The American activist, Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the modest sorceress who in her eighties had become a legal, cultural and feminist icon, died on Friday and her death is regarded as a Rosh Hashanah because she died on the Jews were preparing for the start of the holiest season.
According to Jewish tradition, a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah, which began tonight, is a tzaddik, a person of great righteousness. Baruch Dayan HaEmet.
— Ruth Franklin (@ruth_franklin) September 19, 2020
And so, a time of joy and sweetness became something else. It is a holiday, and Shabbat, the remembrances have only just begun.
Some of the ordinary commentators were missing. On CNN, Jake Tapper, Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash were off air. Anderson Cooper hosted Betsy West, director of the documentary “RBG,” but her Jewish co-director, Julie Cohen, was not on camera — although the two released a joint response to their subject’s death.
“Like so many Americans, we are crushed by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” West and Cohen said in a statement obtained by Deadline. “Even had she not become a Supreme Court Justice, Ginsburg earned a place in history for what she did to win equality for American women. When we asked her several years ago how she wanted to be remembered, she said with characteristic modesty, ‘Just as someone who did whatever she could, with whatever limited talent she had, to move society along in the direction I would like it to be for my children and grandchildren.’ ”
On Twitter, a chorus of mourners sounded off on RBG’s legacy: One of persistence, legendary dissents and championing of women’s rights.
Our friend Pamela just told us that “According to Jewish tradition, a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah, which began tonight, is a tzaddik, a person of great righteousness.” We found that very comforting. So strange to be eating these apples and honey with this sadness. pic.twitter.com/bBaWAxwjh0
— Mandy Patinkin (@PatinkinMandy) September 19, 2020
Critic Ruth Franklin opined that Ginsburg’s death on Rosh Hashanah was fitting for her stature and her commitment to justice, a sentiment actor Mandy Patinkin echoed.
She was the architect of the legal fight for women’s rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation’s highest court, becoming its most prominent member. Her death will inevitably set in motion what promises to be a nasty and tumultuous political battle over who will succeed her, and it thrusts the Supreme Court vacancy into the spotlight of the presidential campaign.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Released From Hospital
Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: “My most fervent wish is that i I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
She knew what was to come. Ginsburg’s death will have profound consequences for the court and the country. Inside the court, not only is the leader of the liberal wing gone, but with the Court about to open a new term, Chief Justice John Roberts no longer holds the controlling vote in closely contested cases.
Though he has a consistently conservative record in most cases, he has split from fellow conservatives in a few important ones, this year casting his vote with liberals, for instance, to at least temporarily protect the so-called Dreamers from deportation by the Trump administration, to uphold a major abortion precedent, and to uphold bans on large church gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. But with Ginsburg gone, there is no clear court majority for those outcomes.
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