Life-giving effort

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A highlight of the Passover celebration is the singing of Dayenu, a lively song of gratitude. In the song, we list the elements of God’s liberation of the Israelites from slavery and say that each one, alone, would have been enough. That’s what Dayenu means, it would have been enough.

Dayenu is more than a song of thanks. It is about the understanding that good things contain other good things. In that spirit, I want to offer appreciation and congratulations on Pittsburgh City Councilman Dan Gilman’s sponsorship of the resolution urging federal health officials to reevaluate discriminatory policies around blood, organ and tissue donation. These policies consider heterosexual orientation as a criterion for donation.

Everything about reversing the guidelines excluding homosexuals from the life-giving opportunity to donate is right. To adapt the Dayenu to this issue, I would say that, for addressing the shortage of organs, which is a crisis, the policy change would have been enough. For understanding the wholeness of each person regardless of sexual orientation, it would have been enough. For celebrating those who are willing to use their own health to bring health to another, it would have been enough.

As spring renews in both Christian and Jewish traditions, we celebrate deliverance to a place of promise. Mr. Gilman’s leadership identifies a policy change that bundles many good things — inclusion, liberation and life. Thank you, councilman.


Point Breeze

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