My thoughts: What a breath of fresh air... So often too many in the Orthodox Jewish world don't express their authentic opinions for fear of being unpopular, creating waves, or being labeled as the "other".
Moreover, some shy away in the hopes that someone else will not (bystander effect). Some stay silent, because they feel they have no skin in the game. And some stay silent because it's simply not important to them.
Too often we lack the courage to speak up about difficult topics. Ignoring reality keeps us stuck in this "Don't Ask Don't Tell" construct. This has been proven to be hazardous to ones health. I may not be 6 years old, but I understand what denying a persons reality can do to a person. I understand what might seem as harmless words of a teacher at 6 years old can have an effect on that persons self esteem for years to come.
We may not remember everything about our childhoods, but we do remember the statements that become more relevant to our lives as time goes on.
One of my earliest and most salient memories I can recall is when my 1st grade teacher told us a story about the firing gates of hell. He spoke of the torture we will endure in the next world if we are not "good". That story never left me.
I hope more of us can and will find the courage to be as brave as the author Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold.
Article begins: It was a parenting moment that came much sooner than I thought it would. My six year-old looked over at me at the dinner table and told me that her teacher had said that a boy “can’t marry a boy, and a girl can’t marry a girl.”
I paused, chewing.
“Well, what do you think?,” I asked her.
“Well, I know that isn’t true.”
She knows that isn’t true because we have had gay couples at our Shabbat table. She knows it isn’t true because she has a friend with two moms, and because her little sister has a boy in her class with two dads. She knows that sometimes boys marry boys. She knows that gay people exist. This is 2016.