… the people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died there, and was buried there.
Now there was no water for the congregation (Numbers 20:1b-2a)
her teaching and writing,
her changing, brief by brief,
choosing the cases of male plaintiffs
to support the rights of women,
her unswerving support of liberal causes
that did not stifle her friendship
with conservative judges,
her years on the Supreme Court
decisions that became
the meticulous underpinning
of human hopes,
dissents to name the dangers of our times.
We remember and celebrate
all the accomplishments
and her laughter,
the courage and the commitment.
We stop to be so very grateful
before we begin to be so very sad –
for she, like the prophet Miriam
so long ago,
protected the most vulnerable
and lifted the tambourine
for freedom and justice,
and now we are afraid,
that the people may be without water.
(“On the Basis of Sex” was a 2018 movie based on Ruth Bader Gindsberg’s younger years)