 1938.


And we can make all the analogies we want, but we just worked our asses off and we took back the House. We now have a record number of women in Congress. Native Women, Muslim women, Latinas, Black women, LGBTQ women, young women, radical women, women who are scientists, women who are veterans. A mixed martial artist! A woman who was a law school classmate of mine!

And that is not all. We have leadership poised to ensure that the landscape in DC is forever changed.

Representative Adam Schiff is the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and is expected to become its chair, pending the outcome of the Speaker of the House race. He has earned wide praise from fellow Democrats for his handling of the politically sensitive investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Representative Elijah Cummings, a veteran of House oversight fights is expected to become the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Representative Maxine Waters is the front runner to take back her time and our power as the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, and we all know what a bad ass she is!

And this one you will not believe:

Today Fox News’ on air Judge, Anthony Napolitano, stated that the selection of Jeff Session’s former chief of staff Matthew Whitaker as Acting AG may in fact be illegal because he was never confirmed by the Senate.


Why do I lift up our leaders and the truth telling of even those who have been Trump’s staunches supporters in this moment?

Because we are in a new game and OF COURSE Trump is flipping out and trying to rig the deck so he is not indicted. Of course we must be viglent and hold our electeds accountable to prevent his shenanigans. But the landscape has really and truly changed.

While so many of us have had our epigenetic trauma activated, many of us have been aware that we are experiencing not a repeat of the hell of the Nazi regime, but the death throes of an old consciousness, the death throes of white supremacy and misogyny and anti-indigenousness and imperialism and naked unchecked capitalism.

In December of 2016 I preached that as we were witnessing the death of these systems we were also experiencing the gestation of our liberation. The birthing of a new world, based on inclusion and equity and justice and loving the earth and loving indigenous paths and believing science and welcoming the immigrant and rejoicing in our differences and…

Almost two years later, we are seeing the first phase of that birthing. But only the first phase, so hang on everyone, cuz the ride is not over. And birthing is hard. Birthing is painful and it takes time.

Rabbi Menachem Creditor took a beautiful phrase from scripture many years ago, Olam Chesed Yibaneh, God will build this world from love and wrote a gorgeous song that I’d like to invite you to join me in singing.

Because when we elevate ourselves with our fiery conviction and our day to day action and our freedom and love songs, we can see that the moment we are in is tough, but we’ve got this. The arc of the universe continues to bend towards justice, my friends!

Olam Chesed Yibaneh ya da dai

I will build this world from love... yai dai dai And you must build this world from love... yai dai dai And if we build this world from love... yai dai dai Then G-d will build this world from love... yai dai dai

Immersed in our birthing song, let us also take a moment to sing a healing prayer for our beloved Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, that she might heal fully and quickly from her broken ribs. Her Hebrew name is Yita Ruchel bat Tzirel Leah

The words of this prayer are: El Na Refanah La…Refuah shlemah and we will sing it fully through three times.

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