RABBI DEBRA KOLODNY

AS THE SPIRIT MOVES US

Writings

Shoftim 2020/5780

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Shoftim 2020/5780

This week’s Torah portion, Shoftim includes the famous words tzedek tzedek tirdof-which is typically translated as “justice, justice shall you pursue.” Looking first at what we call the Pshat- the plain reading of the text: what does it mean to pursue justice? In this very same parsha we read that it means No bribes and no favoritism (16:19) That you must have 2 or 3 witnesses to confirm something happened (17:6) What if we go deeper and look beyond the plain meaning and find an interpretation of this text that illuminates this a bit more...

PUAH City Council Testimony – STOP COP RIOTS

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PUAH City Council Testimony – STOP COP RIOTS

Mayor and Commissioners, My name is Rabbi Debra Kolodny. I am today here as Executive Director of Portland United Against Hate, co-author of the Stop Cop Riots letter and as clergy. In our final letter demanding an end to police violence during demonstrations, the community submitted 66 organizational signers and 92 clergy signers as well as another 1300 individuals. I broke down these numbers because I want to make clear that while a few clergy share the good protestor/bad protestor narrative and are standing with police, the vast majority...

Portland United Against Hate Testimony Against Police Violence

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Portland United Against Hate Testimony Against Police Violence

September 3, 2020 Co-Chairs and Members of the Committee: My name is Rabbi Debra Kolodny. I live in Multnomah County and am the Executive Director of Portland United Against Hate and the Rabbi of Portland’s UnShul. Having spoken with over 100 people and read through dozens of first hand reports on extraordinary police violence against almost exclusively peaceful protestors, and having pastored to over a dozen people who have received horrific injuries, I want to thank you for your work on LC 17 through 20. That being said, I believe that...

Black Lives Matter Lamentation – Tisha B’Av 5780/2020

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Black Lives Matter Lamentation – Tisha B’Av 5780/2020

Chanting to Eicha trop Words curated by Rabbi Debra Kolodny Perek aleph: Chapter One:  Final words of 8 Black men and one Black woman shot by police: ‘Officers, why do you have your guns out?’ – Kenneth Chamberlain ‘What are you following me for?’ – Trayvon Martin ‘Mom, I’m going to college’ – Amadou Diallo ‘I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting.’ – Michael Brown ‘You shot me! You shot me!’ – Oscar Grant ‘It’s not real.’ – John Crawford ‘I can’t breathe.’ – Eric Garner I love you too. Sean Bell Please don’t let me die. Cristal Perkins Perek bet:...