On February 1, 2018, the pews of the synagogue in Washington, DC were packed. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg —known to some her of her adoring fans at the Notorious RBG — was about to be interviewed at Adas Israel Congregation by the Forward’s editor in chief, Jane Eisner. Rather than introducing the speakers in a traditional way, Kathleen Peratis brought both Eisner and Ginsburg on stage and proceeded to read this prayer. Written by Abigail Pogrebin in response to an invitation from Lilith, it is a paean to the longest-sitting Jewish Supreme Court justice, and an articulation of the hope that she — and her presence on the court — provide.
At a time as disquieting as this,
When so many of us feel deflated, shaken,
worried for our future,
When we almost can’t remember what it’s like to go a day without name-calling, without lies, harshness, or callousness.
When we’re nostalgic for those halcyon years of complete sentences, dignified statesmanship, acts of empathy,
We still look to you, Ruth Bader Ginsburg—yeshiva-girl-turned-legendary-justice, RBG icon, fighter for the powerless and wronged.
May you go from strength to strength because you have been ours.
May you live many more years because you make the world brighter, fairer, kinder….Because we need you.
— ABIGAIL POGREBIN